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Old 12-09-2009, 08:29 AM   #1
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Default REDS Return to Turkey

REDS RETURN TO TURKEY
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Football grounds in Turkey are notorious for their hostile and intimidating atmospheres, as United can testify after past trips to face Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. On Tuesday the Reds take on another Istanbul side, current Turkish champions Besiktas, with a determination to improve on previous results in the city where East meets West...

Galatasaray 0-0 United - Champions League second round, second leg, 03/11/93
The Reds were infamously greeted on arrival in Istanbul with “Welcome to Hell” banners, hospitably prepared by the fanatical Galatasaray support. On the pitch, United had to go for the win after a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford had given Galatasaray the initiative, with a place in the Champions League group stages up for grabs. The intimidating and deafening atmosphere in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium hindered the visitors however and when the goalless game boiled over at the final whistle, Eric Cantona saw red and several United players tangled with local police.

Galatasaray 0-0 United - Champions League phase one, match two, 28/09/94
After the experience of the previous year, the Reds understandably kept a low profile before the game, staying in the team hotel away from all the hullabaloo. The performance on the pitch was an improvement and United came close to snatching victory. Sir Alex was pleased with a point this time and said, “I felt it was a good, solid performance. The referee handled the situation very well.”

Fenerbahce 0-2 United - Champions League phase one, match three, 16/01/96
Perhaps the previous trips to Istanbul had prepared the Reds for the ‘friendly’ welcome at Ataturk airport. Two goals in five minutes just before the hour were enough for Sir Alex’s side to take all three points from Galatasray's arch-rivals Fenerbahce. Eric Cantona was the man of the moment, as he stepped back on Turkish soil for the first time since the angry scenes three years earlier. He set up the first goal for David Beckham before grabbing the winner moments later. However, two weeks later Fenerbahce ended United’s proud 40-year unbeaten home record in Europe.

Fenerbache 3-0 United - Champions League phase one, match six, 08/12/04
Sir Alex sent out a second-string side that included the likes of Liam Miller and Kieran Richardson after United had already qualified from Group D. Despite it being an inexperienced side the heavy defeat was not something that pleased the manager who saw his side lose for the first time in Turkey. Tuncay, once a reported Reds target, scored a hat-trick at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium, starting with a volley that crashed off the underside of Tim Howard's crossbar. United finished second in the group as a result and were then knocked out by Milan in the next round.
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