ManUtd.com's assessment of the Reds' five potential Champions League last 16 opponents continues, with a familiar foe in the shape of the Turkish champions, their star striker and their manager…
How did they fare in Group B? Gala’s campaign began with a woeful 6-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid, for which coach Fatih Terim paid the price with his job. Despite accruing valuable points under replacement Roberto Mancini, another thrashing from Real meant their hopes rested on a must-win meeting with Juventus at home. After heavy snow interrupted proceedings by almost 24 hours, Wesley Sneijder’s late goal sent the Turkish club through, one point ahead of the Italian side.
What was their standout result? While the win over Juve at home had all the drama, the 2-2 draw in Italy with ‘the Old Lady of Turin’ proved, in hindsight, to be vital. “The point in Turin was crucial – I doubt we'd have had a chance today if we had lost,” Mancini mused after the snow-bound win in Istanbul.
Who are the men to watch? Didier Drogba was a thorn in United’s side during his time at Chelsea and the Ivorian has enjoyed a new lease of life since joining Gala from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua early in 2013. The classy Dutch winger Wesley Sneijder is another threat, while goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, who made his Champions League debut against United in 2012, is seeing his stock rise all the time.