Manchester United‘s misery in Istanbul became the hot topic across Europe on Thursday morning with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side labelled the ‘laughing stock of England’ following defeat to Basaksehir. 

United went down 2-1 in Turkey but it was the manner of their defeat – namely, their defending – which drew criticism from media all over the continent. 

As Spanish outlet Marca quizzed readers on ‘the goal nobody understands’, Norwegian outlet Daglabet, in Solskjaer’s homeland, stuck the boot in by insisting that United are ‘worse than ever’.  

Manchester United were described as a 'laughing stock' for their defending against Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday night. Demba Ba (bottom left) is all alone and runs through to score

Manchester United were described as a ‘laughing stock’ for their defending against Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday night. Demba Ba (bottom left) is all alone and runs through to score

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was targeted by European press on Thursday for his tactical mistakes

 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was targeted by European press on Thursday for his tactical mistakes

AS Diario described United as the 'laughing stock of England' following the 2-1 defeat in Turkey

AS Diario described United as the ‘laughing stock of England’ following the 2-1 defeat in Turkey

Marca went a step further to ask readers about 'the United goal that no-one can understand'

Marca went a step further to ask readers about ‘the United goal that no-one can understand’

Spanish outlet Sport described the defending illustrated by United as a 'shipwreck in Istanbul'

Spanish outlet Sport described the defending illustrated by United as a ‘shipwreck in Istanbul’

Daglabet continued their takedown of Solskjaer by insisting he ‘needs 100 more matches’ having lost game 100 and game 101 to Arsenal and Basaksehir.

Both goals conceded by United sounded the alarm over their defensive organisation.

The first one saw every United player stood in the Basaksehir half and one long ball from the back picked out former Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba to run half the pitch on his own to slot past Dean Henderson.

Spanish paper AS Diario insisted that the catalogue of errors for the Ba goal saw Solskjaer’s side became ‘the laughing stock of England’ because ‘no-one can believe the goal Basaksehir scored against United’. 

Fellow Spanish publication Sport described the defensive collapse as a ‘United disaster’ which they felt was akin to a ‘shipwreck’.

French newspaper L'Equipe described the 'tops and flops' on an embarrassing night for United

French newspaper L’Equipe described the ‘tops and flops’ on an embarrassing night for United

Swedish website Sportbladet felt it was a 'super miss' from United to lose to Basaksehir

Swedish website Sportbladet felt it was a ‘super miss’ from United to lose to Basaksehir

Daglabet, in Solskjaer's native Norway, felt United look 'worse than ever' under his guidance

Daglabet, in Solskjaer’s native Norway, felt United look ‘worse than ever’ under his guidance

Players were caught far too high after a corner and Ba was able to race clear to score for 1-0

 Players were caught far too high after a corner and Ba was able to race clear to score for 1-0

The goal scored by Ba was likened to ‘one taken from the courtyard of a school playground’ with Basaksehir, compared to the ‘Cinderella’ of the group, taking full advantage.  

French outlet L’Equipe pointed to the ‘tops and flops’ on show in Istanbul, taking special aim at countryman Paul Pogba. 

‘Juan Mata and Paul Pogba powerless,’ read the headline. 

Le Parisien brought the result back into context for Paris Saint-Germain and said while the performance by United was ‘a real surprise’, defeat hands Thomas Tuchel’s side a lifeline after two defeats from their first three group games. 

Others attempted to be more diplomatic. Portuguese publication Record discussed the ‘unbelievable mistakes’ made by United. 

United’s defensive organisation – or more to the point, lack thereof – was the key take from the defeat, described by Swedish paper Sportbladet as ‘United’s super miss’.

Having won their opening two group games – beating PSG away in Paris and RB Leipzig at home – there were great expectations on Solskjaer’s side heading to Turkey.

