Our European campaign kicked off with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over the Turkish champions Galatasaray. The main thing is that we picked up the three points, but the performance was far from what we’re capable of, the highlights of the game we’re Michael Carrick’s excellent performance and seeing Darren Fletcher return to action.
We struggled in the group stage last year, and based on last night’s performance we will struggle again this season, the positive thing is that we managed to hang on for all three points, whereas last year we probably would’ve surrendered with consummate ease.
United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani; Kagawa, Van Persie
Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Anderson, Fletcher, Welbeck, Hernandez, Cleverley
Galatasaray: Muslera; Eboue, Nounkeu, Kaya, Baita; Altintop, Melo, Inan, Ambrabat, Yilmaz; Bulut
Subs: Ceylan, Cris, Yilmaz, Elmander, Riera, Baytar, Colak
The boss recalled Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa back to the starting XI, and we started out on the attack, Shinji Kagawa found a lot of space just in front of the back four and began pulling the strings. He was the architect for the goal which came in the 7th minute, a nice one-two with Michael Carrick had the latter through on goal, who rounded the keeper and gave United the early lead. After the goal we took our foot of the gas, allowing Galatasaray time and space on the ball, they began to control possession and had plenty of chances of their own. The best of which fell to Hamit Altintop, a well worked free-kick left him with an open shot just outside the penalty box, he tried to curl one into the bottom corner and it narrowly went wide clipping the post on the way out.
The second half was more of the same, United broke swiftly and attacked on the counter, our best threat going forward was Nani, he gave his fullback a torrid time all night but failed to deliver a good final ball. United had a golden chance to kill the game off when a penalty was awarded, a good passage of play by Rafael left him being upended by Burak Yilmaz. Nani didn’t look confident as he stepped up to take the penalty, and he tried the stop-start run up, then fired a tame penalty low to the keepers right hand side. From the penalty miss Galatasaray
went on the attack for the rest of the game, United looked content to counter and created a few decent chances of our own.
Galatasaray were unlucky not to leave Old Trafford without a point in this one, they played positively after losing the early goal and created some excellent chances.
Man of the Match
Michael Carrick: He capped off an excellent performance with a well taken goal, he wasn’t afraid to run with the ball and he made some key interceptions when Galatasaray were on the attack.