You don’t see a goal like that every day.
This season, Manchester United have used the Champions League as the tonic for their Premier League woes.
While they have suffered three defeats in their opening six league games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were hugely impressive in seeing off Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in their first two European encounters this season.
Their trip to Istanbul Basaksehir proved much more problematic, however, with the Red Devils falling to a 2-1 defeat courtesy of some horrendous defending.
After a decent start to the game, United faded quickly and fell behind in the 13th-minute in extraordinary circumstances.
From a corner, United failed to trouble the Basaksehir defence. Then, after a punt upfield, Demba Ba found himself with nothing but space ahead of him as he bore down on Dean Henderson unchallenged, slotting confidently beyond the goalkeeper.
A look at that Demba Ba goal from a different angle.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 4, 2020
Replays showed that Nemanja Matic had switched off and allowed Ba to collect the pass in acres of space, prompting a bemused response from former United midfielder and BT Sport pundit Paul Scholes.
“It’s completely down to organisation,” said Scholes.
“Surely you always have someone back on the halfway line. You can see Mike Phelan on the sideline pointing to Matic. You should always be goalside of them.
“It’s like under-10s football. You can understand if it’s last-minute maybe and you’re going for a goal but it’s what, 15 minutes?
“It’s embarrassing. What the back four were doing I have no idea.
“United have really struggled with their attack. We spoke about the balance. Going forward, they have been OK but at the back, even for the second goal, they’ve been all over the place.”
Basaksehir doubled their lead when Deniz Turuc brushed Juan Mata off the ball before feeding Edin Visca, who smashed the ball beyond Henderson.
United responded well, to their credit, with Anthony Martial’s well-guided header giving Solskjaer’s side renewed hope before the break, but a failure to build on the Frenchman’s goal leaves them ruing a missed opportunity to take a significant step towards the knockout rounds.
United’s defending has attracted plenty of criticism already this season, and the comical nature of Basaksehir’s opener will do little to assuage concerns over Solskjaer’s backline.
Saturday’s trip to Everton seems like a must-win for the Norwegian now.