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Defeat, but this is no Istanbul inferno for United

A relatively inexperienced Manchester United side suffered a 1-0 defeat against Galatasaray in front of an impressive crowd in Istanbul.

Having already secured a place in the round of 16 as group winners following four wins in the first four games, Ferguson opted to rest many big names for his club trip to the Bosphorus.

Anders Lindegaard replaced De Gea in goal, with Michael Carrick – captain for the night – and the returning Phil Jones combining in the middle of the back four, supported by Rafael and Buttner.

Nick Powell was handed his Champions League debut,alongside Darren Fletcher? Tom Cleverley and Anderson, with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez up front.

While the atmosphere might not have been as torrid as 19 years ago when United were famously welcome ” to hell” by the home fans, the Istanbul crowd would have been more than a touch intimidating for the visitors.

Luckily for United, Galatasary players were seemingly unable to build on the partisan support as they created only two chances in the first half, with Yilmaz sending his header marginally over the bar and Altintop forcing a good save from Lindegaard.

In fact, United had the best chance of the first 45 minutes, as Powell saw his header crashing against the bar after a corner from Tom Cleverley.

Having gone back to the dressing room with a respectable 0-0 score line,United were soon tested after the restart.

Lindegaard produced an outstanding save to keep Melo’s header out after 53 minutes, but the Danish keeper could do nothing about Yilmaz’s effort on the following corner.

The Galatsaray striker held off Fletcher to put his team ahead and spark pandemonium in the ground.

Lindegaard was excellent again six minutes later as he repelled Eboue’s effort.

United responded well, pushing forward as the likes of Powell and Buttner confirmed they can hold their own against European opponents, but couldn’t create any clear cut chances mainly due to a lack of precision in the final third.

Young, Macheda and King replaced Anderson, Powell and Welbeck but, bar a few balls in the box, United couldn’t muster another comeback as they had done in three of their last four games in Europe this season.

In the end Galatasaray first success against United in six attempts will not hurt United too much, as their first place in Group H was confirmed two weeks ago after beating Braga and Sir Alex will be pleased with the response from some of his fringe players.

United can now turn their attention to the league, as they welcome struggling QPR at Old Trafford on Saturday, looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Norwich.

Dan (@mufc_dan87)



  1. Moscow

    20 November 2012 at 21:55

    Powell, Anderson, Fletcher and Welbeck should all be sold.

    • Redrich

      21 November 2012 at 04:51

      @Moscow: You seem to have a callous misunderstanding of this game and especially our club. You only want the glory that comes with the signings of headliners but have little stomach for the development of the club over a period of time, and you seem to have no reverence for the period of time that has led us to this point.
      It’s obvious that you have developed a political point of view that seems to always go … “Ferguson is the problem, and if we hire the likes of Mourhino, all our problems will be solved”.
      Gosh! what a genius you are. You must be up all night forming these revolutionary ideas mate. You have a mind-set that blocks all other possibilities out and confines you to the only one idea that you seem to have.
      I’m not adverse to laying blame on Ferguson’s doorstep but he, like everyone else that makes mistakes, deserves to be judged over a period of time – Ferguson has had a decent period of time to be judged – and he is golden to me.

      • Moscow

        21 November 2012 at 13:58

        @Redrich: Actually mate, we signed RVP and that was criticised by fans saying it was a quick fix, we wouldn’t be in the top 4 if it wasn’t for him.

        As for youth development, he whinged about Pogba leaving after he played Rafael and Park in midfield ahead of him. The man is out of touch, and you will see this in the coming weeks. I could list all his faults but I have done that many, many times so you can go back to previous threads to read them if you like.

        I will also tell you that Powell is a support striker (League 1-2 standard at that), and trying to impose the round pegs square holes policy on him by converting him into a midfielder is yet another mistake which will kill whatever future he had. It is also a waste of time since the next manager to come in will deem him not good enough. Mark my words.

        • The_Philosopher

          21 November 2012 at 15:50

          @Moscow: I think I like this Moscow guy.

          You’re cutting mate but you make sense. Square pegs in round holes is a bit weird. And I totally agree with playing Pogba instead of Park Ji Sung in midfield.

          But I think these quirky things that Ferguson does could be part of his genius.

