United stung for leaving the stars at home


MANCHESTER United were punished for fielding a weakened side last night, losing their 100 per cent record in the Champions League group stages this season in Istanbul.

Sir Alex Ferguson left out a string of first team regulars for the trip to Turkey, including Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, having already guaranteed top spot in Group H.

Galatasaray took the lead early in the second half when Burak Yilmaz leaped highest from a corner to head in his fifth goal in five games.

The home side dominated a second string United but Anders Lindegaard kept the score close, palming Hamit Altintop’s ferocious long-range strike onto the bar.

Teenage midfielder Nick Powell was superb on his first Champions League start, and produced United’s best chance when his strong header struck the woodwork.

Galatasaray had to win to stay in contention as Cluj beat Braga last night. The Turkish side are level with Cluj on seven points, vying for second spot behind United, who remain on 12 points.