Manchester United hammered Istanbul Basaksehir in a one-sided win at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes (2), Marcus Rashford, and Dan James scored United’s goals in a 4-1 win.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the win…
Attack, attack, attack
United were criticised at the weekend for starting two defensive minded midfielders and not attacking a struggling West Brom side.
Solskjaer responded by picking an attacking line up against Istanbul and the players responded.
United’s players begun strongly. Marcus Rashford nearly scored a wonderful solo goal in the second minute, and Anthony Martial waltzed through the defence moments later.
Bruno Fernandes, who else, scored United’s opening goal with a rocket of a shot from outside the box. It was a special strike which would have raised the roof if fans were in attendance.
Rashford had a goal disallowed after 11 minutes too. The tone for a strong performance had been set.
United have the players to rip teams apart, and for the first time in a while, the team performed with that belief.
Martial responded positively
Anthony Martial was moved out to the left side to accommodate Edinson Cavani in a central role.
The Frenchman did not sulk. He stepped up his game, and showed why many believe it is his best position.
Long-term, there still may be an option for him to try again through the centre. He scored 23 goals there last season.
Right now, his best role could well be out on the left. If that is what it takes to get him and Cavani into the same side then this is how it will have to be.
United looked unplayable for spells tonight and Martial was a key part of that, even if once again, he didn’t get his goal.
Edinson Cavani makes such a difference
Cavani fulfilled his role up front to perfection. He set the tone for United’s attacking play with his pressing from the first whistle.
The Uruguayan helped create space for Bruno Fernandes to dictate play in attack.
Cavani’s work rate was impressive. Even at the end of the first half with United 3-0 up, he was back in his own half making an interception to kill off a Basaksehir attack.
Van de Beek and Telles impressed too
This was the first game Cavani, Van de Beek and Telles had all started together and it was a big success.
Telles provided both of United’s first two goals, with his outswinging corner reaching Fernandes, who lashed the ball into the net.
For United’s second, Telles’ cross was too hot for the goalkeeper to handle and it was spilled into Fernandes’ path.
Van de Beek played in a deeper role and sent a message to manager Solskjaer that he should be utilised more in this position.
Hopefully he will be selected against Southampton this weekend and make his first league start. He has earned it.
Champions League fate in our hands
A win keeps United in command in the Champions League group.
Next week United host PSG at Old Trafford and a draw may be enough to seal qualification for the knockout stages.
If the team play attacking football like this then there will be no problems at all.
What is frustrating, is the loss in Turkey. If United had won away at Basaksehir, we would have wrapped up qualification already.
You just have to trust at this point that United won’t collapse in the last two matches.
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