Hot on the heels of their galvanizing 5-0 demolition of RB Leipzig, Manchester United were dealt an embarrassing Champions League blow as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey, with the defeat being labelled by former United striker Dion Dublin as the club’s “worst performance for three or four years”.
After winning their first pair of Champions League games in convincing fashion, hopes were high for the United team that they would be able to take firm control of the group with a win over the weakest team in their section but two goals, resulting from embarrassing defensive lapses, allowed the Turkish side to go two up in the first half and the Red Devils were unable to regain their balance despite an Anthony Martial goal.
The pressure is now piling even more on the beleaguered Solskjaer, with greater clamour on the rise for him to lose his job at Old Trafford with every negative result.
Post-match, Dublin tore into the attitude of Solskjaer’s players, questioning their body language after they fell to another demoralising loss. The ex United striker criticised his old team, claiming they looked a “very poor” side and accused too many United players of walking around during the defeat.
“That was a really poor performance from Man United,” he told BBC.
“I’m hoping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will stick the players in a room and make them watch that performance and then say ‘right what did you think of that?’.
“There’s just too much walking about, the body language isn’t great from the players.
“I’ve seen individuals play very well and they look incredible, but when they all perform to this standard they look a very poor side and they did tonight.
“The first half was possibly the worst performance I’ve seen from a Man United team for three or four years.”
United will now head to Goodison Park to face Ancelloti’s Everton side this weekend, where it is believed that Solskjaer will be needful of a positive result to stave off the doubts about his job security.
The Norwegian coach was his usual composed self as he accepted the loss in Istanbul as a major setback and suggested it came as a major reality check after wins over PSG and RB Leipzig, telling BT Sport:
“It’s not easy to be positive now of course it isn’t, when you’ve just lost the way we did.
“But these players are good players and we have a chance on Saturday morning to get going again.
“It’s set us back a lot. Of course it has.You get a reality check every time you play football.
“Nothing becomes history quicker than a game of football. You don’t just turn up and get three points in the Champions League.
“We’ve played against a lot of good individuals in a good team. We weren’t good enough.”