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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Narrow win for Man Utd over Galatasaray

Michael Carrick's early goal was enough to give Manchester United a hard fought 1-0 win over Galatasaray who will feel aggrieved they did not take at least a point from this encounter. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was determined there would not be a repeat of last season when poor team selection and some indifferent performances saw the Old Trafford outfit fail to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Even with a tough game against Liverpool looming at the weekend a strong side was sent out to face Galatasaray in this Group H encounter.

But as early as the first minute a clumsy tackle by Nemanja Vidic almost gave away a penalty in a frenetic opening period which saw the host's take an early lead as Shinji Kagawa played in Michael Carrick who regained his footing despite being fouled by keeper Fernando Muslera to score.

But the team from Istanbul were powerful on the break and hit the woodwork twice and ended the half strongly.

Antonio Valencia was a constant threat to the Galatasaray defence but too often his final ball was poor and United failed to take advantage of some promising situations.

United should have sealed the game just after the restart when Rafael was brought down by Burak Yilmaz but Nani was too clever with his stuttering run-up and shot weakly at the keeper who easily saved.

The Turkish side almost made them pay immediately as Selcuk Inan narrowly glanced a header wide.

Then Galatasaray broke quickly from a United corner and David de Gea twice in quick succession saved from substitute Emre Colak and Yilmaz to prevent an equaliser.

Both team's went close to scoring as the half progressed but it was United who got their Champions League campaign up and running with this hard earned success and have now only lost 2 of their last 56 European home games.

Another bonus for the home side was the return of Darren Fletcher from long term injury who came on as a second half substitute.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Venue: Old Trafford

Attendance: 74,653

Man Utd scorers: Carrick 7 Galatasary scorers:

Yellow cards: van Persie (MANU), Vidic (MANU), Evra (MANU), Melo (GAL)

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Dave Williams

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