The Reds survived an early penalty scare before taking the lead inside seven minutes through Michael Carrick. Nani wasted a chance to add a second from the spot after the interval, while David De Gea was required to be at his best to ensure Sir Alex's men took all three points from a fixture that also marked the return of Darren Fletcher – on as a second-half substitute – to first-team football following 10 months on the sidelines.
The Reds boss, still smarting from last season's group-stage exit, made good on his promise to "take no risks" and play his strongest team. Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa returned to the starting XI, while Patrice Evra was recalled at left-back.
The real eye-catching team news, however, was Darren Fletcher's inclusion as a substitute. The Scot has been battling a serious bowel condition that's kept him out of first-team action since November 2011 and some predicted he'd never play again.
Those people obviously don't know Darren Fletcher. A determined and dogged character, Fletcher has worked immensely hard in the intervening months and his 16 minutes of action here will hopefully be the first of many over the coming months.
De Gea, assured between the posts all night, was lucky not be called into action inside a minute when Vidic, attempting to reach a short Evra pass, caught Umut Bulut inside the penalty area. Galatasaray appealed for a penalty but German referee Wolfgang Stark waved play on.