Full time: Galatasaray 1-0 Manchester United
And so it proves. Galatasaray have done enough - just - and they have a crucial victory over a young Manchester United side, who maybe won't be too fussed about this. Sure, they'll be annoyed to have lost their unbeaten record but they have already won their group and acquitted themselves well in difficult surroundings. Gala's win, secured by Burak Yilmaz's header, means they are in the driving seat to finish second in the group. Thanks for reading. Night.
90 min+2: The corner comes in and Hernandez is penalised for a foul on Muslera. That should be enough for Galatasaray.
90 min+1: United win a corner on the right. Before it can be taken the goalscorer, Burak Yilmaz, is replaced by Umut Bulunt. There will be three minutes of stoppage time and most of it is being taken up by this substitution.
90 min: Macheda battles through the challenges on the edge of the area and manages to shuffle the ball to Hernandez, eight yards from goal, but Eboue steams across to boot the ball away. Moments later Hernandez's shot from the edge of the area is deflected and saved by Muslera down to his left. United are pressing so hard for an equaliser now.
89 min: Felipe Melo has a shot from distance. It's straight at Lindegaard.
88 min: Ashley Young nutmegs Eboue on the left and then falls over instead of running after the ball. I know that's hard to believe but it really did happen.
86 min: United make their final change, introducing another youngster, Joshua King, for the inconsistent Danny Welbeck.
85 min: Having seen a replay of the Altintop shot that hit the bar, it turns out it was actually an amazing save by Lindegaard.
84 min: United aren't really suggesting they're going to score an equaliser now. They've run out of puff. "If anybody's interested, Forfar never recovered from going a man down early on," says Simon McMahon, correctly judging the mood. "Queen of the South ran out comfortable 5-1 winners and go nine points clear at the top of Scottish League Two."
82 min: Galatasaray make a second change, replacing the fourth official Amrabat with Emre Colak.
81 min: Of course, Altintop has form in that department.
79 min: But this wasn't! Altintop almost wraps the win up for Galatasary with a stunner, a thunderous effort that screamed on to the bar from 25 yards out. Lindegaard needn't have bothered moving. What an effort. My word. The woodwork is still shaking.
78 min: Yilmaz is booked for a risible dive in the area, trying to win a penalty for a non-existent foul by Jones. Dear lord, that was pathetic.
76 min: Inan curls in a free-kick from the left and Yilmaz's header drops wide. He wants a corner but he's not getting one. So there.
75 min: Macheda and Young are on, replacing the impressive Nick Powell and Anderson respectively.
74 min: Hernandez nods down a long ball for Welbeck but Muslera is quick off his line to smother the chance. He also gets a knock in the process.
73 min: Federico Macheda and Ashley Young are going to come on for United imminently.
70 min: Amrabat goes down under a challenge from Rafael and picks up the ball, anticipating a free-kick. Who does he think he is, John Terry? Only problem there being that it wasn't a foul, so it's actually a handball by the Galatasaray player, who should be booked but isn't. And not for the first time tonight.
68 min: Powell lobs a cute pass to Hernandez, who thinks he has more time than he actually does. He takes too long to shoot and eventually the chance is gone.
66 min: Eboue charges into the United area again. Wasn't he supposed to be injured? He reaches the byline and pulls the ball back into the six-yard box. It's begging to be tapped in, but unforgivably no Galatasaray attacker is there to accept the simplest of opportunities.
65 min: Cleverley pings a pass from left to right for Welbeck, whose volleyed cross into the middle is cleared. United look like they could get an equaliser here. Equally Galatasaray are strong when they break.
64 min: Galatasaray replace Johan Elmander with Engin Baytar, who was recently banned for 11 matches for attacking a referee in a Turkish league game.
63 min: Galatasaray are rocking whenever United go forward though. More pressure from the visitors sees Anderson bundle his way past a couple of challenges on the edge of the area, but his toepoke is scrambled wide. The two corners that follow are awful though.
62 min: But Galatasaray won't stop attacking. Eboue beats Cleverley with a terrific piece of skill, bursts into the area and sees his deflected effort tipped wide by Lindegaard, who catches the resulting corner.
60 min: United are pushing hard for an equaliser and Muslera has to get down well to save Anderson's low shot from the edge of the area.
