Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Match Preview: Man United v Basaksehir


Manchester United are still well placed in Group H despite a surprise defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir, who come to England looking to improve on their European away record.

The Turkish champions claimed their first win in the UEFA Champions League group stage at United's expense in their most recent fixture, all three goals coming in the first half. Demba Ba (13) and Edin Višca (40) gave the home side a cushion and, though Anthony Martial quickly halved United's deficit, Istanbul Basaksehir held on for their first points in the competition.

Istanbul Basaksehir are therefore level with 2019/20 runners-up Paris Saint-Germain on three points with United and Leipzig – beaten by Paris in last season's semi-finals – both three better off.



United were making smooth progress through Group H prior to defeat in Turkey, overcoming last season's runnersup Paris 2-1 away on Matchday 1 before a hat-trick from Marcus Rashford – who had also scored the winner in France – helped secure a 5-0 home win against Leipzig.

This is United's 23rd UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, more than any other English side and fewer only than Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 25) and Porto and Bayern München (both 24) overall. They have qualified for the knockout phase on 18 occasions, also an English record.

The three-time European champions' most recent appearance in the competition came in 2018/19, when they lost to Barcelona in the quarter-finals after a spectacular round of 16 comeback against Paris.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in 2019/20, losing to eventual champions Sevilla in the last four. They had finished first in their section on 13 points before comfortable aggregate wins against Club Brugge (6-1) and LASK (7-1) in the round of 32 and 16 respectively and a 1-0 extra-time defeat of Copenhagen in the one-off quarter-final. Sevilla proved too strong in the semis, however, United going down 2-1 in Cologne.

United have finished first in their UEFA Champions League section 15 times, although only once since 2013/14.

The Manchester club finished third in the Premier League in 2019/20.

European Cup winners in 1968, United lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in 1999 and 2008, also reaching the final in 2009 and 2011 – the latter four all under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Before beating Leipzig on Matchday 2, United had lost their previous two home UEFA Champions League matches; they have still been beaten in four of the last seven (W2 D1), although they won all five games at Old Trafford in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League, scoring 15 goals and conceding only one.

The Red Devils have lost two of their eight home matches against Turkish clubs (W5 D1) although they have won the last three, most recently beating Fenerbahçe 4-1 in the group stage of their victorious 2016/17 UEFA Europa League campaign with Paul Pogba scoring twice and Martial and Jesse Lingard once apiece.

Fenerbahçe's 1-0 win in Manchester in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League group stage was United's first European defeat at Old Trafford.

ISTANBUL BASAKSEHIRIstanbul Basaksehir lost both of their first two games in the UEFA Champions League group stage 2-0, at Leipzig and at home to Paris.

Istanbul Basaksehir secured their first UEFA Champions League group stage appearance by last season becoming only the sixth club to lift the Turkish Süper Lig title.

The Turkish team have twice featured in UEFA Champions League qualifying, losing to Sevilla in the 2017/18 playoffs having beaten Club Brugge in the previous round, and going out to Olympiacos in the 2019/20 play-offs.

Istanbul Basaksehir have won only one of their six matches in UEFA Champions League qualifying (D2 L3).

Istanbul Basaksehir made their European debut in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League and have featured in every season since.

In 2019/20, after losing both legs against Olympiacos (0-1 h, 0-2 a), Istanbul Basaksehir went on to finish first in their UEFA Europa League section, picking up ten points to come out on top ahead of Roma, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsberg. They then produced a memorable comeback against Sporting CP in the round of 32 (1-3 a, 4-1 h aet), but were beaten in the last 16 by Copenhagen (1-0 h, 0-3 a).

Istanbul Basaksehir are the sixth Turkish club to appear in the UEFA Champions League group stage, after Galatasaray (16 appearances), Besiktas (7), Fenerbahçe (6), Bursaspor and Trabzonspor (both 1).

The Owls are one of four teams making their group stage debut in 2020/21; Midtjylland (Group D), Krasnodar and Rennes (both E) are the others.

The Istanbul club have conceded eight goals in losing their last three European away games, and have lost ten of their 16 away matches in Europe overall (W3 D3). A 3-0 win at Austrian club Wolfsberg in last season's UEFA Europa League is their sole away clean sheet; they have conceded 33 goals in those 16 away fixtures.

Istanbul Basaksehir's only other experience of English opponents came in the third qualifying round of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League, a goalless draw at home to Burnley preceding a 1-0 extra-time loss in north-west England.



Paul Pogba's next appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be his 50th.

Edinson Cavani's next goal in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

United were 1-0 winners against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, top scorer Bruno Fernandes getting the only goal from the penalty spot to make it six in the Premier League this season.

United failed to win any of their first four home league matches for the first time since 1972/73, losing three.

Crystal Palace were 3-1 winners there on 9 September; then, on 4 October, Tottenham inflicted a 6-1 loss on United, their heaviest home defeat since losing by the same scoreline to Manchester City in October 2011. On 1 November they were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal, a result that ended United's four-match unbeaten run, home and away, in all competitions.

