Paul Scholes scored with 13 minutes remaining on Tuesday to give Manchester United a 1-0 win at Besiktas in the teams’ opening Champions League Group B match.
Scholes, who was sent off in the Premier League on Saturday, headed the ball into the net from about 12 metres (yards) after goalkeeper Hakan Arikan pushed out a shot from Nani.
It was a slow start to the European season for United, which lost last season’s final 2-0 to Barcelona.
Filip Holosko had a chance to equalise in the 83rd but defender Patrice Evra blocked his shot with a sliding challenge.
“It was difficult,” United captain Gary Neville said. “Coming away from home in Europe is always a bit hard. They create an atmosphere over here like no other country.”
Without Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portugal winger’s move to Real Madrid, United struggled to break down the Turkish side.
Ozkan almost put Besiktas ahead midway through the first half when his 25-metre (yard) shot deflected off defender Jonny Evans and spun over goalkeeper Ben Foster and the bar.
United made five changes to the team that went second in the Premier League standings with a 3-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday and seemed to be running out of ideas when manager Alex Ferguson replaced Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick with Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov.
But Nani cut in from the right before shooting and Scholes headed in from the rebound.
Although Holosko had his late chance, Owen then shot narrowly wide and Berbatov had a cross into the area blocked with United teammates closing in.