Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not So Forgotten Story: Manchester United v Galatasaray, 1993

Few had expected much from Galatasaray in the European Cup, but United were out of their depth on the pitch amid terrifying hostility and harassment off it.

During that trip to Istanbul 19 years ago, Ferguson said United were "exposed … to as much hostility and harassment as I have ever known on a football expedition". In his autobiography, Gary Pallister went further. "It was a terrifying business which had nothing to do with sport, and can be categorised objectively as an absolute disgrace." A number of United players were assaulted by police; Steve Bruce was almost maimed by a flying brick; and 164 United fans were thrown in the cells without food or drink and then deported for the crime of breathing in oxygen. But, as Rob Hughes wrote in the Times, this was all a "violent smokescreen to a more horrid truth" – that United, and English football, were out of their depth in the European Cup.

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