Talking points: Istanbul Basaksehir 2 United 1


It seems a long time since the footballing headlines were dominated by how Donny hadn’t started for the Reds. Since then, the boss has selected the Dutchman from the off in three consecutive matches, including at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium. In the prior two matches, Donny started at the top of a midfield diamond and regularly pushed forward to offer support to our two strikers. However, in Turkey, van de Beek started in a two-man centre-midfield partnership and, while Nemanja Matic was the deeper of the pair, our summer signing played more of a box-to-box role. Our no.34 was one of our strongest performers in the first half and was always eager and willing to get himself on the ball, before he was replaced after an hour.


On a frustrating night, Anthony did offer the best moment for the Reds in Istanbul. The striker nodded in Luke Shaw’s excellent cross just before the break to half the arrears, but it didn’t prove to be enough against the Turkish champions. In netting against Basaksehir, Martial actually scored in consecutive Champions League games for the first time in his career, following his penalty conversion against RB Leipzig last week.


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