Football

Manchester United avoid another 'Welcome to Hell'

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Galatasaray fans at Istanbul airport.
Galatasaray fans at Istanbul airport..

Manchester United avoided another 'Welcome to Hell' when they slipped through a side entrance after flare-wielding fans greeted them ahead of their Champions League clash with Galatasaray in Turkey, reports the Daily Telegraph.

As Sir Alex Ferguson's side touched down in Istanbul's international airport on Monday evening, hundreds of raucous supporters prepared a provocative atmosphere ahead of the Red Devils' arrival.

Having experienced unsavoury scenes in previous encounters with Galatasaray in 1993 and 1994, Manchester United players had not been expected to receive a similar reception almost two decades after their infamous clashes with the Turkish champions.

But, gathered in mass numbers, complete with red flares, flags, and banners, the supporters put on a dramatic show, which was captured in front of local TV cameras, in a bid to unsettle tonight's Champions League opponents.

Asked if United had successfully avoided the Galatasaray supporters in his press conference at the Turk Telekom Arena, Ferguson said: "Yes, absolutely. We dodged it, we came underground!
 


"We didn't get the meeting from the fans this time, but in 1993 it was incredible and quite frightening. We have been here a few times now, though, and are now used to the Turkish atmosphere. It is fanatical, but it is no issue for us."

Manchester United have already secured their place in the next round, having won all four of their group games so far, and so have travelled without a number of their first-team regulars, including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David De Gea, Chris Smalling and Robin van Persie.

However, Ferguson insists that his side will be sent out to beat Galatasaray in order to uphold the club's reputation for playing "fair" to those teams still vying for second spot.

Watch footage of the intimidating Galatasaray fans who wanted to greet Manchester United's players at the airport here:

 

Topics:
Football
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
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