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Manchester: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag laid a wreath in the centre of the storied Old Trafford pitch on Tuesday (Wednesday ADST) in a stirring tribute to club great Bobby Charlton ahead of their Champions League group-stage match against FC Copenhagen.
Ten Hag, who has called Charlton a “leader” and a “giant,” Charlton’s former teammate Alex Stepney, and under-19s team captain Dan Gore followed a lone piper playing The Red Flag on to the pitch.
Charlton, an England World Cup winner and one of Manchester United’s greatest players, died on Saturday at the age of 86.
“We love you Sir Bobby … a hero to millions, the finest English footballer the world has ever seen. You will live on in our hearts forever,” the public address announcer said, before asking for a minute’s silence.
Supporters then broke into “There’s only one Bobby Charlton!”
Hours before kick-off, fans flocked to Old Trafford’s Trinity Statue of Charlton, George Best and Denis Law – the trio of former United greats – waiting in line to carefully add bouquets and scarves to the hundreds already encircling the statue’s base.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pays tribute to club great Bobby Charlton.Credit: Getty
The words “Sir Bobby Charlton, 1937-2023, Forever Loved,” had been added over Old Trafford’s main entrance, a wreath was placed in Charlton’s seat inside the stadium and the players wore black armbands for the game.
Charlton was a key figure in England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, playing alongside his brother Jack, and he made 758 appearances for United, scoring 249 goals.
In Istanbul, Bayern Munich soaked up intense pressure from Galatasaray for more than 70 minutes before striking twice to carve out a 3-1 victory that kept them firmly top of Group A, which also features United and Copenhagen.
The Bavarians, top on nine points, with the Turks in second on four, unusually found themselves on the back foot with Galatasaray carving out 20 attacks to their six with the two sides locked at 1-1 after goals in the opening half hour.
Joshua Kimmich and Harry Kane celebrate the latter’s go-ahead goal in Istanbul.Credit: Getty
However, Bayern striker Harry Kane scored in the 73rd minute and Jamal Musiala added another six minutes later to snap their opponents’ 23-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
“It’s my first time in this stadium and I’m just about getting my hearing back now,” goalscorer Kane said. “Thankfully, we were able to come through it today.
“It’s a really important win. This is a really tough place to come. It made things difficult for us, especially in the first half. In the second half we were a bit more calm, better on the ball and took our chances. To have nine points after three games is really important.”
Champions League matchday 3 results
- Galatasaray 1 Bayern Munich 3
- Inter Milan 2 RB Salzburg 1
Thursday (all times ADST):
- 3.45am: Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk, Feyenoord v Lazio
- 6am: Newcastle v Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig v Red Star Belgrade, Young Boys v Manchester City, PSG v AC Milan, Celtic v Atletico Madrid, Antwerp v Porto.
Bayern are now unbeaten in a competition-record 37 straight Champions League group stage matches.
Inter Milan’s Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu were both on target as the Italian side beat Austrian champions Salzburg 2-1 in Tuesday’s other early kick-off.
Inter broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 19th minute when Sanchez collected a pass inside the box and sent it inside the far post.
Salzburg midfielder Oscar Gloukh levelled for the visitors just before the hour mark but Calhanoglu restored the lead for Inter seven minutes later, slotting home from the penalty spot.
Inter are on seven points from three games. Salzburg sit third with three points, one behind second-placed Real Sociedad who play away at bottom side Benfica later on Tuesday.
Watch every match of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League on Stan Sport. All the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand, with select matches in 4K UHD.
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