Manchester United played out a chaotic and wildly entertaining 3-3 draw with Galatasaray in Istanbul on matchday five of the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Having already been beaten by the Turkish giants this season, as well as Bayern Munich and Copenhagen, United were desperate for a win to get their chance of qualifying for the knockout stages back on track. More than once, that looked within reach, but then it all collapsed.
Early goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes set the English visitors on their way, before Hakim Ziyech pulled one back from a free-kick. Even so, Scott McTominay made it 3-1, only for an Andre Onana howler to gift Ziyech his second of the game from another set-piece.
Kerem Akturkoglu soon ensured the points would be shared with his world class strike.
Through the afternoon, there were doubts as to whether the game would even go ahead because of the rain that had been falling all day in Istanbul. Those concerns were shortlived in the end.
Current state of the pitch at Rams Park. Doesn’t look good at all. It’s been raining heavily in Istanbul all day and it doesn’t look like stopping. Lots of officials out having a look. pic.twitter.com/RILQGW5wUu— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) November 29, 2023
As United fans of a certain vintage know only too well, Galatasaray is widely known as one of the hostile Champions League away games on the calendar.
Garnacho’s goal wasn’t quite as good as his bicyle kick against Everton – nothing he does ever will be, in all honesty – but the 19-year-old is certainly flying right now.
No messing from Fernandes as he quickly doubled the lead. He has taken some stick for handing penalty responsibility over to Marcus Rashford against Everton at the weekend.
Of course he’s got his flaws, every player has them, but you will never be able to convince me that he doesn’t have this team in his best interests. The rashford penalty is a prime example of how he wants everyone to be at their best including himself.
If you’re a fan of Bruno… pic.twitter.com/gpGxoTjRkn— ManUtdMania (@ManUtdMania_) November 29, 2023
Remember Hakim Ziyech? Erik ten Hag probably does. He used to play for him at Ajax.
“That wall is about as useful as a woodpecker with poppadom lips!” 😂#mufc concede thanks to a Galatasaray free kick and @markgoldbridge is fuming! pic.twitter.com/FBd16NdmUQ— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) November 29, 2023
Talk about living live on the edge.
With United ahead at half-time, the important part was holding on to the lead. But with Icardi’s goal marginally ruled out and then McTominay making it 3-1, things looked good.
But then Onana…Onana’d…?
“What on earth is the Man Utd goalkeeper doing there?!” 😳
André Onana will not want to watch that one back as Hakim Ziyech’s set-piece pulls another one back for Galatasaray!#UCL pic.twitter.com/o0R7vzaCdO— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) November 29, 2023
And Akturkoglu doubly punished United by scoring an outstanding equaliser.
Ultimately, United’s defensive record in Europe has been poor this season.
Conceding 14 goals in 4 UCL games and how many of them were goalkeeping errors? Shambles— Mina Ibrahim (@MinaFootball) November 29, 2023
In truth, either team could still have gone on to win it after the score went to 3-3.
Forget the days of swashbuckling comebacks and ‘Fergie time’, collapsing is the new ‘United way’.
Even Kobbie Mainoo, the new best player ever in the history of the world, couldn’t save them.
The collective resilience of wet toilet paper.
Yet another example of United conceding multiple goals in short spells. Just in the Champions League this season, they’ve conceded two in four minutes at Bayern, two in four minutes at Copenhagen, two in 10 minutes vs Galatasaray at home and two in nine minutes tonight.— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) November 29, 2023
What am I watching 😂— Scott Saunders (@__scottsaunders) November 29, 2023
“Shambolic defending” equals more entertaining football.
Inches away from 4-3 Manchester United, breathless stuff. The quality defensively from both sides has been shambolic but it’s been such an entertaining game. Fernandes with the strike that hits the post and goes behind. So much action from end to end.— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) November 29, 2023
The entire second half of that Galatasaray v United game was played like Year 10 v Year 11 with everyone knowing the bell is about to go and the next goal wins. Pure, glorious, pulsating chaos.— HLTCO (@HLTCO) November 29, 2023
Catastrophic individual errors and truly embarrassing game management, a perfect encapsulation of this entire group stage.— Nick (@ManUnitedYouth) November 29, 2023
Ten year, over one billion pounds…and it’s ultimately still as comical as ever.
The hilarious, compulsive bollocks United have made of this group is bang up there with any catastrophe of the Post-Fergie Wilderness Years— Daniel Harris (@DanielHarris) November 29, 2023