          The purchase of Van Persie makes even more questionable his refusal to buy a proper midfielder. The money is there.

          Powell is a striker who is being converted into a midfielder yes. And that conversion process didn’t do wonders for Alan Smith’s career. So you have a point there too.

          But every now and then looking beyond the conventional mold of a player can yield results.

          Remember the game against Aresnal(I think it was last season) when Fergie played Fabio and Rafael on the wings and we beat them?

          I think Fergie likes to stay unpredictable. And he believes there is more than one way to ask someone to pass you the salt.

        • Redrich

          22 November 2012 at 04:05

          @Moscow: Ferguson’s going in the next few weeks, is he? And if he does you will definitely be in contention for the job. It’s obvious, you have it all worked out and probably already have a plan worked out for your takeover attempt.
          By the way, what do you do for a living, mate?? 😯

    • Daniele

      21 November 2012 at 08:10

      @Moscow: Powell? The kid has bags of talent and could turn out to be an absolute steal considering what we paid for him. Anderson? Completely agree. Fletcher? Harsh to call for him to be sold, after all the club stood by him during his recovery and he’s demonstrated his commitment by getting on the pitch again. Furthermore I don’t think we’ll be inundated with offers. Welbeck? Not a world class player, but has improved a lot over the years and has the talent to improve.

      • The_Philosopher

        21 November 2012 at 08:56

        @Daniele: Daniele I’m totally with you on the Powell sentiment.

        He has bags of talent. He could easily become a United great. He has natural attacking instinct. Fergie wasn’t kidding when he label him “Scholes 2.0”

        In my opinion the jury is still out on Welbeck. I can’t shake the idea, though, that if he was given regular first team action as the lead striker(instead of a makeshift left wing) he would continue to improve like he did last season with Rooney playing behind him.

        Anderson should maybe go to be replaced by someone of greater quality. But if we can’t find someone better I don’t mind having him as a squad player.

        Regular football would also benefit Anderson a lot.

        Fletcher could also be sold. The only thing blocking his sale is Fergusons sentimentality and pity. Some people call this loyalty. Fletcher has gone through a rough time. But he isn’t playing as well as he used to and there are questiion marks over whether he ever will.

        I’m all for loyalty but does that now mean we must accomodate a sub standard midfielder because he used to be so good? If this is part of his rehabilitation and he ends up performing like he once did then fine. But if this proves to be yet another perpetual wait and see(like Bebe), then I say cut him.

        I wouldn’t mind the sale of Fletcher in view of the fact that we have too many half way players in our squad. Half way as in not good enough to play all the time not bad enough cut out completely. Prime suspects would be Giggs, Fletcher, Anderson, Cleverly, Macheda etc. We must offload the dead wood.

        Bebe might be bad enough to just cut right now. But I think Ferguson still wants to give him some more time.

        Cleverly is still young and so he gets the ‘bags of potential’ exemption that would apply to Powell and the other youngsters trying to get into the team.

        • Moscow

          21 November 2012 at 14:04

          @The_Philosopher: Powell is Scholes 2.0? What an insult to one of our most legendary central midfielders, Scholes would be either hurt or completely bemused by that comment.

      • Moscow

        21 November 2012 at 14:01

        @Daniele: Football is a harsh business and we are not a charity. None of those players would survive at any of the other top European clubs but they have been given time and opportunities. They have failed.

        As for Powell, he is not good enough, that is my opinion.

      • Stephen

        21 November 2012 at 15:27

        @Daniele: Funny how an Englishman Powell who is just 18 gets written off, but another 18 year old Frenchman Pogba would have been our midfield saviour…..

        • Moscow

          22 November 2012 at 16:42

          @Stephen: Pogba is featuring regularly in Juve’s midfield. Not saying he’s the new Patrick Vieira but it’s not the best comparison.

    • Anita R

      22 November 2012 at 15:13

      So disappointed they lost 😑

  2. The_Philosopher

    21 November 2012 at 09:37

    We lacked width last night.

    Young is not a very good winger although he can be useful at times.

    If Nani was as consistent as Valencia we wouldn’t argue about who is the best winger in the team.

    We need another two quality wingers me thinks. If Jay Rod isn’t a natural wide player and would prefer to play behind the striker ala Kagawa then I’d say he is not the answer.

