History was not going to come easy for Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir in their Champions League match against Manchester United on Wednesday. In order to get the, they would have to overcome an opponent fresh off victories over two more heralded sides in the past two weeks.
But thanks in large part to the heroics of Alexandru Epureanu, history came for the Turkish club as a goal-line clearance prevented a late equalizer that would have certainly seen United come away with a point had it gone in.
First, some context: This game looked to be an absolute barn-burner following the first half of action. Things began with a surprise Demba Ba solo effort, and became worse for United less than 30 minutes later with another Ba contribution -- this time, a brilliant dummy that seemed to trick the entirety of United's defense -- that led to a two-goal lead. Just before the half, Anthony Martial got one back for the English club and things were shaping up to be a real tense affair in the second half.
But that never happened. United's attacks were often limp and their defense was just as disastrous as in the first half, meaning that Istanbul were able to get a few chances of their own to threaten their opponents. The closest the Red Devils got to an equalizer was in the aforementioned highlight. Epureanu's desperate defending cleared the ball off the goal line and preserved the Turkish club's lead to give them their first ever Champions League win.