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.