59 min: Galatasaray are almost caught out on the counter. They'd thrown too many men forward and didn't have enough back when Powell broke and sent Welbeck through down the right. He only had one defender to beat and Hernandez to his left, but his first touch was heavy, putting himself under needless pressure. He still had enough pace to reach the ball but was rushed when he made the pass to Hernandez, who had to delay the shot which was ultimately blocked.
57 min: News that may not come as a surprise: it's loud. There's smoke drifting across the pitch, not on account of the Galatasaray fans spontaneously self-combusting, but because they've lit a flare in the stands.
GOAL! Galatasaray 1-0 Manchester United (Burak Yilmaz, 54 min)
The Ali Sami Yen erupts as Burak Yilmaz gives Galatasaray the lead with a thumping header from Inan's corner! It wasn't exactly coming but United were ever-so-slightly under the cosh. The corner came when Felipe Melo forced Lindegaard into a wonderful save with a powerful header from Eboue's dinked cross, the Dane pushing the ball instinctively over the bar and when the ball was sent back into the area, there was no stopping Yilmaz as his header flew above Rafael standing by the right post.
54 min: You don't really need to read beyond the headline here.
53 min: That's right: football team in really needing to win shock! Pulitzer please!
52 min: With Cluj beating 10-man Braga 3-1, Galatasaray really need to win.
51 min: Indeed most of Galatasaray's best efforts have come from distance. And so it is again as Riera controls Jones's header on his chest and loops a volley goalwards that a diving Lindegaard does well to hold.
50 min: There's not much happening, to be perfectly honest. This is largely because both teams have struggled to do the right thing in the final third. There's plenty of endeavour and they're both trying to score - it's pleasingly end-to-end - but both defences aren't having to do a lot.
48 min: Nick Powell has a dig from distance. It wasn't very good. "If you think you've done poorly in the MBM stakes spare a thought for
poor Smyth who was condemned to enlightening us all as to the
happenings of West Ham v Stoke yesterday," says Matthew Rimmer. "At least there's a hint of european glitz to your evening." Whereas I was actually at Upton Park last night.
46 min: United get the second half underway.
Half time: Galatasaray 0-0 Manchester United
With Eboue still stricken on the turf, the referee brings the first half to a close. Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted with the maturity shown by his young side. With a bit more luck and perhaps more composure with the final pass, they could even be ahead. Galatasaray have been disappointing.
45 min+2: Emmanuel Eboue is down injured. He's holding his hamstring.
45 min+1: Riera diddles his way past Rafael down on the left flank but his low centre is hacked clear by Carrick in the six-yard box. A hairy moment for United and there haven't been too many of those.
43 min: Nick Powell hits the bar for United! This is the closest either side has come to taking the lead. After tremendous work from Welbeck, who led a lightning counterattack, Cleverley swung a corner to the far post, where Powell rose highest and thudded a powerful header against the bar. Muslera was beaten. An inch lower and it was in. United stay on the attack and the tenacious Anderson wins the ball on the left before curling a lovely cross across the six-yard box. It only needed a touch.
42 min: "So Giggs get an important domestic fixture, and Fletcher, Anderson, Powell and Cleverley a meaningless european tie?" says Jesse Wedlock. "I think the old man has definitely lost it." It's baffling, Jesse.
39 min: Powell waltzes through the Galatasaray midfield and sees his long-ranger deflected over by Nounkeu. Before Anderson can take the corner, there's a stoppage because objects are being thrown on the pitch. Well done, everyone! The corner is a total waste of time anyway.
37 min: A corner to United on the right. Their first, unless I'm much mistaken. Anderson swings it in and Muslera gets a crucial touch on it to stop Jones nodding the ball into the empty net.
35 min: A quite ridiculous sequence in the United area. It all started with a fizzing shot from the edge of the area from Altintop, which Lindegaard saved well down low to his right. The rebound came back to Yilmaz, who turned the ball back to Altintop. He couldn't make room for another shot, so found Inan on the right. Buttner blocked his weak effort; Inan claims handball. No. But it could have been. Still, he finds Altintop again. But he's tackled and the danger is averted.
33 min: Anderson is penalised for an apparent high boot on Riera, who claims he's been kicked in the hand. Replays suggest otherwise. Anderson looks at the referee like he's eaten his last pack of Haribo.
