21-year-old French striker GABRIEL OBERTAN of Manchester United, a purchase of 3.0 million pounds from Ligue 1 side Girondins Bordeaux in July of 2009, plays the ball in the air ahead of KD Bursaspor’s 32-year-old veteran defender ALI TANDOGAN (21) at the Bursa Ataturk Stadyumu in Turkey. (Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images)
UEFA Champions League
0 – KD Bursaspor (TUR)
3 – Manchester United (ENG) ——— Fletcher 48′, Obertan 73′, Bebe 77′
Three second half goals, including two career firsts from a pair of youthful forwards, sent visiting MANCHESTER UNITED on its way to a decisive 3-0 victory over KD BURSASPOR in Group C of the UEFA Champions League.
Facing a lack of options with a squad missing ten players for the trip to Turkey, SIR ALEX FERGUSON broke with what has been his trend to deploy reserves in Europe and fielded seven regulars in the starting XI for Manchester United. Even still, Sir Alex was forced to go to the bench when Portugal international winger NANI injured his groin before a half hour had been played against KD Bursaspor. South Korea World Cup midfielder JI-SUNG PARK was duly sent on for the traveling Red Devils.
Shortly after the halftime break of what was a fairly even match in terms of chances, Scotland international DARREN FLETCHER stepped up against KD Bursaspor to score his first goal in Europe this term and third in all competitions for Manchester United; the 26-year-old midfielder settled a pass from England international midfielder MICHAEL CARRICK on the right in the box and shot low far post past the home side’s Bulgaria international goalkeeper DIMITAR IVANKOV.
21-year-old French striker GABRIEL OBERTAN, who was making his first start and just his fourth appearance of the season in all competitions, scored his first-ever goal for Manchester United in the 73rd minute after taking a pass from Park and blasting a powerful shot from inside the penalty arc past the hapless Ivankov.
Just four minutes later, the substitute Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, better known as BEBE, scored his first career goal in Europe for Manchester United to boost the final margin against KD Bursaspor to 3-0.
The 20-year-old forward, a controversial purchase of 7.4 million Englsih pounds from Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes this summer, ran onto a sharp ball from 35-year-old veteran England international midfielder PAUL SCHOLES and used the outside of his right foot to stroke past Ivankov into the right corner from just beyond the penalty spot.
Criticized earlier in the campaign as a result of inability to get a game for the reserves, the pricey Portuguese prospect Bebe bagged his first-ever goal for Manchester United seven days earlier during his first career start for the Red Devils against Wolverhampton Wolves in the League Cup.
With the triumph in Turkey, Manchester United maintain their lead in Group C of the UEFA Champions League with ten points from four matches; the Red Devils remain unbeaten in 17 competitive matches, including the FA Charity Shield, this season.
With Argentina international midfielder FEDERICO INSUA (7) of KD Bursaspor trailing behind, Manchester United’s 35-year-old veteran England international midfielder PAUL SCHOLES (18) sets to face 20-year-old Turkey international striker SERCAN YILDIRIM (9) at the Bursa Ataturk Stadyumu. (Osman Orsal/Reuters)
KD BURSASPOR : Ivankov – Tandogan, Ozturk, Erdogan, Vederson – Svensson – Sen (Odabasi 81′), Ergic, Insua (Nunez 75′), Bahadir – Yildirim (Ipek 74′)
MANCHESTER UNITED : van der Sar – Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra (Fabio 80′) – Carrick, Scholes – Nani (Park 29′), Fletcher (Bebe 62′), Obertan – Berbatov
Bulgaria international goalkeeper DIMITAR IVANKOV (27) of KD Bursaspor can do nothing to prevent the 73rd minute shot of Manchester United’s Gabriel Obertan from bulging the back of the twine with a rising rocket from the penalty arc at the Bursa Ataturk Stadyumu in Turkey. (Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images)