Rio Ferdinand has launched a scathing attack on Manchester United’s defence in the wake of the club’s embarrassing 3-2 loss to Galatasaray.
In both instances, Galatasaray were allowed to score shortly after United’s goals; a criminal time to concede and one United have fallen foul of far too often.
Diogo Dalot‘s defending was abysmal for Galatasaray’s first goal. The right-back dropped deep to play Wilfried Zaha onside, then lost a physical battle with the former United winger as the ball ricocheted in off Dalot’s leg.
Sofyan Amrabat, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof were a helpless trio for the Turkish side’s second, scored a few minutes after United had regained control of the game. Galatasaray cut through the defence with embarrassing ease despite the wealth of experience these three players possess.
The game was then put to bed a few minutes later by another defensive calamity.
Andre Onana, acquired at great expense for his abilities on the ball, made a suicidal pass to Casemiro, which was promptly intercepted by the Galatasaray forward who immediately bore down on goal. Casemiro slid in to try and remedy the situation with an abysmal tackle, winning none of the ball, and was sent off for his efforts while conceding a penalty.
Galatasaray would actually miss from the spot kick, but the damage had already been done with United losing a man.
Amrabat would give the Turkish side all three points in the 80th minute, playing a hopeless ball forward from deep, which was immediately countered and Mauro Icardi released through on goal; the Galatasaray forward played on by the same defender who had squandered possession so easily. Onana may as well have rolled out the red carpet for Icardi such was the ease with which the striker was able to dink it over the goalkeeper.
3-2. Game over.
Ferdinand would have been watching from the TNT Studio with disbelief.
In the aftermath of the loss, the former United defender praised Galatasaray for keeping themselves in the game, but described the “rollercoaster of emotions” he experienced watching United’s performance.
“You’ve got to give Galatasaray credit because they kept themselves in the game, and when the chances came their way, they punished Man United,” he said on TNT Sports.
“…[it] was a serious rollercoaster of emotions for me because at one moment, I’m sat there thinking about how we look like a unit, cohesive and a team with shared potential, something to be positive about. And then the next, I have my head in my hands because there’s a lack of organisation, there’s no leadership, there’s nothing defensively,” Ferdinand asserted.
The pundit continued, “As a kid, you’re told that you’re the most vulnerable after just scoring and that happened twice tonight, we fell asleep! At times, it looked far too easy and they went through us like a hot knife through butter and it’s embarrassing.”
“This is the Champions League, it’s not school football or anything. The lack of positional awareness, spacial awareness, at this level you’ll be punished for that and they were tonight,” Ferdinand concluded.
Schoolboy defending from experienced international players is unforgivable. There is only so much Ten Hag can do when his side are shooting themself in the foot at every opportunity.