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Galatasaray in pole position after beating United

Tuesday 20 November 2012 22.50 CET
Felipe Melo (right) celebrates Burak Yılmaz's headed goal

Burak Yılmaz delivered the goods in the UEFA Champions League yet again for Galatasaray AŞ, heading in the only goal of the game versus Manchester United FC as Fatih Terim's team consolidated second place in Group H.

The Turkey striker – who has now scored all five of Cimbom's European goals this term, including a hat-trick against CFR 1907 Cluj last time out – powered in Selçuk İnan's corner eight minutes into the second half. Galatasaray's first continental home win in almost three years means they need only match CFR's result on matchday six to qualify for the last 16.

Any notion that section winners United might be intimidated by the raucous atmosphere was dispelled by their confident start. Two minutes had elapsed when Danny Welbeck teed up Tom Cleverley, but the sting was taken out of his shot by Felipe Melo. Welbeck helped lead the charge again soon after, receiving Anderson's pass in oceans of space on the left. Fortunately for Galatasaray, no visiting player was on the end of his cutback.

In between times, Phil Jones, making his first appearance since May, ceded possession to Burak, whose dipping strike was spilled by Anders Lindegaard. With the pace showing no sign of relenting, the target man headed Selçuk's free-kick over and Hamit Altıntop forced Lindegaard into a smart, low stop.

There was an intensity about the hosts' play which, while producing chances and moments of concern in the United penalty area, left them prone to a counterattack. Welbeck was proving particularly troublesome and after his rangy crossfield run resulted in a corner, UEFA Champions League debutant Nick Powell headed Cleverley's delivery against the bar.

United, however, have developed a worrying habit of falling behind this season – eight minutes after the restart, they found themselves chasing a game once again. Lindegaard had done brilliantly to turn over Melo's ferocious header following Emmanuel Eboué's ball, yet could get nowhere near Burak's towering effort from the ensuing corner.

Rather than sit on their lead, though, the Turkish Super League leaders flooded forward in search of another goal, a policy which almost proved their undoing as Welbeck and Javier Hernández failed to make the most of a two-on-one situation. Lindegaard denied the Istanbul outfit that sought-after second when he brilliantly tipped Hamit's powerful strike onto the woodwork, but that mattered little in the end as the passionate home fans celebrated a famous win.

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