Even the noise generated in the warm-up made the loudest of English atmospheres seem tame. Galatasaray fans – drums beating, bodies bouncing – whistled, sung and chanted their way towards kick-off. When it came, they just kept going. With added flares, streamers and a giant 3D lion, of course.
The opening exchanges proved almost as lively. Tom Cleverley and Yilmaz both stung palms with efforts from outside the area before Danny Welbeck’s cross almost caused Felipe Melo embarrassment. Semih Kaya was booked for a two-footed lunge on Alexander Büttner and Hamit Altintop took a blow to the ribs to round off an action-packed first 10 minutes.
Yilmaz was then guilty of spurning two headed opportunities as Galatasarary began to stamp their authority on the match. The first he miscued, the second he headed over; both attempts were made under little or no defensive pressure.
Still, in the powder-keg atmosphere, Sir Alex’s side just about held their own, played neat passing triangles when in possession and did well to keep cool under an ever-growing list of robust challenges.
A spell of frantic defending ensued when Lindegaard spilled Altintop’s drive. In the next phase of play Galatasaray were convinced they should have had a penalty when the ball struck Büttner’s arm. Welbeck then raced down the other end and won a corner, from which