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2-min read

Europa League: Turkish Torture as Manchester United Lose to Fenerbahce

After the match, Jose Mourinho accused his Manchester United side of playing with the intensity of a summer friendly as their season suffered another setback.

Reuters

Updated:November 4, 2016, 8:21 AM IST
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Europa League: Turkish Torture as Manchester United Lose to Fenerbahce
Manchester United lose their second match in Europa League 2016. (Reuters Images)

London: Manchester United's woes deepened as stunning goals by Moussa Sow and Jeremain Lens gave Fenerbahce a 2-1 Europa League win on Thursday that left Jose Mourinho's side facing a battle to reach the knockout stages.

Without a victory in four Premier League games, United desperately needed a morale-lifting result in Turkey but were undone by a brilliant second-minute overhead kick from Sow and a superb curling set piece by Lens before Wayne Rooney smashed home a consolation.

A gloomy pall has descended over Mourinho's reign at Old Trafford with the manager under scrutiny for his team's poor start and the disciplinary problems that have earned him a domestic one-match touch line ban.

After victories in their last two group games, Europe's second-tier competition had supplied United with some relief from their league struggles but they were sliced apart by Fenerbahce who exposed some glaring defensive weaknesses.

The two spectacular goals they conceded, however, were almost unstoppable.

The match had barely begun when Sow flung himself on the edge of the box into an overhead volley from a floated cross, smashing the ball past United keeper David De Gea and into the top corner.

Fenerbahce then took a stranglehold on the tie when Lens stepped up to nonchalantly curl a free kick around the wall and into the corner 14 minutes after the restart, leaving De Gea rooted to the spot as the ball bulged the net.

It should have got a lot worse for United when second-half substitute Emmanuel Emenike threatened three times to extend the lead before Rooney drove the ball home from 25 metres to set up a nervy finish.

United, who suffered an injury blow when the world's most expensive player Paul Pogba was forced off in the first half, are now a point behind group leaders Feyenoord and Fenerbahce with two games remaining.

After the match, Jose Mourinho accused his Manchester United side of playing with the intensity of a summer friendly as their season suffered another setback.

"Our problems started in our global attitude. They were playing the Champions League final, we were playing a summer friendly," the Portuguese told BT Sport.

"We started the game sleeping."

"They started at 100mph and we started really slowly," Mourinho said. "The referee gives a free kick, they take it in a fast way, we don't react, we lose the second ball and then we don't mark Sow in the box.

"They are then where they want to be, they are in front, they can control the game, they can defend with a lot of bodies, wait for counter-attacks, simulate a few fouls, put some pressure on the referee, stop the game, win time and provoke some conflicts.

But it's not their fault, it's our fault they went 1-0 in front. When we went 2-0 down we had a reaction ... but overall we didn't deserve anything. Fenerbahce played a good game, an emotional game, and they deserved it.

United are third in Group A, a point behind leaders Feyenoord and Fenerbahce.

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| Edited by: Pratik Sagar
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