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United scalp no big deal for Hamit

Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012, 8.58CET
Hamit Altıntop was in no mood to revel in Galatasaray AŞ's 1-0 Group H win against a youthful but spirited Manchester United FC, saying: "The game at Braga is the one that counts."
by Dirk Vermeiren
from Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi

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Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012, 8.58CET

United scalp no big deal for Hamit

Hamit Altıntop was in no mood to revel in Galatasaray AŞ's 1-0 Group H win against a youthful but spirited Manchester United FC, saying: "The game at Braga is the one that counts."

UEFA.com Player Rater winner Hamit Altıntop could not rest on his laurels after Galatasaray AŞ's 1-0 UEFA Champions League win against Manchester United FC, with his thoughts turning immediately to a crucial encounter with eliminated SC Braga on matchday six. Certain of top spot in Group H, United gave some young talents a run-out in Istanbul, but Michael Carrick insisted: "We don't like losing."

Hamit Altıntop, Galatasaray midfielder
I am happy with the recognition [of the UEFA.com Player Rater award], but we have to put things in perspective. What I will remember from this game is Galatasaray taking three points, but that means nothing since we are still not certain of finishing second in the group. The game at Braga is the one that counts. I can imagine Braga will have a hard time motivating themselves, knowing nothing is a stake for them, but we have to focus on our own game.

Looking back on the campaign, we didn't play well in the first three games of the group stage, and even when we did we couldn't take the points. For instance, as far as I am concerned, we played at least as well at Old Trafford as we did tonight, but there we did not have that little bit of luck that you need to win. The fact United played with a lot of youngsters in Istanbul did not necessarily make it easier for us. They proved to be very talented and hungry – highly motivated.

Burak Yılmaz, Galatasaray forward
Once again we had our brilliant fans behind us. They really helped us overcome some difficult moments during the game, and my thanks go to them. This is also their victory. I also want to thank my team-mates – I'm happy with my game but this is only possible thanks to their efforts.

Michael Carrick, United defender
We don't like losing, so we can't look back on a succesful evening. But then again there's a lot of positive things to remember. Especially in the first half, we played some really good football – the only thing lacking was the final pass. All in all, the young lads tonight did well – they proved to be quite capable of coping with this sort of pressure. Personally, I really enjoy playing in a heated atmosphere like this. Big stadiums with a hostile atmosphere – I think it is actually great to experience.

Rafael, United defender
Even though we had already qualified, this game was important to us. As Manchester United, every game needs to be won, but unfortunately we didn't. The plan was to give quite a number of youngsters some experience, especially in an atmosphere like tonight's. We had the older players like Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick looking to keep the pressure off the youngsters, and that is precisely what they did. I'm sure the younger players can build on what they went through tonight. As far as Galatasaray are concerned, I think they played well – they fought for every ball, so congratulations to them.

Anders Lindegaard, United goalkeeper
It is a quite special atmosphere to play in – so noisy and hectic. You can't really communicate by shouting, so you adapt, communicating more visually. Definitely a good experience for younger players such as Nick Powell. It must have been quite a thrill for him, 18 years old and playing in front of 50,000 spectators as passionate as the Galatasaray fans. I’m sure he will benefit from it in the long run.

Last updated: 27/11/12 8.02CET

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