Galatasaray 1 Man United 0

Fol­low­ing a clo­se 1-0 de­feat ag­ainst Nor­wich City at Car­row Road in the Pre­mier Lea­gue, Man­chester Uni­ted faced Gal­ata­s­aray at the Turk Telekom Arena in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Group Sta­ge in Nov­ember 2012. In the re­verse meet­ing be­tween the two clubs two months earli­er, Uni­ted had edged out Gal­ata­s­aray 1-0 at Old Traf­ford thanks to a goal from Eng­land mid­field mo­tor Mi­chael Car­rick af­ter sev­en min­utes of the ga­me. And in their pre­vi­ous mat­ch in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Group Sta­ge, Man­chester Uni­ted had re­covered from be­ing one goal down at the ha­lf-time break to over­come Por­tuguese Pre­mier Lea­gue out­fit Sport­ing Braga by a 3-1 score at the Es­ta­dio Mu­ni­cip­al de Braga. Gal­ata­s­aray, mean­while, had beaten Ro­mani­an Liga One Cham­pi­ons CFR Cluj by the ex­act same score at the Dr. Con­stantin Rad­ules­cu Sta­dium in Cluj-Na­po­ca in their re­spect­ive Group H ga­me. The Old Traf­ford men were al­ready thro­ugh to the next ro­und of the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue, how­ever, hav­ing col­lec­ted a max­im­um of twelve points from their pre­vi­ous four Group H mat­ches. As for Fatih Terim´s Gal­ata­s­aray, the Turk­ish Su­per Lea­gue gi­ants were po­si­tioned in sec­ond place in the group wi­th a fairly good chan­ce of reach­ing the knock­out sta­ges of the tour­na­ment. Man­chester Uni­ted and Gal­ata­s­aray had played each oth­er for the very fir­st time in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue on the 20th of Oct­ober 1993 when they shared the spoils in an en­ter­tain­ing and high-scor­ing 3-3 draw at Old Traf­ford. Since then, the two sides had locked horns in four Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue ga­mes, and Gal­ata­s­aray had not ma­naged to win any of them.

Des­pite rest­ing sev­er­al key play­ers for the tussle in the his­tor­ic city of Istan­bul, Man­chester Uni­ted pos­sessed the strong­est squad on pa­per by far, and the Pre­mier Lea­gue club head­ed in­to this group sta­ge fix­ture as nar­row fa­vour­ites to emerge vic­tori­ous ag­ainst The Yel­low Reds. As ex­pec­ted, tho­ugh, Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s troops re­ceived a warm wel­come from the bois­ter­ous Gal­ata­s­aray fans when they re­turned to hell, and the ho­me crowd be­came even louder as Tur­key in­ter­na­tion­al Burak Yil­maz ma­naged to head a bril­liantly ex­ecuted flag-kick by Sel­cuk In­an­in pa­st away goal­keeper An­der Lun­de­gaard and in­to the back of the net eight min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod. The Reds al­most fou­nd the equal­iser on the hour ma­rk, but Oli­veira Anderson´s dan­ger­ous low ef­fort from the edge of the area was well saved by Fer­nando Muslera in the Gal­ata­s­aray goal. And al­though Joshua King, Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda, and Ash­ley Young were bro­ught on as late sec­ond ha­lf sub­stitutes, they could not change the out­come of the battle. Then in the 79th min­ute of the mat­ch, for­mer Bay­ern Mu­nich and Re­al Mad­rid mid­fielder Ham­it Altın­top should have made the Turk Telekom Arena faith­ful even more happy, but his fierce long-dis­tance drive made the cross­bar sing in­stead. The fi­nal sco­reline could have be­en even worse for the vis­it­ing te­am, how­ever, if it was not for Lun­de­gaard who made a string of splen­did saves through­out the mat­ch in Istan­bul. Gal­ata­s­aray Te­am: Fer­nando Muslera, Dany Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Em­manuel Eboue, Ham­it Altin­top, Sel­cuk In­an, Fe­lipe Melo, Al­bert Ri­era, Jo­han El­mander, Burak Yıl­maz, Nor­din Am­ra­bat. Sub­stitutes: En­gin Baytar, Emre Col­ak, Umut Bu­lut, Cris, Cag­lar Birinci, Yekta Kur­tu­lus, Ufuk Ceylan. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: An­ders Linde­gaard, Phil Jones, Ra­fael, Mi­chael Car­rick, Al­ex­an­der Buttner, Nick Pow­ell, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Javi­er Her­nandez, Tom Clev­er­ley, An­der­son, Dan­ny Wel­beck. Sub­stitutes: Scott Woot­ton, Ash­ley Young, Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda, Joshua King, Lar­nell Cole, Mar­nick Vermijl, Sam Johnstone.


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