Manchester United secured a comfortable Champions League win at Old Trafford, with Bruno Fernandes scoring twice against Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir.
After driving a half-volley into the net from the edge of the area, Fernandes put United two ahead inside 20 minutes when keeper Mert Gunok dropped a routine cross at the midfielder’s feet.
Despite scoring from the spot against West Brom three days earlier, Fernandes turned down the chance of a hat-trick when he let Marcus Rashford take the penalty after the England forward had been sent flying by Boli Bolingoli.
It was the first time United had led by three goals at half-time in a Champions League game at Old Trafford since Roma were routed 7-1 in April 2007.
The visitors pulled one back through Deniz Turuc’s curling free-kick and an Edin Visca shot that cannoned off the bar 10 minutes from time brought cries of “wake up” from United keeper David de Gea.
But there was no repeat of their shambolic defending in defeat in Turkey three weeks ago and Daniel James completed the scoring in stoppage time when he tapped home Mason Greenwood’s cross for his first goal since March – and his first on home soil in 15 months.
The win means United are top of Group H and need just a point from their remaining two group games to qualify for the knockout stage.
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Cavani upstaged by Fernandes
Edinson Cavani has waited seven weeks for his first United start since joining on a free transfer in October.
But the Uruguay forward was not the centre of attention for long. In fairness, Cavani is not alone in being upstaged by Fernandes, whose arrival in January had a transformational impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
By the time he scored his second on Tuesday, his tally in the previous 175 minutes of action stood at five. His team-mates had managed one between them in the same period. It took his involvement in United goals to 34 in 35 games since signing from Sporting Lisbon, 16 more than any other player. Little wonder the absence of Paul Pogba with an ankle injury was not the blow it once might have been.
By contrast, Cavani’s only sight of goal came in the second half when he was crowded out and his shot was eventually blocked.
England forward Greenwood was also frustrated on his return to action – he last featured in the previous game between these teams – although at least he had the consolation of helping Wales winger James end his long wait for a goal at Old Trafford.
By the end, Solskjaer’s only concerns were potential injuries to centre-back Victor Lindelof, who was replaced by Axel Tuanzebe at half-time, and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who headed straight down the tunnel when he was taken off after an hour.
Manchester United are next in action against Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday (14:00 GMT kick-off).
More to follow.
- 1de Gea
- 29Wan-BissakaSubstituted forWilliamsat 59′minutes
- 2LindelöfSubstituted forTuanzebeat 45′minutesBooked at 55mins
- 5MaguireBooked at 86mins
- 34van de Beek
- 10RashfordSubstituted forJamesat 59′minutes
- 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forGreenwoodat 59′minutes
- 9MartialSubstituted forMaticat 82′minutes
- 4Pereira da Silva
- 37SkrtelBooked at 78minsSubstituted fordos Santos Rodriguesat 87′minutes
- 63Bolingoli-MbomboSubstituted forKaldirimat 74′minutes
- 10ÖzcanSubstituted forde Paulaat 74′minutes
- 17KahveciSubstituted forTekdemirat 45′minutesBooked at 85mins
- 23TürüçBooked at 89mins
- 11ChadliSubstituted forGulbrandsenat 61′minutes
- 20de Paula
- 26dos Santos Rodrigues
Match ends, Manchester United 4, Istanbul Basaksehir 1.
Second Half ends, Manchester United 4, Istanbul Basaksehir 1.
Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Donny van de Beek.
Goal! Manchester United 4, Istanbul Basaksehir 1. Daniel James (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mason Greenwood.
Foul by Rafael (Istanbul Basaksehir).
Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Deniz Türüç (Istanbul Basaksehir) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt saved. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the bottom right corner.
Demba Ba (Istanbul Basaksehir) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).
Attempt saved. Edin Visca (Istanbul Basaksehir) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mahmut Tekdemir.
Substitution, Istanbul Basaksehir. Carlos Ponck replaces Martin Skrtel.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.
Mahmut Tekdemir (Istanbul Basaksehir) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Fred (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mahmut Tekdemir (Istanbul Basaksehir).
Substitution, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic replaces Anthony Martial.
Attempt missed. Demba Ba (Istanbul Basaksehir) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Rafael with a cross.
Edin Visca (Istanbul Basaksehir) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Mahmut Tekdemir.
Martin Skrtel (Istanbul Basaksehir) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.