Champions League

Man United rest star players

2012-11-19 16:19
Robin van Persie (AP)
London - Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were two of the big names kept at home by Manchester United as the already-qualified English team travelled to Galatasaray for Tuesday's match Champions League.

With first place in the group already secured after four straight wins, United coach Alex Ferguson took full opportunity to rest the team's top players to save their legs for the Premier League.

Rooney was back in training on Monday after missing Saturday's 1-0 loss to Norwich in the English Premier League because of tonsillitis, but was missing from the squad of 21 players that boarded the flight to Istanbul.

Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David de Gea will also stay in England.

It's a far cry from last season's struggles in the competition, when the three-time winners surprisingly failed to reach the knockout stage.

"It is a happier place because of what we are doing in the Champions League," United midfielder Michael Carrick said. "Last year we were chasing our tails a bit and came up short. This year we have been ahead of the game.

"Getting those wins and points on the board makes it an awful lot easier."

United's position gives Galatasaray a better chance of a win that would keep the Turkish team in second place and favourites to qualify with United. Cluj host Braga in the other group match, with the three teams below United separated by only one point.

Looking for a first European home win since 2009, Galatasaray come into the match on the back of a disappointing 3-1 home loss to unheralded Karabukspor in the Turkish Super League game on Friday. It didn't stop Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim sounding upbeat.

"Galatasaray has a European reflex - we show this reflex even in our worst moments," Terim said. "From minute one, the crowd will be gushing support for (Galatasaray). If we beat Manchester United, this confidence will carry us further."

The situation in the group could have been a lot different had United not come away with a slightly fortunate 1-0 victory from their home match against Galatasaray to open the group. The visitors had enough chances to draw, even win, the game at Old Trafford.

Now, United can sit back and watch on as a host of top European sides - including Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus and AC Milan - struggle to qualify for the knockout stage.

"You can drive yourself mad thinking about who you might get and all the various permutations," Carrick said, in reference to United's possible opponents in the last 16. "We just have to win our games, which we have done, and see what the draw gives us. Whoever it is, we will be ready in February."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.