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."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Pirates bag ponts v Siwelele

2014-12-20 22:30

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
Fixtures
17 February 2015
Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Bayern München, Donbass Arena 21:45
Paris Saint Germain v Chelsea, Parc des Princes 21:45
18 February 2015
FC Basel v FC Porto, St Jakob-Park 21:45
FC Schalke 04 v Real Madrid, VELTINS-Arena 21:45
24 February 2015
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Juventus v Borussia Dortmund, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Logs
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
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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