    But we need two new good wingers. We must sell either Nani or Young and buy two new wingers.

    Honestly though I would be sad to see Nani go. If he can just do his bench time patiently I still harbour hopes that he will have another hot streak.

    We need a quality naturally left footed winger to add to the mix. We can sell Young or convert him into a striker.

    But our wide options aren’t that exciting. Valencia has come off the boil, Nani is on and off and Young is so average.

    For last nights game though I understand that Nani is injured and that Valencia was rested but Young didn’t offer much.

    We could have scored last night if we just had some quality wingers for all the midfielders to pass to.

    • Daniele

      21 November 2012 at 11:07

      @The_Philosopher: If Nani was more consistent he would be one the best players in the world, but sadly he isn’t so, unless we bring in a proper left winger, I don’t see how we can solve the problem. Young is a decent player and nothing more, Β£16m was a scandalous price to pay. Has a good right foot and can’t take a man on occasionally, but he’s too mono-dimensional for a team like United.

      Furthermore, playing a classic 4-4-2 increases our offensive chances (in theory, at least) but leaves our soft-as-butter midfield open to be carved up.

  3. The_Philosopher

    21 November 2012 at 09:54

    Nick Powell was great. He showed so much potential.

    He seems to have such a natural attacking bent to him.

    I have high hopes for Nick Powell. He needs to get as many games as he can this season.

    Then watch the United fans rave about him as he starts to grow in stature next season.

  4. Onkar

    21 November 2012 at 10:45

    Just a thought that crossed my mind… Now that its official that Chelsea has not learnt a lesson from there sacking habits and sacked there champions league winning manager (no matter how he won it, fact is he did), I think it wont be a bad option to consider him for No 2 Position at united. He cant be worse that what we have and I don’t think he will have any problems being No 2 to SAF. If he had no issues with being No 2 to AVB then I think he will cherish being No 2 to SAF for sure…

    • Daniele

      21 November 2012 at 11:10

      @Onkar: While I agree that Di Matteo’s sacking was harsh, there’s no way he could be SAF’s number 2, and for a number of reasons. For a start he’s Chelsea through and through – yes he managed WBA but I doubt he’ll go to one of the big teams – secondly, he’ll want to take a break and third, I don’t rate him anymore than I rate Phelan. What has he added tactically to Chelsea since March? Close to nothing that’s what.

      • Onkar

        21 November 2012 at 12:33

        @Daniele: What has Phelan done when it comes to “Tactics” ever since he is here??? The Answer is Nothing.

        Ohh sorry he did.. He took the Fluid Attacking Team back to 4-4-2 and Tactics in the era of 90s… Thats an achievement btw…

        • Daniele

          21 November 2012 at 14:54

          @Onkar: never said Phelan is a tactical genius, far from it. But that doesn’t mean that RDM has worked wonders with his tactics either.

      • Moscow

        21 November 2012 at 14:05

        @Daniele: Perhaps he can give a few pointers on how not to be completely destroyed by Barca.

        • Daniele

          21 November 2012 at 14:55

          @Moscow: if that’s what you’re aspiring to, then we don’t need him. Neil Lennon is more than enough πŸ˜†

  5. Onkar

    21 November 2012 at 10:47

    Btw its oficial now (if it wasnt previously) that Chelsea Management is Probably the Stupidest management in the World of Football…

  6. Ismail N

    21 November 2012 at 14:02

    I think SAF is happy enough to see his team finished the game without any one getting injured. He was right with his assessment that the Turks are lucky to finish the game with 11 players.

  7. RMJ

    21 November 2012 at 15:14

    I thought the most poor last night was Welbeck, people were harping on how bad Anderson was but there were five instances I can vividly remember when both Cleverly and Anderson passed to Welbeck but that horrible first touch of his meant loss of possession real quick. Welbeck is strong and runs with ball well given time but was so dire without. i thought Fletcher was ok but he clearly cant cut it at this level anymore. he takes too much time on the ball. He plays too much like Gerrard long ball too often and less like most continental midfielders do to relieve pressure or spread play. But we played the whole game on first gear throughout and we severely miss Rooney to set the tempo it seems as Powell, Cleverly or Anderson have the personality or skill-set for it and that worries me and it was the same against Norwich as well.