Nemanja Matic (right) attempted to make up the ground but was unable to stop Ba (left)

Nemanja Matic (right) attempted to make up the ground but was unable to stop Ba (left) 

United's defenders were all at sea once again as the hosts went two goals up before half-time

United’s defenders were all at sea once again as the hosts went two goals up before half-time

Edin Visca rifled the ball past Dean Henderson to put Istanbul Basaksehir two goals to the good

Edin Visca rifled the ball past Dean Henderson to put Istanbul Basaksehir two goals to the good

Victory was Basaksehir’s first ever in Champions League history and while European media took joy in sticking the boot in, former United players were left apoplectic at the performance.   

‘Surely you always have someone back on the halfway line, they’re pointing at Matic. You’re always goal-side, it’s like Under 10s football,’ Paul Scholes told BT Sport.

‘You can understand if it’s last minute but it’s the first 10 minutes, it’s embarrassing. 

‘They’ve struggled with them attacking wise, they’ve gone with one holding player today. Defensively they’re all over the place. 

‘The defenders have to be better, forward play could be better as well. 

‘Defensively they’ve got to take responsibility, you have to defend one-on-one sometimes when you’re at Manchester United (but) they seem incapable of doing it.’

Paul Scholes slammed Manchester United's hapless defending as 'Under 10s football'

Paul Scholes slammed Manchester United’s hapless defending as ‘Under 10s football’ 

WHAT THE PUNDITS SAID 

Paul Scholes, BT Sport

Surely you always have someone back on the halfway line? They’re pointing at Matic. You’re always goal-side, it’s like Under 10s football. You can understand if it’s last minute but it’s the first 10 minutes, it’s embarrassing. 

‘They’ve struggled with them attacking wise, they’ve gone with one holding player today. Defensively they’re all over the place. 

‘The defenders have to be better, forward play could be better as well. Defensively they’ve got to take responsibility, you have to defend one-on-one sometimes when you’re at Manchester United (but) they seem incapable of doing it.’

Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport and Twitter

‘Where is the organisation in this team? You wouldn’t see this on Hackney Marshes! That’s a goal you usually see when you’re trying to get an equaliser on the 89th minute.

‘I was flabbergasted seeing that. It’s a lack of respect of yourself. They’ve been called inconsistent, lacking teamwork. They need to get a result here.

‘The goals against us….please tell me someone is going nuts in that changing room and people are being made accountable. The shape of the team when we lose the ball for the 1st goal…’

Robin van Persie, BT Sport

‘Defensively it’s very poor. I don’t think I remember seeing a goal like that conceded. You always have at least one, normally two players at the back.

‘I’m not a big fan of sacking coaches, I never liked that. In most cases, that’s not the solution to suddenly finding the same team playing great football again.

‘I’ve said it many times before about Solskjaer, give him time to really implement their ideas and in the end, I’m sitting here to give my opinion, not to judge his way of coaching or whatever.

‘I hope they give him time, what’s in it for me for him to lose his job? I don’t want anyone to lose their job.’ 

Dion Dublin, BBC 5Live

‘That was a really poor performance from Man United. I’m hoping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will stick the players in a room and make them watch that performance and then say ‘right what did you think of that?’.

‘There’s just too much walking about, the body language isn’t great from the players. 

‘I’ve seen individuals play very well and they look incredible but when they all perform to this standard they look a very poor side and they did tonight.

‘The first half was possibly the worst performance I’ve seen from a Man United team for three or four years.’ 

Solskjaer added: ‘The performance wasn’t good enough against a team that worked and ran and well. They hit us on the break a couple of times and score a coupe of goals like you sometimes do in Europe when you don’t defend well enough.

‘We play a short corner and forget about the man up top, and that’s unforgivable. And, of course, the second one as well we’re not very well organised to counter-press and win the ball back when we play in.

‘Two soft goals to give away and then we didn’t have enough to come back in the second half. (We had) 45 minutes to save something from the game – we threw everything at it but couldn’t break them down.’



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