Europa League: Emenike shines as Red Devils slump in Turkey
Manchester United’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League have taken a blow courtesy of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Thursday.
Memorable strikes from Moussa Sow and Jeremain Lens put the hosts in control before Dick Advocaat’s side were able to hold on for a victory despite Wayne Rooney giving his side hope with an 89th-minute goal of his own.
The result sees Fenerbahce climb top of Group A with just two games remaining, while the Red Devils drop down to third and are now a point behind the top two.
Things got even worse for the visitors when Paul Pogba found himself on the end of a heavy challenge from Souza and, despite trying to continue, the world’s most expensive player was eventually forced off to be replaced by Ibrahimovic.
It was Fener who got the all-important second goal shortly before the hour mark, though, and it was another memorable strike as Lens curled a 25-yard free kick past a statuesque De Gea after Ibrahimovic had been penalised for a foul on Mehmet Topal.
Things could have been even worse for United too when the hosts cut right through the defence with a rapid counter-attack to send Emmanuel Emenike through on goal just seconds after his introduction from the bench, but the former West Ham United striker could not take the ball in his stride and was eventually denied by a mixture of Daley Blind and De Gea.
Emenike continued to look the most likely on the break as Fenerbahce went in search of a killer third goal, but he was once again kept out by De Gea before falling agonisingly short of tapping home a low cross from Lens at the far post.
United, meanwhile, are still winless away from home in Europe since November 2013, while in all competitions they have now won just two of their last seven games.