By Lee Savery
A changed Manchester United side lost to Galatasaray in Turkey to record their first defeat in the Champions League this season.
A second half header by Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game as he met Selcuk Inan’s right-wing corner on 53 minutes.
The defeat sees the Red Devils lose back-to-back matches for the first time this season despite one of the better performances we have seen from the team in Europe this season.
With qualification and top spot in the group already secured, Sir Alex Ferguson had the luxury of resting the big names. “Welcome to hell” is usually the reception away fans get when they visit Galatasaray and it certainly felt like it with every United kick and refereeing decision being booed or whistled. The intimidating atmosphere did not affect the third youngest ever United line-up in the Champions League.
The young team kept possession well and were fighting for every ball, showing a desire that was missing from the eleven that played against Norwich City. The Turkish team had the better first chances though with Yilmaz forcing a save, from distance, out of Anders Lindegaard before heading over a free-kick later on.
It was United who came closest to breaking the deadlock, right on half-time. Nick Powell headed Tom Cleverley’s in swinging corner, from the left, onto the crossbar.
When the teams returned for the second half, the Turkish hosts started brightly and Felipe Melo was brilliantly denied by Anders Lindegaard. This was met by the Brazilian geeing up the crowd. The players responded as the resulting corner Yilmaz’s header lift the roof off the arena.
United responded by keeping very good possession without creating any real clear cut chances. Half chances fell to Anderson & Javier Hernandez but to no avail. The home side nearly doubled the lead when Hamit Altintop unleashed a shot from just outside the area that Lindegaard tipped brilliantly onto the cross bar with 13 minutes remaining.
The young United team pushed and pushed right up to the final whistle but they could not find their way through. A promising display that just lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.
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