1. After conceding a few goals at the start of the season, which resulted in many criticising our defence, Manchester United now have back-to-back clean sheets. David de Gea, Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra all returned to the starting eleven after being absent for various reasons. Although, don’t let the clean sheet fool you. Galatasaray attacked well and with Rafael da Silva out of position most of the time, United’s back four were put under serious pressure. Hopefully Dave can get back between the sticks more often because without a shadow of a doubt, he’s our best goalkeeper.
2. We created lots of chances, which is always something. Putting them away was another story. Robin van Persie’s performance summed up United’s overall. Sloppy for the majority with signs of composure and good movement. Antonio Valencia has picked up a lot of praise lately but so far this season he hasn’t looked the same player. Whilst making intelligent runs down the line, his crossing was poor. Then again, the numbers inside the box were often limited.
3. United have had to wait a while to play in the Champions League after failing to qualify from the group stages last year. That resulted in having to compete in the Europa League. To sum it up quickly, our form in Europe last season was poor. Despite getting the all important three points tonight a lot of the same problems were noticeable. United are still finding it difficult to kill off games and that needs improving.
4. After picking up three penalties this season, United have missed them all. Nani stepped up tonight forcing a save from Fernando Muslera. Sir Alex Ferguson said after the game he thought Robin van Persie would take it despite failing a couple of weeks ago with a Pirlo-esque chip. Penalties shouldn’t be that difficult, but we’re doing a good job at making it look that way. Galatasaray should have been given two penalties, and I’m sure they would’ve taught us a lesson or two if they did.
5. It seems to be a regular thing nowadays to give Nani a bashing whenever something doesn’t go his way. Yes, he missed a penalty but the 25-year-old was one of few players that put in a decent performance tonight. Whether that’s as a result of Ferguson’s hesitance to offer him a new deal, I don’t know, but Nani is increasingly starting to become a scapegoat.
6. Darren Fletcher made his first appearance in 10 months tonight after replacing Paul Scholes. It was noticeable that Fletcher had witnessed a couple of difficult months due to illness, therefore, I felt it wasn’t the best of situations to bring him into. It was great to see him back playing for the first-team though.
Man of the match: Michael Carrick