29 min: A third foul by the ludicrously inept Felipe Melo, this time on Cleverley. Again he escapes a booking. What's going on? From the United free-kick, Fletcher overruns the ball and loses it in a bad area. Amrabat hares off up the pitch, closely followed by Jones. There's a clumsy coming together in the area and Amrabat goes down. The fans scream for a penalty but ... nothing doing.
28 min: You can probably turn over to Masterchef now.
25 min: Galatasaray haven't done a lot. Amrabat has another go from distance but his shot hits Elmander and trickles through harmlessly to Lindegaard. The fans are better than the team. "United's midfield has, justifiably, come in for quite a bit of criticism in the past few weeks for being one paced and lacking much invention," says David Wall. "But is it, in fact, really fair? After all, the recruitment in the summer was very much aimed at addressing that problem in both the short and long term with the signings of Kagawa and Powell. But Powell was never really thought to be ready to go straight into the side and it was pretty unfortunate that Kagawa picked up an injury just as their forward line was starting to come together (although United's recent injury record is another issue of note... can it really be just bad luck?). While they might have been able to cope with injury to one of Carrick, Cleverly, or Scholes as they're relatively similar, it was especially bad to lose the midfielder who was a bit different. Perhaps they should give Anderson more of a role as he's different again, and maybe simply a mixture of styles would be what's needed."
Yes, it is justified. Kagawa is a Number 10, not a central midfielder, which is where they are lacking. Powell is one for the future but they need someone for the present too. Giggs and Scholes are fine in specific circumstances, but not in difficult away games, as has been demonstrated in their last two matches.
24 min: Having seen a fair bit of Anders Lindegaard in recent weeks, I'm starting to wonder if his sole purpose is to highlight how brilliant David de Gea is. The Dane is a bit flappy.
22 min: Inan swings the free-kick in and Yilmaz rises to glance a firm header over the bar. Again he will feel he should have scored. It was a free header. Meanwhile it's now Cluj 2-1 Braga.
21 min: Rafael is booked for a crude foul on the tricky Amrabat on the left. "I'm here because you're more likely to print my emails than the fellows in charge of the other MBMs," says Ryan Dunne, correctly. "I think you should get a raise or something."
19 min: What a chance for Burak Yilmaz. From Amrabat's low corner, Elmander darted to the near post and flicked it into the six-yard box. With the United defence all over the place the ball looped up to Yilmaz, right in front of goal, but he completely missed his header. What a let-off. He looked certain to score.
18 min: Altintop sends in a cross from the right, which Lindegaard punches only as far as Amrabat on the left of the area. He shifts it on to his right foot and sees his curler ping off Carrick's head and out for a corner. That wasn't especially impressive from Lindegaard, who was poor against Norwich on the weekend.
17 min: Cluj are beating Braga 2-0, which means they would be second in the group with seven points.
15 min: Welbeck and Powell hassle and harry Altintop into an error on the left and streak forward, but can't make the most of a promising situation. Powell, in particularly, is playing with the confidence of a kid who knows he's got it.
14 min: United's youngsters don't look overawed at all, despite the atmosphere and the roughhouse tactics. Galatasaray are there for the taking.
12 min: Felipe Melo is playing like a man possessed, and not in a good way. Now he goes in strongly and illegally on Buttner and then bellows at the prone Dutchman. Again there's no booking. What is he playing at? He could conceivably have been sent off already and we've only played 12 minutes.
11 min: Altintop is feeling his ribs a bit after being accidentally caught by Welbeck as he tried to tackle the United striker.
9 min: Melo was fortunate to escape a card earlier but Kaya isn't so lucky, as he's booked for chopping down Cleverley. That was nasty.
8 min: United, with nothing to lose whatsoever, aren't shy going forward. The innocence of youth. And the pace of Welbeck is causing problems for Galatasaray on the left. He sprints clear of Eboue and slides the ball across the area, but it's just too far ahead of Powell, who would surely have scored. Galatasaray make a bit of a mess clearing it though, Kaya miscontrolling the ball and squirting it back to Muslera, who has to produce a hurried clearance.
7 min: United are almost caught out in a move made in Liverpool and, er, Bolton, Elmander nearly prodding a pass through to the onrushing Riera, who would have been clean through on goal. Franz Carrick steps in.
