Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why he hauled off Axel Tuanzebe at half-time of Wednesday’s defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir and defended his decision to withdraw Donny van de Beek despite chasing an equaliser.
The Red Devils succumbed to a 2-1 defeat in Turkey in their third Champions League group game, with Demba Ba left unmarked to open the scoring before Edin Visca added what proved to be the winning goal.
United defended calamitously in a shambolic first half, but Solskjaer did not pin the blame on half-time sub Tuanzebe and says the youngster was simply taken off because he had been booked.
Asked if Tuanzebe’s substitution was due to an injury or his first-half performance, Solskjaer told BT Sport: ‘Well it’s the yellow card as well here.
‘We needed to go for it and gamble to go forward, so the yellow card made my decision there.’
Summer signing Van de Beek came into the starting XI but was replaced by Paul Pogba after an hour, with Solskjaer leaving more defence-minded midfielders Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay on the pitch.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Solskjaer said of Van de Beek: ‘Tactically we had to change something towards the end and we brought other players on.
‘I thought Donny got on the ball well, he shows his intelligence.
‘And sometimes I felt the whole team were leaning way too much over to the left, we were too open down our righthand side and too many players wanted to play that football over to the other side.
‘So Donny was a part of the team today and he’s come into the club and he’s shown the quality.
‘Today he didn’t really get the opportunity to shine.’