Manchester United are still well placed in Group H despite a surprise defeat at İstanbul Başakşehir, who come to England looking to improve on their European away record.
• The Turkish champions claimed their first win in the UEFA Champions League group stage at United’s expense in their most recent fixture, all three goals coming in the first half. Demba Ba (13) and Edin Višća (40) gave the home side a cushion and, though Anthony Martial quickly halved United’s deficit, İstanbul Başakşehir held on for their first points in the competition.
• İstanbul Başakşehir are therefore level with 2019/20 runners-up Paris Saint-Germain on three points with United and Leipzig – beaten by Paris in last season’s semi-finals – both three better off.
• United were making smooth progress through Group H prior to defeat in Turkey, overcoming last season’s runners-up Paris 2-1 away on Matchday 1 before a hat-trick from Marcus Rashford – who had also scored the winner in France – helped secure a 5-0 home win against Leipzig.
• This is United’s 23rd UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, more than any other English side and fewer only than Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 25) and Porto and Bayern München (both 24) overall. They have qualified for the knockout phase on 18 occasions, also an English record.
• The three-time European champions’ most recent appearance in the competition came in 2018/19, when they lost to Barcelona in the quarter-finals after a spectacular round of 16 comeback against Paris.
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in 2019/20, losing to eventual champions Sevilla in the last four. They had finished first in their section on 13 points before comfortable aggregate wins against Club Brugge (6-1) and LASK (7-1) in the round of 32 and 16 respectively and a 1-0 extra-time defeat of Copenhagen in the one-off quarter-final. Sevilla proved too strong in the semis, however, United going down 2-1 in Cologne.
• United have finished first in their UEFA Champions League section 15 times, although only once since 2013/14.
• The Manchester club finished third in the Premier League in 2019/20.
• European Cup winners in 1968, United lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in 1999 and 2008, also reaching the final in 2009 and 2011 – the latter four all under Sir Alex Ferguson.
• Before beating Leipzig on Matchday 2, United had lost their previous two home UEFA Champions League matches; they have still been beaten in four of the last seven (W2 D1), although they won all five games at Old Trafford in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League, scoring 15 goals and conceding only one.
• The Red Devils have lost two of their eight home matches against Turkish clubs (W5 D1) although they have won the last three, most recently beating Fenerbahçe 4-1 in the group stage of their victorious 2016/17 UEFA Europa League campaign with Paul Pogba scoring twice and Martial and Jesse Lingard once apiece.
• Fenerbahçe’s 1-0 win in Manchester in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League group stage was United’s first European defeat at Old Trafford.
• İstanbul Başakşehir lost both of their first two games in the UEFA Champions League group stage 2-0, at Leipzig and at home to Paris.
• İstanbul Başakşehir secured their first UEFA Champions League group stage appearance by last season becoming only the sixth club to lift the Turkish Süper Lig title.
• The Turkish team have twice featured in UEFA Champions League qualifying, losing to Sevilla in the 2017/18 play-offs having beaten Club Brugge in the previous round, and going out to Olympiacos in the 2019/20 play-offs.
• İstanbul Başakşehir have won only one of their six matches in UEFA Champions League qualifying (D2 L3).
• İstanbul Başakşehir made their European debut in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League and have featured in every season since.
• In 2019/20, after losing both legs against Olympiacos (0-1 h, 0-2 a), İstanbul Başakşehir went on to finish first in their UEFA Europa League section, picking up ten points to come out on top ahead of Roma, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsberg. They then produced a memorable comeback against Sporting CP in the round of 32 (1-3 a, 4-1 h aet), but were beaten in the last 16 by Copenhagen (1-0 h, 0-3 a).
• İstanbul Başakşehir are the sixth Turkish club to appear in the UEFA Champions League group stage, after Galatasaray (16 appearances), Beşiktaş (7), Fenerbahçe (6), Bursaspor and Trabzonspor (both 1).
• The Owls are one of four teams making their group stage debut in 2020/21; Midtjylland (Group D), Krasnodar and Rennes (both E) are the others.
• The Istanbul club have conceded eight goals in losing their last three European away games, and have lost ten of their 16 away matches in Europe overall (W3 D3). A 3-0 win at Austrian club Wolfsberg in last season’s UEFA Europa League is their sole away clean sheet; they have conceded 33 goals in those 16 away fixtures.
• İstanbul Başakşehir’s only other experience of English opponents came in the third qualifying round of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League, a goalless draw at home to Burnley preceding a 1-0 extra-time loss in north-west England.
Links and trivia
• Rafael made 170 appearances for United between 2008 and 2015, playing alongside his twin Fábio until 2014. He won three Premier League titles and was an unused substitute in the 2009 UEFA Champions League final defeat by Barcelona.
• İstanbul Başakşehir coach Okan Buruk twice faced England as a player in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying, a 2-0 away defeat in April 2003 and a goalless draw at home six months later. He missed both legs of Galatasaray’s away goals victory against United in the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League second round as he was sidelined with a broken tibia.
• Hasan Ali Kaldırım twice faced United with Fenerbahçe in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage, providing an assist in the Turkish team’s 2-1 home win having also played 90 minutes in United’s 4-1 victory at Old Trafford. His İstanbul Başakşehir team-mates Martin Škrtel and Mehmet Topal also played in both games.
• Have played in England:
Martin Škrtel (Liverpool 2008–16)
Nacer Chadli (Tottenham 2013–16, West Brom 2016–18)
Demba Ba (West Ham 2010/11, Newcastle 2011–13, Chelsea 2013–14)
• Has played in Turkey:
Alex Telles (Galatasaray 2014–2015)
• Have played together:
David De Gea & Rafael (Manchester United 2011–15)
Paul Pogba & Rafael (Manchester United 2011/12)
Luke Shaw, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard & Rafael (Manchester United 2014/15)
Nemanja Matić & Demba Ba (Chelsea, 2013/14)
• International team-mates:
Nemanja Matić & Danijel Aleksić (Serbia)