That defeat by Spurs was the third time United have conceded six goals in a Premier League match; they trailed 4-1 at half-time, the first time they had conceded four goals in the first half of a league match since November 1957.

The win in Paris was United's tenth consecutive away victory in all competitions, a new club record. The defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir was their first away loss since a 2-0 reverse at Liverpool in the Premier League on 19 January, since when their record had been W15 D3; United returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory at Everton on 7 November.

Cavani scored his first United goal at Everton.

United conceded 11 goals in their first three league games, their worst total since 1930/31, when they conceded 13 in a season that ended in relegation.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side were unbeaten in 14 Premier League matches (W9 D5) before losing to Palace in their opening game of the campaign.

After 3-0 wins away to Luton and Brighton, United will travel to Everton again in the English League Cup quarterfinals on 23 December.

Scott McTominay converted a penalty in the shoot-out as Scotland won 5-4 on spot kicks in Serbia on 12 November to book their place at UEFA EURO 2020; the game had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Donny van de Beek scored the Netherlands' goal in a 1-1 friendly draw against Spain on 11 November, his second in successive internationals.

Daniel James scored one goal and set up another as Wales beat Finland 3-1 on 18 November to clinch promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League.

Dean Henderson made his international debut as a half-time substitute in England's 3-0 friendly victory against the Republic of Ireland on 12 November; Harry Maguire, who captained the side for the first time, scored England's opening goal.

Cavani was sent off in Uruguay's 2-0 home defeat against Brazil in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 17 November. He had opened the scoring in the 3-0 win away to Colombia four days earlier.

Marcus Rashford missed England's recent internationals with a shoulder injury but recovered to play in United's game at the weekend. He is the joint leading scorer in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League with four goals.

Victor Lindelöf was substituted in the second half of Sweden's 4-2 UEFA Nations League defeat in France on 17 November with a back injury; Anthony Martial was an unused substitute for the home side having also suffered a back problem in a 1-0 win in Portugal three days earlier; both played 90 minutes for United on Saturday.

Pogba suffered an ankle injury in that game against Sweden and sat out United's win at the weekend.

Luke Shaw picked up a hamstring injury at Everton that is expected to sideline him for a month.

Eric Bailly was an unused substitute in a 4-1 win at Newcastle on 17 October but has not featured since due to a muscle injury.

Jesse Lingard's last appearance came on 30 September; he is currently sidelined.

Rashford was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's birthday honours list on 10 October.

Former United striker Albert Quixall, who scored 56 goals in 184 appearances for the club between 1958 and 1964, winning the FA Cup in 1963, died aged 87 on 12 November.


Istanbul Basaksehir's five-match unbeaten league run (W4 D1) was ended on Saturday by a 3-2 loss at city rivals Besiktas despite Fredrik Gulbrandsen's two goals in the last nine minutes.

Istanbul Basaksehir had won their previous four Süper Lig matches, coming from behind to defeat Gençlerbirligi 2-1 on 8 November thanks to goals in the final ten minutes from Gulbrandsen and Mehmet Topal.

The Turkish champions now have six wins in their last 16 matches in all competitions (D1 L9).

Istanbul Basaksehir's title defence kicked off with three successive 2-0 defeats, before a goalless draw at home to Göztepe on 3 October got their first point on the board.

Irfan Can Kahveci's 32nd-minute opener at Trabzonspor thus ended a run of four games without a goal for Istanbul Basaksehir; they had not scored for 402 minutes in the league, going back to the final game of 2019/20.

Having lost 3-0 at Copenhagen in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg on 5 August, their final fixture of the campaign, Istanbul Basaksehir were five games without a goal in all competitions before getting two on 17 October.

Istanbul Basaksehir also lost their first two league games in their title-winning campaign last season, although their third defeat did not arrive until their 19th fixture.

The Turkish champions lost 3-1 to second-tier Istanbulspor in a friendly during the international break. Giuliano scored Basaksehir's only goal from the penalty spot.

Nacer Chadli marked his club debut after injury with two assists against Gençlerbirligi.

Deniz Türüç scored Turkey's second goal in a 3-3 friendly draw against Croatia on 11 November.

Edin Višca set up Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal in the 3-1 UEFA Nations League defeat against the Netherlands on 15 November.

Júnior Caiçara tore an achilles tendon on Matchday 1 and is expected to be sidelined for several months after undergoing surgery.

Enzo Crivelli has not played since being replaced early in the 2-1 win at Konyaspor on 1 November due to a hamstring injury.

Mahmut Tekdemir, who suffered a groin injury against Antalyaspor on 24 October, returned to action as a late substitute in Turkey's UEFA Nations League game against Russia on 15 November (3-2); he started the 2-0 defeat in Hungary three days later.


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