Champions League – Galatasaray 1-1 Anderlecht – Yilmaz denies Sporting at the last
Anderlecht were minutes away from a rare Champions League away win, but will have to settle for a point in Istanbul, thanks to Burak Yilmaz’s late goal.
Dennis Praet had given Anderlecht a deserved lead at the beginning of the second half, firing low past a helpless Fernando Muslera, to send the travelling fans into raptures.
Besnik Hasi should be commended for bringing a bucaneering style to Turkey, with Anderlecht controlling much of the early going in the game. The tone was set by Bram Nuytinck within 80 seconds, lunging in rashly and recieving a booking.
Once Anderlecht settled down, they showed a lot of enthusiasm against their hosts, looking confident in possession and able to break when needed. Ibrahima Conte in his first start for the club, worked well in tandem with Andy Najar on the right, in a partnership that should have bore more fruit.
Galatasaray’s reluctance to press Anderlecht played into Hasi’s hands and he made an attacking sub before the half-hour mark, replacing the injured Nuytinck with Mati Suarez. The Argentine was instrumental in Anderlecht’s best chance of the half, supplying Conte but he couldn’t turn it in. Prandelli’s side eventually found their rhythm but couldn’t make inroads in the match.
The Italian coach likely brought out a hairdryer to his players at the break, who showed renewed vigour. But it was Anderlecht who took the lead on 52 minutes. The man in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Steven Defour, provided a superb ball to Dennis Praet, who then drifted inside, taking two defenders out of the game before rattling in the opener.
Looking to escape Istanbul with all three points, Hasi made defensive changes and shut up shop earlier, a decision they would later regret. Yet, Galatasaray didn’t really trouble the rookie keeper Davy Roef, who was deputising for the suspended Silvio Proto. Chancel Mbemba and Olivier Deschacht impressed at the back, repelling danger quickly.
Anderlecht looked set for their first away win in the Champions League proper since December 2005 (v Real Betis), but their resolve buckled in injury time. Aurélien Chedjou uncharacteristically broke clear and squared for Burak Yilmaz to make it all square.
A tough pill to swallow for Anderlecht, losing out on a victory in what is theoretically their easiest away game in the group. But fans should be encouraged by their overall play, suggesting they could well snatch third place away from their the Turkish side if they replicate their performance.
Galatasaray – Muslera, Veysel, Chedjou, Semih, Telles, Selcuk, Melo, Dzemaili, Sneijder, Burak, Pandev.
Anderlecht – Roef, Najar, Mbemba, Nuytinck (’23 Suarez), Deschacht, Defour, Tielemans, Praet (’78 Dendoncker), Acheampong, Conté, Mitrovic (’66 Kljestan)