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.
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