Manchester United marched away from Old Trafford with a 4-1 victory in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League group H match against İstanbul Başakşehir.
Bruno Fernandes opened the match with a furious strike into the goal when he was left unmarked outside the penalty box in the seventh minute.
He capitalised again at the 19th minute from a ball delivered by striker Edinson Cavani into the penalty box. Başakşehir’s goalkeeper Mert Günok fumbled the ball which bounced off his gloves and onto the end of Fernandes’ boot.
Marcus Rashford cashed in on his efforts to score by taking a penalty kick after he was fouled in the 35th minute.
In a stylish and confident performance, Rashford tucked the ball into the bottom right-hand corner after faking the goalkeeper.
In a post-match interview, Fernandes said: “Of course every player wants to do a hat-trick, you know, but after the game in the Premier League I told [Rashford] the next one, you will take and so, I remembered that, and also because he is one of the top scorers in the champions league.
“When the team scores, I score, too.”
Reds dominated possession
The visiting side matched United’s energy on the field but had far less possession of the ball and failed to convert several goal attempts.
Skipper Edin Višća missed a perfect opportunity to score around the 17th minute mark and centre-forward Demba Ba failed to angle a header in from defender Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo into the back of the net by overshooting the post.
Star midfielder for United Paul Pogba missed a second game this week due to an ankle injury which flared up following a training session before Tuesday’s match.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made an appearance at Old Trafford as a spectator in the empty stands.
United were noticeably flat in the second half, seemingly having lost their intensity from a storming first appearance.
They shifted into their more familiar defensive style spending the majority of the rest of the game stifling the efforts of Višća.
United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær decided to replace goal scorers Fernandes and Rashford for the younger blood of the squad, Daniel James, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams in the 58th minute, which later paid off.
Not going down without a fight, midfielder Deniz Tűrűç found the back of the net from a free kick in the 75th minute, taking the score to 3-1 – the only goal for Başakşehir.
The İstanbul side were decidedly confident until a breakaway moment dashed their hopes of closing the gap.
Striker Greenwood was delivered an excellent ball wide on the right-wing who then crossed a near-perfect ball in front of the keeper to James who secured the fourth goal for the reds in the 90th minute.
Greenwood tried his luck again in a last-minute attempt to find the back of the net in the 92nd minute but he was denied.
United are now top of the table in group H standings with nine points.
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and RB Leipzig share six points each and Başakşehir round out the table with three points.
Manchester United will face PSG on Wednesday December 2.