BURSA - Manchester United
underlined the gulf in class between the Champions League
heavyweights and debutants after a 3-0 romp took them to the
brink of the last 16 on Tuesday.
The English side, without injured striker Wayne Rooney, had
far too much firepower for the Turkish champions who were well
beaten after second-half goals from Darren Fletcher, French
forward Gabriel Obertan, his first for United, and Bebe.
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"We were in control of the match although they did have a
couple of half chances," United manager Alex Ferguson said.
"You can never be sure but the second goal killed the
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Ferguson was able to field a number of fronge players in
Chris Smalling, Obertan and Bebe and Ferguson was delighted with
"They did very well... very pleased with them. Giving them an
experience like tonight is as important as anything. But they
did perform well too.
Obertan's career has beeen derailed a bit because of
injuries... but he is training well and he showed, as we know of
him, he has a classic talent."
United top Group C with 10 points and a draw against Rangers
in their next game will seal qualifcation to the knockout stage
with a game to spare.
United had looked the more composed and fluid throughout the
first half, despite the piercing jeers of the home fans and the
loss of winger Nani who went off with a groin injury midway
through the first half.
Turgay Bahadir wasted the best chance for Turkish champions
Bursaspor when he delayed his shot just long enough for Edwin
van der Sar to move smartly out of his goal to save.
Paul Scholes had a goal disallowed in the 39th minute after
handling the ball with his arm, to the disappointement of the
small group of visiting fans watching from behind a giant
Fletcher, who picked up an ankle injury and could miss this
weekend's Premier League clash with Wolves, struck the opener on
48 minutes with a fine finish from Michael Carrick's pass.
The goal did spark the home side into life with van der Sar
saving from Ivan Ergic and Federico Insua as Bursaspor, still
awaiting their first Champions League goal, gave their fans a
few moments of hope.
United quickly put the game beyond them though when Obertan
rifled in on 73 minutes and then Bebe slotted home four minutes
Bursaspor are still seeking their first point and downcast
coach Ertugrul Saglam said: "Our hope was to score the first
goal and go on to win.
"We are getting better, and gathering experience by playing
these world class opponents."
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