Galatasaray 1 - 0 United
Rafael Jones Carrick Buttner
Fletcher Cleverly Anderson(Macheda)
Powell(Young) Chicha Welbeck(King)
Unlike last Saturday's defeat, I pretty much expected today's loss at the hands of Galatasaray. As expected, Fergie fielded an inexperienced side and, I guess, our young players did quite well. Cleverley, Macheda, Jones, Buttner, Rafael, Welbeck, Powell and King are all players who featured today and who are either in their early twenties or are still teenagers. Our oldest players on the field were 31 year old Michael Carrick and 28 year old Darren Fletcher, who's still coming to grips with the game after a long layoff. Overall I think our boys did well. Sometimes winning really isn't everything. Our young players have now experienced the depths of 'hell'. Giggs and Neville still recall how powerful their experience in Turkey, 18 years ago, proved to be for their footballing education. Let's hope our players left today's field a tad wiser. They surely can leave Turkey with their heads held high, they were playing against a team that just had to win the game.
I was particularly pleased with Jones and Powell. Phil looked composed and focused and he barely put a foot wrong. Given the circumstances, Powell had a very good CL debut and was quite unlucky not to score. Another player who deserves a mention was our goalie who cleared everything that came his way bar their winning goal, which was unsavable. Our forwards combined well on some occasions but they gave no end result. Apart from the said moments of good play, they were average at best. Our midfielders were a tad casual in their passing and never really created good opportunities for our strikers. I definitely expected better from the likes of Anderson and Clevz.
It's not often we see United lose back to back games but we'll be just fine. We've got three 'easy' games coming up, from which I expect United to get the maximum points. Then we'll face City at the Etihad. Exciting times ahead.