  8. Moscow

    21 November 2012 at 16:02

    I am Turkish and Fenerbahce are my childhood team, losing to Gala was a big blow for me personally. I get back to Istanbul for the uni break in December so I’m gonna get torn to shreds by my mates πŸ˜₯ It’s probably why I’m being a lot harsher than I usually am.

    Powell could control and pass the ball last night so I suppose he’s now better than Anderson πŸ˜€

    • Stephen

      21 November 2012 at 16:15

      @Moscow: I feel feel for you, try living in Manchester after last season, not pleasant… 😐

  9. Moscow

    21 November 2012 at 21:41

    It is a justice for football that clubs like City and Chelsea are prevented from going through to the knockout phase. Money can’t buy class.

    • Opti

      21 November 2012 at 23:03

      @Moscow: That’s a fact! πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Welcome back Rafa…

    • Daniele

      22 November 2012 at 16:15

      @Moscow: Couldn’t agree more mate. Was in Amsterdam last week and managed to go to an Ajax game on Saturday. I spoke with a few fans about the game vs City and they said that for them it’s totally inconceivable to allow their club to prostitute to owners like City have done. The Berties aren’t making many friends in football… πŸ˜€

  10. Anita R

    22 November 2012 at 00:10

    Can’t belive they lost twice in a row! They have got to get their act together!

  11. Redrich

    22 November 2012 at 03:10

    The Fat Waiter sings again, wow are we gonna have fun!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  12. Redrich

    22 November 2012 at 03:26

    Can’t help thinking that RDM’s firing was because of him wanting Torres gone. The Russian doesn’t like to be contradicted and certainly not shown up and RDM sitting Torres for the Juve game could’ve been interpreted as just that.
    Demigod-ary has it’s downside and for Roman, it’s just that he doesn’t know Footy like he knows money.
    Poor Chelsea… hahahaha!! Poor Roman … tada!! Poor Torres … aw, poor baby!! Poor Terry… hahahaha!! Poor DMT… you lucky bastard!!

  13. Jay wire

    22 November 2012 at 13:10

    I don’t think it’s fair to criticise people because they criticise Ferguson. What is this,a dictatorship,no questions asked? It’s funny because the same people are the biggest critics of players claiming they are not good enough. Hypocrisy of the highest standard. I’ve never seen a single game in which Ferguson scored,tackled,passed or made a save. Players win,lose and draw games. Managers,coaches give them the platform to do so. So if Ferguson gets a free pass because of his legacy,so should players like Giggs,Carrick,Scholes,Nani etc because its their legacy too. My point is screw legacy and trophies. If the players don’t perform given the right platform they should go. If the manager and coaches can’t create the right platform then its time up. I don’t care how many statues they mould,its not immunity. Its clear that the players are not being given the right platform to perform and I blame Ferguson. Its also clear some players should be getting more game time ahead of others. Others should not be playing anymore.

    • Moscow

      22 November 2012 at 17:06

      @Jay wire: Agreed mate, if Fergie is above criticism then he is bigger than the club. No-one is (should) be bigger than the club. Fergie’s tactics and selections have been nothing short of embarassing as well as his transfer policy. Maybe this site should be renamed Red Flowers?

  14. Moscow

    22 November 2012 at 17:03

    Just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower, it turns out Chelsea have made false accusations of racism towards ref Mark Clattenburg. It was probably some pathetic attempt at retribution for their racist captain. They have now surpassed City as the biggest joke in football.

  15. colver

    22 November 2012 at 21:36

    We can crow at Manchester City and Chelsea’s demise in Europe. But do you honestly think we would have got through either group? I’m not so sure.

    I fully expect us to get knocked out as soon as we face a half decent team. Ferguson will put it down to bad luck. And no lessons will be learned.

    Personally if I were Ferguson I would be incredibly worried how we went from being the best team in the world in 2008 to being a second string European team only four seasons later.

    The answer of course is threefold:

    1) We no longer have the best defence in the world. Instead we have an injury riddled collection of players past their prime and youngsters seeming to lack any footballing intelligence. Oh and Michael Carrick.

