Fenerbahce scored two exquisite goals as they held on to beat Manchester United 2-1 in the Europa League on Thursday as the Red Devils dropped to third in Group A.
United were on the back foot as early as the second minute at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium when Moussa Sow’s sensational overhead kick put the Yellow Canaries ahead, before Jeremain Lens extended their lead on the hour mark with a superb free-kick.
Wayne Rooney halved the deficit at the death with a fine strike from range and nearly equalised moments later from his header, but the Red Devils’ poor form on the road in Europe continued.
United are now in third place in Group A on six points, behind Feyenoord and Fenernahce who both have seven. Their last two group matches are at home against Feyenoord and in Ukraine against Zorya.
Fenerbahce 2-1 Manchester United
Zorya 1-1 Feyenoord
FC Astana 1-1 Olympiacos
APOEL Nicosia 1-0 Young Boys
Anderlecht 6-1 Mainz 05
FK Qabala 1-2 Saint-Etienne
Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-0 AZ Alkmaar
Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 Dundalk
Astra Giurgiu 1-1 Viktoria Plzen
Austria Wien 2-4 Roma
Athletic Bilbao 5-3 Genk
Sassuolo 2-2 Rapid Wien
VIEW: Group G-L Results
Dick Advocaat’s side got off to a flying start in front of an electric atmosphere as Hasan Ali Kaldirim’s cross from the left picked out Sow, who beat David De Gea with an audacious overhead kick from 18 yards out.
United went on to boss possession but they failed to create any real clear-cut chances before the break. Marcus Rashford did well to turn his marker after receiving a pass from Paul Pogba on 10 minutes, but his shot from outside the area on the right went wide of the far post.
The hosts actually had the better opportunities without testing De Gea, with Mehmet Topal heading over at the back post from Lens’ free-kick in the 13th minute, while the Frenchman sent a glancing header wide of the right post from Volkan Sen’s delivery on 24 minutes.
Pogba had shown good footwork to beat a couple of opponents before hitting a tame shot from range that Volkan Demirel easily gathered just moments earlier, and the keeper read the situation well to cut out Rashford’s dangerous cross as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was lying in wait to pounce on 34 minutes.
Sow wasted a great chance to extend Fener’s lead in stoppage time when he headed well over the target from Alper Potuk’s cross on the right.
Rooney and Juan Mata failed to test Demirel with their respective efforts early in the second half and the visitors were made to pay when Lens guided his inch-perfect free-kick over the wall to find the right corner of the net, leaving De Gea stranded once more.
The Red Devils were throwing bodies forward in an attempt to get back into the contest and they were almost hit on the break on two occasions by Emmanuel Emenike, who was played in by Lens on 69 minutes, but failed to beat De Gea from point-blank range, before the substitute forced the Spanish keeper into a low save to his left with a shot outside the box in the 75th minute.
Martial was tempted to shoot from distance on 85 minutes after cutting inside from the left as the defence sat off him, but the Frenchman’s effort sailed wide of the right post.
But Rooney finally delivered soon afterwards as he received a pass from Ander Herrera and turned goalwards before arrowing the ball into the top left corner of the net from long range.
Rooney almost equalised in stoppage time as he got on the end of Mata’s corner, but his looping header was expertly kept out by Demirel as Fener clinched the victory.