Manchester United 2-3 Galatasaray: Dismal Devils defeated as Wilfried Zaha nets against former club

Having suffered defeat to Bayern Munich in their opening UEFA Champions League fixture, Manchester United would look to find form as they welcomed Galatasaray to Old Trafford on Tuesday. The Istanbul-based side rescued a late draw against FC Copenhagen in their first fixture of this European campaign.

MUN: Onana; Amrabat, Lindelöf, Varane, Dalot; Mejbri, Casemiro; Rashford, Fernandes, Mount; Højlund

GAL: Muslera; Angeliño, Abdulkerim, Sánchez, Boey; Kaan, Torreira; Zaha, Akturkoglu, Tetê; Icardi

Manchester United catapulted themselves into a dramatic lead after just seventeen minutes at the Theatre of Dreams, when Rasmus Højlund latched onto a fine ball into the area from Marcus Rashford – delivered with pinpoint accuracy onto the the Danish forward’s forehead.

Embed from Getty Images

Yet when Wilfried Zaha levelled the match merely six minutes later, the ex-United forward’s celebrations were nothing short of euphoric. Battling past Diogo Dalot, the Ivorian thundered a shot into the ground – bobbling up and over André Onana before settling in the back of the net.

And while Højlund did eventually reclaim United’s lead with a little over twenty minutes of regulation time remaining, the celebrations for his chipped effort would last just four minutes.

Baris Yilmaz’s darting run on the right flank culminated in the winger threading a ball through the legs of Raphael Varane – and straight into the path of the onrushing Kerem Aktürkoglu. Receiving the ball in a central position, the goalscorer’s task was simple as he picked out the bottom corner with ease.

Embed from Getty Images

But still, bad would turn to worse for United. A dismally misplaced pass from Onana saw Dries Mertens gifted a golden opportunity to extend the Galatasaray advantage, and in a desperate last-ditch attempt to preserve the scoreline, Casemiro committed his second yellow card offence – lunging in on the Belgian.

With the Red Devils reduced to ten men for the last ten minutes plus stoppage time, there was an audible relief when Mauro Icardi struck the resulting penalty against the post – and Onana’s celebrations were understandably a sight to behold.

Icardi would make amends for his error though, and in the 81st minute, Galatasaray took the lead through the Argentine. Davinson Sánchez will register the assist – but his headed clearance fell perfectly for the forward, who chipped a cheeky effort over Onana to cue wild celebrations amongst the travelling fans.

Embed from Getty Images

A dismal evening for Manchester United sees the Red Devils sit at the bottom of their UEFA Champions League Group, and their next fixture against FC Copenhagen looks to be increasingly important. But first, Erik Ten Hag’s side will return to Premier League action – and they’ll look to bring an end to their run of successive home defeats in the league with a positive result against Brentford on Saturday.