    2) Our midfield has always been piss poor. That hasn’t changed. But the difference is that Giggs and Scholes are four years older and while they can still mix it up in the Premiership I can’t remember the last time they put in a commanding European performance. And with Nani frozen out and Ronaldo long gone we are remarkably one dimensional on the flanks.

    3) Our tactics are now far too gung-ho and indisciplined. We’ve conceded a crazy amount of goals home and in Europe over the past two seasons. It is clear that Ferguson has forgotten everything he learnt from Quieroz and has returned to 90s football.

    • Moscow

      22 November 2012 at 22:29

      @colver: I hope we just get a decent European side in the last 16 and get knocked out peacefully. Real Madrid and Juve may finish second, if we draw them then there will be some ugly scenes. As much as I dislike the current Fergie, for the sake of his best memories with us I don’t want Viking style 0-5, 0-6 annihalations at Old Trafford.

      • Redrich

        23 November 2012 at 05:56

        @Moscow: I actually think that if we get a decent team in the last 16, we don’t get knocked out at all. Why on earth do you want us to lose? 😯
        And don’t give me this “it’s cruel to be kind” BS. It’s really that it would give a boost to your “Ferguson is the problem” mantra, wouldn’t it!! Give you more fuel for your warped platform, and make you seem like a hero to the pathetic underbelly of support that I see on here lately. πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯

        • The_Philosopher

          23 November 2012 at 15:03

          @Redrich: I don’t think he wants us to get knocked out.

          I will tell what I think is eating Moscow:

          Lets rewind to 28 May 2011, the last time Manchester United saw a champion’s league final. It was against Barcelona and they thumped us 3-1.

          We came into the game as the vaunted champions of England. Mighty United and all we could field in midfield was a fading Park Ji Sung, an aging Ryan Giggs (in central midfield! against the game’s finest team), the reliable yet one dimensional Michael Carrick and the bankable Valencia.

          The result? 10 min of United pressure and then? Out right dominance by Barca. They swept us aside.

          The mental strength we showed to win the league was nigh useless against a team that was technically far superior in midfield.

          We were completely humilated. We were not their equals. Our standing in world football was violently shaken.

          Push the fast forward buttom. 30 April 2012, its the Manchester Derby. This is the biggest Manchester Derby ever! And possibly the biggest game the Premier League has ever seen.

          Who do we find on the team sheets? None other than the underwhelming Ryan Giggs, the simple Michael Carrick, the past it Park Ji Sung…

          Against the thoroughbred warhorses of Barca and City, in the biggest games in world football, the best we can cough up is an aged, misfit and abominable midfield consisting of Park Ji Sung, Michael Carrick and 36+ year old Ryan Giggs! Really?

          And we want to call ourselves a superclub?


          Against Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry our only hope is Park, Carrick and Giggs?

          So please forgive us for fearing we might be going home with our tails between our legs after every game we play in Europe because the wise Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t see a problem with our ‘world class’ midfield.

          Real, Munchen, Barca, City and even Totenham have better midfields.

          We are no where near being the best team in the world.

          We might have one of the best records in the world but thats history isn’t it.

        • Opti

          24 November 2012 at 07:24

          @Redrich: If we get a decent opposition early on we can find the motivation and determination to win such a tie.

          With some luck and a near perfect performance we can beat ANY side in Europe.

          We don’t play tactics with 0 strikers (Chelsea) or 2-3 defenders (City), so I do not think we would be outplayed by Dortmund and Juventus as our domestic challengers were thus far.
          Madrid can be beaten as seen in La Liga (and by Dortmund).
          PSG are a bit overrated with more individual stars than team quality.
          AC Milan can be beaten and pose less of an offensive challenge without Ibrahimovic.
          Porto can be beaten.
          Benfica can be beaten.
          Valencia can be beaten.
          Schalke can be beaten.
          Malaga can be beaten.
          Shaktar Donetsk can be beaten.

          The only teams I feel would beat us 99 out of 100 times would be Barca and Bayern. If we avoid them we will progress, I feel… in the spirit of ’99!

          Bring on Juventus, (AC) Milan, Barca, Munich. We are United and we always overcome the odds. We rise from our own ashes. We steer our own boat. We make our own waves. We never give up. Glory glory Man United!!!

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