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United victory ends Bursaspor hopes

Bursaspor 0-3 Manchester United FC
Strikes from Darren Fletcher, Gabriel Obertan and Bébé consolidated the visitors' position at the Group C summit.

United victory ends Bursaspor hopes
United victory ends Bursaspor hopes ©UEFA.com

Strikes from Darren Fletcher, Gabriel Obertan and Bébé earned Manchester United FC a victory which strengthened their place at the top of UEFA Champions League Group C and ended Bursaspor's interest in the competition.

Following a scoreless first period, Fletcher broke the deadlock on 48 minutes with a powerful low finish. Though the hosts threatened sporadically to score their maiden goal in the tournament, United made sure of the points with two strikes in four minutes late on through Obertan and Bébé. The result leaves United knowing a point at Rangers FC on Matchday 5 will secure their place in the knockout stages, while the best Bursaspor can hope for is a UEFA Europa League berth after a fourth successive defeat.

The opening stages very much belonged to United but, unlike at Old Trafford on Matchday 3, they did not result in an early goal. Their first effort arrived on eight minutes, though Dimitar Berbatov's header failed to trouble Dimitar Ivankov in the Bursaspor goal. The United striker went closer moments later with a powerful shot from outside the area which his compatriot confidently held.

Sir Alex Ferguson had warned his team of the danger posed by Bursaspor's Volkan Şen, although the hosts' chief threat was coming from the strength and speed of target man Sercan Yıldırım. His shot from distance was way off target but soon after Turgay Bahadır squandered the chance to score Bursaspor's first UEFA Champions League goal, his shot being saved by the shoulder of Edwin van der Sar after United had given away possession in midfield.

Paul Scholes had an effort disallowed before the break, yet United did not have to wait too much longer before taking the lead, Fletcher latching on to Michael Carrick's assist and powering his shot across Ivankov. Bursaspor would not let up, however, in pursuit of that historic goal but Ivan Ergić put his shot too close to Van der Sar after being set up by Yıldırım.

Federico Insúa then did likewise before a quickfire burst from the visitors finished off the Turkish side's challenge. Obertan was first to strike, opening his United account after being played in by Park Ji-Sung on 73 minutes and cutting on to his right foot to power a shot past Ivankov. Bébé's effort put the gloss on a patient yet efficient United performance four minutes later, as he touched Scholes' measured pass into the corner.

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