Football

Wayne Rooney vs Fenerbahce.

Manchester United broke an unwanted club record against Fenerbahce

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Is there no end to Manchester United's recent run of poor form?

Apparently not, because against Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday night, the Red Devils were once again abysmal and fully deserved to lose 2-1.

Moussa Sow's overhead kick after 90 seconds set the tone in Istanbul, with Sunderland loanee Jeremain Lens later adding a second with a fine free-kick.

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Wayne Rooney scored a stunning consolation from 30 yards in the dying minutes but even that couldn't spur United's players on to rescue a draw.

Their fate in the Europa League is now very much uncertain. Jose Mourinho's men sit third in Group A, one point behind joint league-leaders Feyenoord and Fenerbahce, both on seven points.

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United face the very realistic prospect of being knocked out in the group stages and they'll need to improve their form away from home in Europe to avoid that.

That's because, following the Fenerbahce clash, the Red Devils recorded a fifth-straight away defeat in European competition for the first time in their history.

In simpler terms, five defeats in their last five away games - an unwanted club record.

Not since under David Moyes have United won on the road in Europe, where they beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 in 2013.

Fenerbahce SK v Manchester United FC - UEFA Europa League

Here are their away results since then: 3-2 vs VFL Wolfsburg, 2-0 vs Liverpool, 2-1 vs FC Midtjylland, 1-0 vs Feyenoord and Thursday's 2-1 defeat vs Fenerbahce.

Find a solution to United's poor form - both home and away - Mourinho must to have any hope of staying in the Europa League, let alone winning it.

The Portuguese recently hinted that winning the competition might be United's best way into the Champions League next season, with his side also struggling in the Premier League.

"My opinion changes because the rules change and because the Europa League winner has a direct spot in the Champions League," he said, per the Mirror.

Fenerbahce SK v Manchester United FC - UEFA Europa League

"So in the last couple of years, the Europa League, for the big clubs, has a different meaning. Because it's another way to qualify for the Champions League."

Stopping his players from conceding early goals should be Mourinho's primary focus after he accused the likes of Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian of losing concentration.

"[Fenerbahce] deserved to win," he told BT Sport. "Football is not just about quality, it's about effort, commitment, playing the limits, giving everything.

"A team that concedes a goal after two minutes is a team that's not ready - a team that's not mentally prepared, not focused, not concentrating."

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Europa League
Jose Mourinho

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