5 min: Buruk Yilmaz finds some space 25 yards from goal and has a pop. It's a decent effort, one that swerves right in front of Lindegaard, who can only parry it straight out in front of him. Jones is on hand to boot it clear.
4 min: By the way, in another fine mess I can't see the time on the screen, so I'll have to wing it. On the pitch, Powell is down after being caught by a dangerous two-footed challenge from Felipe Melo. His feet were off the ground and he's very fortunate not to be shown at least a yellow card. Powell is fine to continue though. He's wincing a bit, mind you.
3 min: Slack play from Galatasaray, as they give the ball away deep in their own territory to Welbeck. He cuts inside from the left and tees up Cleverley, whose sidefooted effort from the edge of the area is blocked, spinning up kindly for Muslera. The Galatasaray fans were nearly silenced for around, hmmm, three seconds there.
2 min: Against all the noise, Niall Quinn on co-commentary duties provides a reassuringly soothing presence.
Peep! Galatasaray, attacking from left to right, get the football match going. The home fans respond by shouting loudly. And I mean loudly. My ears hurt. This has to be breaking some health and safety rules.
The teams are in the tunnel. Galatasaray are in their red and yellow home strips, while United are in their all-white away kit. Michael Carrick is captaining them tonight. Just the sort of leader you want in such a hostile atmosphere. The stadium is packed, a cauldron of noise, although that's hardly news. I imagine it's been like this last week. "GOAL! Nicky Clark has given league leaders QotS an early lead at Station Park," says Simon McMahon. "What a start!"
Nick Powell, who does look a player, is getting some love.
"Am I the only United fan excited about Powell?" Vishwa says. "Looks like a young Paul Scholes with his composure and range of shooting. He looks a better signing than Kagawa for me already as he seems decentish in that 8 and a quarter position in the middle."
"United have had the recurring problem of a sparkless midfield, since like for ever!" parps Aditya Kelkar. "Why not explore options like Nick Powell in Premier league games also, and not just in fruitless ties such as today's?"
"Please do Forfar v. Queen of the South instead," pleads Simon McMahon. "It should be a cracker. Thanks."
In the spirit of open journalism, I think I'm obliged to comply with this request. Later on, Galatasaray! See ya, Manchester United! Hello, Forfar! Hello, Queen of the South!
Oh this is a low blow. "Are you above anyone in the MBM pecking order?" Tracy Mohr says. It was either this or Forfar v Queen of the South.
Teamsheets! Got teamsheets over here!
Galatasaray: Muslera; Eboue, Kaya, Nounkeu, Riera; Altintop, Inan, Felipe Melo, Amrabat; Burak Yilmaz, Elmander. Subs: Ceylan, Cris, Bulut, Birinci, Kurtulus, Baytar, Colak.
Man Utd: Lindegaard; Rafael, Jones, Carrick, Buttner; Anderson, Fletcher; Cleverley, Powell, Welbeck; Hernandez. Subs: Johnstone, Young, Macheda, Wootton, Cole, Vermijl, King.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)
Andres Iniesta? Nah, overrated.
And let's begin by asking what the hell you think you're doing here*? This, after all, is the match absolutely no one is paying the slightest bit of interest to, unless you're a Galatasaray fan, in which case you probably are. And maybe Manchester United fans might decide this will provide better viewing than Masterchef: the Professionals or Don't Tell The Bride. But other than that, it could be slim pickings here because, United already through as group winners, have left their star players at home and sent a Manchester United Tribute XI instead, with Mike Phelan, Paddy Crerand and Sir Bobby Charlton likely to get the chance to sample the unique atmosphere of the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.
On the surface, it's not too much of a surprise that United have won four in four in this group, Braga, Cluj and Galatasaray not providing the most daunting opposition. But despite their impeccable record, they have not always found the going easy. Far from it in fact. They had to come from behind twice against Braga and once against Cluj, and were also fortunate to beat Galatasaray 1-0 at Old Trafford. Saturday's defeat to Norwich City also revealed more weaknesses. But tonight is a chance to cut loose, for the youngsters in the squad to stake their claim and gain vital experience of playing in Europe. They are bound to be tested because Galatasaray desperately need the win; they are second in the group with four points but Cluj have the same total and Braga are only one point behind the pair. Now wouldn't be a bad time for the Turks to win their first European match here since 2009.
* Now that's how to engage with the community!