13/09/2009 13:39, Report by Gemma Thompson in Turkey
1 of 7 Next 

Today in Istanbul

Today at Old Trafford is on a two-day hiatus while's Gemma Thompson blogs from Turkey, ahead of the Reds' Champions League clash with Besiktas. All times are local - two hours ahead of the UK...

Tuesday 15 September

Thanks for following my three-day blog from the squad's trip to Istanbul. Now I'll hand over to Nick Coppack to keep you updated on the action here in Istanbul, through the marvellous piece of technology that is Match Tracker. Come on United!

21:13 It's not difficult to understand why the Besiktas fans are regarded as the loudest in the world. I should have packed my ear plugs! It's fantastic to be in an atmosphere like this, although speaking to my colleagues might be tricky...

21:03 There's less than 45 minutes to go until kick-off, which is at 21:45 local time. United are warming up on the pitch with deafening boss ringing in their ears. I'm sure the lads are experienced enough to take it in their stride.

20:43 I'm seriously tempted to get up and start dancing - it's like being in a night club not a football stadium! Got a great view, bang on the halfway line above the dug-outs. The small group of United fans in the away end have just started singing - cue the booing and whistles from the home fans.

20:31 The noise has started! I'm inside the ground and goalkeeper coach Eric Steele has just come out to prepare the warm-up. As soon as the fans realised he was with United the booing started... and loudly! Now there's some Turkish music being pumped over the PA and the crowd are having a good sing-song. The ground's not even full yet but this atmosphere's pretty impressive.

19:50 The players have been given a good send-off at the hotel. About 100 fans gathered outside to cheer them onto the team bus - it seems like Rooney, Owen and Sir Alex are the most popular out here. I'm not sure the Besiktas fans will be quite so

1 of 7 Next 


Premier League