Manchester United’s struggles in Europe dipped further as they blew a two-goal lead twice against Galatasaray in a cold and rainy Wednesday night in Istanbul.
Two goals in the first 18 minutes from Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes had sparked hope of revival for United who have won just one game in their last three outings in the Champions League.
That wasn’t the case for United as Moroccan Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick beat a static Andre Onana just before the half-hour mark to halve the deficit.
Two minutes into the second half, Scott McTominay, restored the Red Devils two goals advantage after a quick counter.
United were yet again undone by another Onana’s blunder after he fumbled Ziyech’s free-kick into his own net coming through a crowd of bodies.
This gave Gala the impetus to push for a third and they got it through Akturkoglu’s wonder strike leveling the game 3-3.
United defensive display was porous and spongy despite playing out 4-2-3-1, they have conceded 14 goals in the UCL this season, the most they have conceded in a single group stage.
Akturkoglu’s wonder goal means Manchester United have now conceded 33 goals this season, the most they have conceded in their opening 20 games of any season since 1962-1963.
United captain Bruno Fernandes was displeased with the defensive errors which resulted in their chances of qualifying for the next stage in jeopardy.
He said: “We conceded really bad goals, we have to take control of the situations in all of them.
“We concede the two goals and there’s nothing we can do now. Obviously we could have done better with those two goals but it is what it is. It was mistakes by ourselves on the goals we conceded.
“I don’t want to be too negative but what we have been doing in the Champions League is not enough. It is not the first game we have had like this. We have to secure the result.”
As well as highlighting mistakes at the back, Fernandes also thought Erik ten Hag’s side could have put the game to bed in the final third.
He added: “We were on top of the game twice and we had far too many chances to have the game closed. We were not clinical enough.
“Every time we conceded a goal we had many chances to score again. At the end of the game we had four chances. We have to lift our heads up and try to get the best players in the best positions and not take chances ourselves. We need to put the team first.
“We have to understand in these types of games and stages we have to be smart enough and manage the game better.”