The red demons fell to hell in Istanbul. And although they still have a chance of reaching the round of 16, United will go into the final day of Group A as bottom. They need to beat Bayern Munich and hope to draw the other group game between Copenhagen and Galatasaray, second and third with one point more than Old Trafford. Mancunians have a recurring nightmare. That being ahead and wasting your advantage.
Both times they enjoyed a two-goal advantage, but several individual mistakes cost Ten Hag’s team two points. “It was another game that we could have closed earlier,” explained Bruno Fernandes after the game. “We had too many chances and we made too many mistakes.” Paul Scholes, Manchester United legend and commentator on the broadcast of the Champions League in the United Kingdom, points to the Portuguese as one of the reasons for the defeat: “In his interview he talked about mistakes, and he had two very big ones. He made two stupid fouls that ended in a goal. The whole team, including him as captain, has to take responsibility. This is a game they have to win.”
Another player took most of the criticism. André Onana made two mistakes in the first two goals and did not cover his stick in action where Kerem Arktürkoglu completely tied the game. “What can you say?” Scholes asked himself. “In the second goal he made another terrible mistake, was he trying to punch the shot with his right hand? It’s weak. The crowd was nervous, the defense was nervous and the whole team was nervous. “It makes simple stops very difficult.”
Owen Hargreaves tried to understand the action of the Cameroonian goalkeeper in the second goal: “I think he thought that Martial contacted the ball and that confused him. It already happened in the first goal in Munich, he did not put his body behind the ball and lose it. I don’t know anything about being a goalkeeper, but his technique seems unusual. The one who has experience between the sticks is Peter Schmeichel, who is more understanding of Onana: “I think the defense is good and it can do little, although the mistakes of the goalkeeper are very expensive. Every time a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it’s a goal. This is a fact”.
The Dane was more critical of Anthony Martial’s performance, as well as Erik ten Hag’s decision to bring on the Frenchman in place of Rasmus Hojlund with half-time left: “When Hojlund left, the pressure was gone at the top. The man (Martial) who put the Ten Hag can’t do anything, and before someone else works hard, it’s more energy at the top for the team. Suddenly you’re left without that pressure, and that allows the other team has more opportunities to pass the ball. There are many negative aspects, but if you score more goals you expect to get more than one point.