Bruno Fernandes continued his fine form in front of goal as his double set Manchester United on their way to a 4-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.
United flew out of the traps, and took the lead in just the seventh minute, with Fernandes rifling a stunning half-volley into the roof of the net from 20 yards, before the same man scored a rather more simple second after a goalkeeper error 12 minutes later to take his season tally to nine in all competitions, and six in his last three.
Handed the chance to score his first hat-trick for the club, Fernandes gave the ball to Marcus Rashford after the United forward had won a 35th-minute penalty, which Rashford dispatched with aplomb.
After the break, United took their foot off the gas and the visitors got back into it thanks to a brilliant free-kick from Deniz Turuc, before Daniel James put the icing on the cake in stoppage time as United made it three wins from four in the Group H to leave themselves on the brink of the last-16.
United celebrate Fernandes' opener
Image credit: Getty Images
With Paul Pogba not in the United squad again, Donny van De Beek was given a rare start in midfield, with Edinson Cavani making his full debut, and the new-look side dazzled in the first half at Old Trafford.
Fernandes’ strike from an Alex Telles corner that was only half cleared was stunning, while the gift from Basaksehir goalkeeper Fehmi Gunok was just as amazing, Fernandes on hand to again get on the scoresheet.
Rashford’s pace was too much for Celtic loanee Boli Bolingoli, who hauled Rashford down for the penalty. Fernandes did initially put the ball on the spot, but seemed unhappy as he gave the ball to Rashford to score from the spot. The 24-year-old became the youngest player to reach 15 goals in all European competitions for United.
United gave Fernandes, Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka a rest in the second half, but got nervy, especially after Turuc had caught David de Gea out from a free-kick, just before Basaksehir skipper Edin Visca rattled the crossbar, only for Dan James to score his first-ever Champions League goal to make sure of the win, meaning United now need just one point from their final two games to progress.
TALKING POINT – More like it from United
It got a little shaky in the second half, but that first-half performance from United, going forward, was exactly what the doctor ordered.
With Van der Beek offering a more attacking option from deep in midfield, United's frontline ebbed and flowed, and could easily have found the net on more occasions than they did. Fernandes was at the centre of everything, but for the first time in a while he had a little bit of help.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Bruno Fernandes
Who else? Where would United be without their talisman? He has simply been a revelation for United since arriving early this year. Fernandes has been involved in 33 goals in 35 games in all competitions for United - 20 goals, 13 assists - at least 15 more than any other player for the club since his debut. Remarkable.
Fernandes hits double to steer Man Utd to win over Basaksehir
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Manchester United: De Gea 6, Wan-Bissaka 6, Telles 7, Maguire 5, Lindelof 6, Fred 7, Van de Beek 8, Fernandes 9, Martial 6, Rashford 8, Cavani 7... Subs: Tuanzebe 7, Williams 6, Matic 6, Greenwood 7.
Basaksehir: Gunok, Rafael, Skrtel, Epureanu, Mbombo, Ozcan, Kahveci, Chadli, Turuc, Visca, Ba... Subs: Kaldirim 6, Giuliano 6, Tekdemir 6, Gulbrandsen 6, Ponck N/A.
2’ - SAVE! Super touch from Bruno Fernandes into Marcus Rashford, who shows superb footwork to dance through, but he is denied by a smart save.
7’ - GGGGOOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!! Manchester United 1-0 Istanbul Baskasehir. What a strike from Fernandes to make it 1-0. A truly astonishing strike. Alex Telles whips the corner in, it is only half-cleared, Fernandes meets the bouncing ball on the half volley, and it absolutely flies into the roof of the net from 25 yards. What a hit.
19’ - GGGGGOOOOAAALLLLL!! Manchester United 2-0 Istanbul Basaksehir. Oh no, woeful error by Basaksehir goalkeeper Fehmi Gunok and Fernandes is on hand to make it two. Great cross from Telles into the middle, Gunok comes out to punch, gets it all kinds of wrong, and Fernandes has the simple task of tapping home into the empty net.
33’ - PENALTY TO UNITED! Rashford felled in the penalty area. Great ball over the top from Lindelof.
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35’ - GGGGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!! Manchester United 3-0 Istanbul Basaksehir. Fernandes shuns the hat-trick, gives the ball to Rashford, who slots the ball home.
52’ - SAVE! He has not had a great deal to do, but that is a wonderful save from De Gea, as he gets down brilliantly to his right to keep out Visca's goalbound effort.
75’ - GOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!! Manchester United 3-1 Istanbul Basaksehir. Deniz Turuc curls a brilliant free-kick over the wall, De Gea tries to claw it out, but the goal-line technology signals it had crossed.
81’ - CROSSBAR! Basaksehir are not out of this yet! Visca has a go from distance, it beats De Gea, but the strike cannons back off the crossbar.
90+2’ - GGGOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!! Manchester United 4-1 Istanbul Basaksehir. Big moment for James as he makes sure of the win. Lovely finish from James, but the pass from Van de Beek to set Greenwood away is just as perfect. Greenwood then squares for James to score.
- Manchester United have won their last seven home games in European competition by an aggregate score of 24-2.
- İstanbul Başakşehir have lost their last four away games in major European competition by an aggregate score of 2-12.
- Manchester United have scored nine goals in their two Champions League home games this season, compared to just three goals in five league games at Old Trafford this term.
- Four of Manchester United’s 12 Champions League goals this season have been scored by substitutes, more than any other side.
- Daniel James became the first Welshman to score a Champions League goal for Man Utd since Ryan Giggs against Benfica in September 2011.
- İstanbul Başakşehir’s Deniz Türüç became the first player to score a direct free-kick versus Man Utd in the Champions League since Franck Ribéry for Bayern Munich in March 2010.