Manchester United’s 100 per cent record in the Champions League this season came to an end with a 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray on Tuesday.
Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game in Istanbul as he headed powerfully beyond Anders Lindegaard, who made several good saves to deny the Turkish side.
Nick Powell hit the bar on his first competitive start for United, but the home side were in control for the majority of the game and kept their hopes of progression to the knockout stages alive.
United will finish top of Group H and are on 12 points from Galatasaray and CFR Cluj (both seven), while Sporting Braga were knocked out after their 3-1 defeat to the Romanian side.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rested a number of big names and welcomed back Phil Jones for his first game of the season after injury.
The visitors had a chance in the second minute as Danny Welbeck latched on to a poor Nordin Amrabat pass and fed Tom Cleverley, but the England international’s shot deflected into Fernando Muslera’s arms.
Burak was quick to respond for the home side with a long-range effort which Lindegaard fumbled and Jones cleared to safety.
The Turkey international could have opened the scoring on two further occasions inside the first 25 minutes, but first failed to connect with a corner after some poor defending, before heading a free kick over the bar.
And the home side felt they should have had a penalty shortly after, when a Selcuk Inan cross struck Alexander Buttner’s arm, but appeals were turned down by referee Carlos Velasco.
Galatasaray remained on top at the start of the second half and Lindegaard was again called into action, this time diving to his right and holding on to a sweetly struck Albert Riera volley.
Lindegaard made another save from close range to keep out a Felipe Melo header from an Emmanuel Eboue cross, but there was little the Dane could do about the opening goal as Burak rose to meet a Selcuk corner and power it into the net.
United stirred after falling behind and nearly equalised on the counterattack, but Javier Hernandez saw his shot deflected safely into Muslera’s grasp.
With 15 minutes of normal time to play Sir Alex Ferguson made a double substitution, bringing on Ashley Young and Federico Macheda but Galatasaray had the best chance to score again when Altintop thundered a 20-yard shot into the bar.
In the other Group F fixture, Cluj put on a masterful first-half display to defeat Braga 3-1 in Romania with Rui Pedro bagging a delightful hat-trick.
The hosts took the early lead through Brazilian Rafael Bastos, who set up his Portuguese team-mate Pedro to break the deadlock in the seventh minute.
Cluj did not rest on their laurels with Rui Pedro soon sneaking his way in between two Braga defenders to steer the ball home with his second just eight minutes later.