Hell was promised to the Red Devils with the CL draw having them in the same group as Galatasaray, but tonight, despite being on home turf, Manchester United made hard work for themselves at times during the match, and can thank the woodwork which helped De Gea keep a cleansheet, thou all credits to him as well when he made a double save to keep United in the lead in the second half. Finally Carrick’s 7th minute strike was enough to conclude this game, but United have been given a warning already by the Turkish side, and it reminds us yet again of the unlucky run in the group stages last season where United struggled and eventually dropped out to the Europa League. Hats off to the travelling supporters as well, they were more lively and made themselves heard throughout, while the OT faithfuls seemed lost and were barely heard except for the goal celebrations, and now if a few thousand Turkish supporters can lift the roof, just imagine the ambiance when United will travel to Turkey for the return leg of this group stage…
United looked enterprising early on, scored on the 7th minute as Kagawa fed a good pass to to Carrick, who slalomed past the keeper to score in an empty net, but then dropped the pace as Galatasaray started raiding the backline, and were let off when Vidic caught Bulut in the box. Amrabat then saw his shot crash off the top of the crossbar with De Gea well beaten, and then Altintop saw his long range effort clip the outside of left post following a free-kick routine. United somehow managed to keep the 1-0 lead till half time, but were no longer showing the confidence of the first minutes after kickoff.
The second half saw Galatasaray determined to get back, and again Altintop was peppering shots towards goal but fortunately not being too dangerous. United tried to get back in the game, and Rafael won a penalty which could double the lead, but alas the penalty curse was still on. After RvP and Chicharito missing in earlier games, it was Nani’s turn to spurn his chance, as he tried to keep Muslera guessing but ended up giving him a rather easy save to make from the spot. Galatasaray went on a quick break at the other end, but Inan’s header again clipped the outside of the far post as United were torn apart at the back.
United then threatened with Evra, whose shot flashed just wide, but the resulting corner saw Galatasaray instead breaking off towards De Gea, and the latter had to put out two excellent saves to deny Galatasaray from equalizing. As the game wore on United looked more decided to defend the lead, but still Sir Alex sent on two strikers in Chicharito and Welbeck to put pressure on the opposition defense so as to counter their attacking threat as well, while Fletcher made his first appearance to help secure the midfield. United in the end held on to the 3 points, but with such a mediocre performance, it could spell trouble for them very soon unless corrective actions are taken for the coming games.
Knowing another hot clash awaits the Red Devils on Sunday, if they keep the same tempo it could well be a second defeat on Merseyside as Liverpool will be ready to try get their first win, and also pay a fitting tribute to their 96 fans who died in 1989, and for them there is no other fitting way to do so than beat Manchester United 😆