Man Utd coach Phelan noticed his side horribly out of shape before Demba Ba goal, but it was too late, reveals Scholes

MANCHESTER UNITED coach Mike Phelan noticed how horribly out of shape his side were before the Demba Ba goal – but it was too late, according to Paul Scholes.

The Red Devils' 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir has come under the microscope for the laughable nature of the Turkish side's first goal.


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Former Chelsea striker Ba found himself all alone just short of the halfway line as United recklessly overcommitted to a corner after 12 minutes.

When the hosts won the ball back, one simple clearance up the pitch found Ba, who ran half the length of the field and slammed it past Dean Henderson.

Scholes told BT Sport that he believed long-serving coach Phelan recognised the danger just before it played out, but didn't manage to stop it in time.

He said: "It's completely down to organisation, surely you always have someone back on the halfway line?

"You see Mick Phelan on the side, pointing to Matic and saying, 'You should be there.'

"You're always goal-side there. It's like under-10s football. You need one behind, one in front.

"I can understand if it's the last minute maybe and you're going for a goal but it's after what, 15 minutes? It's embarrassing.

"What the back four were doing, I have no idea.


"United have really struggled about them attacking-wise, we spoke a lot about the balance of the team before the game.

"They've gone with one holding player today, I think the play going forward, the possession, has been okay.

"But defensively, they're absolutely all over the place. The defenders have to be better, don't they?

"I think the forward play could be better as well. They've kept possession at times really well without having that final real bit of quality.

"Defensively, they've got to take responsibility, you've got to defend one-v-ones at times at Manchester United. They seem incapable of doing it."

The evening would become worse for United as they fell 2-0 down after Edin Visca took advantage of more generous defending to fire it into the net.

Anthony Martial headed in a Luke Shaw cross minutes later to put the visitors back in the game, but despite much huffing and puffing in the second half United could not produce an equaliser.

It heaps the pressure on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a topsy-turvy season which has seen United beat teams like PSG and RB Leipzig in Europe but also languish 15th in the Premier League table.

Pressure is steadily building on the United manager and rumours have been swirling around the club that Mauricio Pochettino is being lined up as a potential replacement.

Sources have told the Manchester Evening News that the former Tottenham boss is being considered if results do not improve.

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