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Burak treble puts Galatasaray back in contention

CFR 1907 Cluj 1-3 Galatasaray AŞ
Burak Yılmaz bagged a hat-trick as Galatasaray recorded their first European victory of the season and jumped into second place in Group H.

Burak treble puts Galatasaray back in contention
Burak treble puts Galatasaray back in contention ©UEFA.com

Galatasaray AŞ are second in UEFA Champions League Group H after a 3-1 victory at CFR 1907 Cluj.

The Turkish title holders started the day with only a point to their name but are now ahead of CFR by virtue of their superior head-to-head record. Striker Burak Yılmaz proved their hero in Romania, wrapping up a hat-trick with two second-half goals after Modou Sougou had cancelled out his opening effort.

It was CFR, though, who had the first clear opportunity of the game, Pantelis Kapetanos shooting wide after four minutes. Emre Çolak soon went close at the other end as Galatasaray assumed control. They duly took the lead on 18 minutes, Hamit Altıntop's perfect right-wing cross being met by a superb Burak header.

Fatih Terim's intention for his team to take charge was clear from the off. CFR – who had drawn 1-1 in Istanbul two weeks ago – were markedly defensive by comparison, Sougou's 25th-minute attempt being the extent of their first-half chances after Kapetanos's initial incursion. Hamit and Emre provided invaluable energy in the Galatasaray midfield yet it was all to change at half-time.

The introduction of Saša Bjelanović reinvigorated CFR and they were level eight minutes after the interval, Sougou making the most of Rafael Bastos's splendid pass by finishing past Fernando Muslera via a post.

CFR only had themselves to blame when they fell behind again soon after the hour. Ivo Pinto was dispossessed by Burak, who received a return pass from Hamit and finished with a low shot. That goal marked another turning of the tide: Galatasaray regained a measure of control and Burak threatened to put the match to bed with 20 minutes left only to be denied by Mário Felgueiras.

Four minutes later, Burak made no such mistake. Again Hamit was the creator with a superb ball which Burak latched onto before finishing past Felgueiras. There was no way back for CFR, with coach Paulo Sérgio left to rue their failure to make the most of a promising start to the second half. Next up for them is the visit of SC Braga on 20 November, when Galatasaray welcome newly qualified Manchester United FC.

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