Bruno Fernandes was integral for Manchester United yet again as he scored a brace in Tuesday’s 4-1 Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir, taking them a step closer to the last 16.
United had suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in Turkey prior to the international break that provided Group H rivals RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain with encouragement, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men bounced back at Old Trafford.
It was not entirely plain-sailing early on for United, who did afford Basaksehir a few chances, but the hosts were clinical in the first half as Fernandes netted twice – the first a glorious strike – to take his goal-involvement tally to 34 in 35 games for the club.
Marcus Rashford converted a penalty before United appeared a little more conservative in the second period, and Basaksehir pulled one back via a Deniz Turuc free-kick before seeing Edin Visca hit the crossbar, but the Red Devils sealed victory nevertheless as Daniel James struck a much-needed late goal.
It took United just seven minutes to begin the scoring, and they did so in style, Fernandes lashing a ferocious half-volley in off the crossbar from just outside the box after Basaksehir partially cleared a corner.
The Portugal star was in the right place at the right time 12 minutes later, on hand to tap in from close range when Basaksehir goalkeeper Fehmi Mert Gunok inexplicably spilled a routine cross.
Fernandes might have had a hat-trick just past the half-hour mark, but he allowed Rashford – who earlier had an effort disallowed for offside – to take the penalty that the England international had won following a foul by Boli Bolingoli.
United lost Victor Lindelof to an apparent injury at the break and Basaksehir quickly looked to put a bit of pressure on them, with Visca forcing David de Gea to tip a fine effort around the post.
Basaksehir enjoyed more pressure late on, with Turuc’s free-kick crossing the line despite De Gea’s best efforts as he became the first player to score direct from a set-piece in the Champions League against the Red Devils since March 2010.
Visca then rattled the bar from distance as United began to flag but a turnaround was beyond the visitors, with James making certain in injury time as Mason Greenwood set him up for a simple finish.