With Manchester United already through as group winners, they left most of their stars idle as they took on Galatasaray on Tuesday in the Turk Telekom Arena.
So, it should not be all too surprising that they fell to Galatasaray 1-0 for their first Champions League loss of the year. This match was far more important to Galatasaray, as they boosted their chances of moving on.
Burak Yilmaz made this possible when he found the back of the net in the 53rd minute off an assist from Selcuk Inan, and that was the total of the day's scoring.
I'm not going to mince words here: This was not the most beautiful soccer match you will ever see. There was some sloppy play and missed chances. But there was a decent amount of energy on the pitch.
For Galatasaray's Felipe Melo, it was too much energy. He was running around the pitch like a madman intent on inflicting bodily harm. He wasn't sent off, but could have been on several occasions.
But his aggression was a sign of the passion Galatasaray brought on this day.
United actually controlled more possession in this match, but Galatasaray had twice as many shots and shots on goal.
Both squads can walk away feeling good from this one. Galatasaray gets a much-needed win and Manchester United saw its youngsters make a solid account of themselves.
Burak Yilmaz: B+
Yilmaz played a wonderful match. He was the driving force for Galatasaray's offense all match, and he was supremely active.
He, of course, scored the match's only goal, but he also fired off three shots and was continually looking for opportunities.
Felipe Melo: C
If Melo didn't spend half this match running around the pitch like a maniac, he would have earned an A. He had some fabulous defensive plays, and he fired off two shots on goal.
There is certainly no doubting his effort. He just needs to clean it up a bit. It is possible to play with passion and aggression without playing dirty. Melo needs to discover that.
Danny Welbeck: A-
Welbeck played with great pace. He seemed freed by the lack of ramifications of the match and not having to defer to Man U's stars.
He was setting up teammates for chances and he was covering a lot of pitch.
Javier Hernández: B-
Chicharito had some moments in this match, but just couldn't quite put it all together. He blew a late chance on a solid look that would have tied the game.
He had a chance to really boost his stock in this match, and instead he just left it in neutral.
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