Timothy Fosu-Mensah was a surprise fifth substitute late in Manchester United’s defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir.
It was a little of a surprise to see the Dutchman come on for the final 15 minutes for a couple of reasons.
United were chasing a goal at 2-1 down and Odion Ighalo was left on the bench.
The reasoning was that United wanted a little defensive balance with all the attackers brought on, and Fosu-Mensah went on to show this.
Late in the game Istanbul broke clear and looked like they could get into a position to extend their lead. Fosu-Mensah saved the day.
He used his speed to get back onside and nudge the attacker off the ball, calmly dealing with the situation, enabling United to start another attack.
Fosu-Mensah did not get much opportunity to do anything else, but this was well executed. It was a flash of ability which may restore some faith in him.
Stop-start United career
This was Fosu-Mensah’s first game time in a United shirt since the first day of the season against Crystal Palace.
He was a surprise starter and turned out to be a little of a scapegoat for that display even though individually he was not at fault, and even created two chances.
But that’s what Fosu-Mensah’s career at United has been like, very stop and start.
This was Fosu-Mensah’s Champions League debut, five years after making his first appearance for United.
That is partly reflective of United’s inconsistency in qualifying for the competition, and his own series of loans and injuries.
Whether he gets any more minutes in the Champions League remains to be seen.
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