Three things we learned from Manchester United – Istanbul Basaksehir

Manchester United - Istanbul Basaksehir
Getty Images

Manchester United – Istanbul Basaksehir: Bruno Fernandes scored twice early as Manchester United avenged its early loss to Istanbul Basaksehir with a 4-1 win at Old Trafford in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

United tops Group H on nine points, three more than PSG and RB Leipzig after a Neymar penalty led Les Parisiens past Julian Nagelsmann’s crew.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

Marcus Rashford converted a penalty for United’s third goal of the first half, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to sub liberally in the second 45 minutes. Daniel James scored deep in stoppage to complete the score line.

Deniz Turuc scored late for Istanbul Basaksehir, whose lone three points come from their home win over United.

Three things we learned from Manchester United – Istanbul Basaksehir

1. Imagine United without Bruno Fernandes: Remember when the Old Trafford faithful spent almost the entirety of January wondering whether their club was going to pony up the money for Bruno Fernandes? Of course you do, it was like a less expensive version of August and September’s Jadon Sancho saga.

As good as Marcus Rashford can be, Bruno is United’s attack. The 26-year-old Portuguese playmaker has eight goals and five assists in 13 outings this season. Although four of the goals have come from the penalty spot, Fernandes has also pulled the strings so well for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer; Fernandes’ 26 key passes lead the Premier League, his five big chances created is good for third.

2. Proper response continues: Solskjaer’s men have now won three-straight since the 2-0 setback to Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey. While the 1-0 win over West Brom was less-than-inspiring at the weekend, decisive wins against Everton and Tuesday’s visitors deserved to be lauded. United will meet Southampton and then PSG in the next week, hoping to be closer to the PL’s top four with a UCL knockout round place in its back pocket by the end of those two matches.

3. Late sub wobbles set upright… by subs: Solskjaer gave rare minutes to Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe, as well as 30-minute runs to Daniel James and Mason Greenwood. The game swung heavily in Basaksehir’s favor, and will give the Norwegian some pause when evaluating his youth. Nemanja Matic was inserted to calm the nerves, and Greenwood and James combined for the stoppage-time goal to seal the game.

Man of the Match: Fernandes

For this alone.

Manchester United – Istanbul Basaksehir recap

United had this one in the bag early, putting four balls in the net in the first half with three of them avoiding VAR intervention.

Fernandes’ pure and vicious shot from the edge of the area was met by a goalkeeper error that allowed him to tap home for 2-0.

Marcus Rashford converted a penalty before the break to round out the scoring, minutes after he slotted low inside the near post but was ruled offside by the eye in the sky.

Goal line technology awarded Basaksehir a concession when David De Gea just failed to claw a set piece off his goal line with a quarter-hour to play.

Basaksehir got a hold of the game after that, with Fernandes, Rashford, Victor Lindelof, Mason Greenwood having subbed out. Solskjaer then inserted Nemanja Matic to steady things after Basaksehir rattled the cross bar.

Follow @NicholasMendola