down, there were flares going off... and this was all before the warm-up had even started!
As I mentioned, I don’t recall much about the game. We didn’t take our chances and the referee wasn’t kind to us, but that’s no excuse. The damage had been done in the first leg at Old Trafford.
Not even the final whistle brought respite. We’d drawn 0-0, which meant we’d been knocked out of the competition, but then Eric Cantona was sent off and it all kicked off in the tunnel. We were getting pelted with all sorts of things as we left the pitch and Eric and Bryan Robson got involved in a scuffle with the police. We thought they were there to protect us but that wasn’t the case at all.
To make matters worse, the coach got bricked as we left the stadium. Steve Bruce was lucky the glass only shattered and didn’t break.
Like I said, “hostile” doesn’t do the atmosphere justice. We felt like it was us against the world – everyone in Istanbul seemed to want us out of there as soon as possible. In the end, as beautiful as the city of Istanbul is, we were glad to catch the flight home to Manchester.
As luck would have it, we were drawn against Galatasaray the following season as well. That game in Istanbul also finished 0-0, so I’m hoping we can break the curse this time and at least find the net.