United took the lead seven minutes later, however, when Carrick was on hand to finish off a sweeping move from the home side.
Nani missed a second-half penalty as both sides had opportunites after the break, but it was United who held on to secure all three points.
Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two sides.
On target 9
On target 3
Was the result fair?
On the balance of play, you would have to say yes. Galatasaray had a couple of strong penalty claims turned down throughout the evening, but the same could be said for United. It appeared that they would go onto win quite comfortably after taking an early lead, but the Turkish outfit impressed with their attacking intent. United may have had less possession, but they missed a host of chances and did deserve to claim the win.
Manchester United's performance
7/10. Slightly hit-and-miss from United this evening, but there were plenty of positives. Nemanja Vidic was just wonderful at the back, while David de Gea also had a strong night in the United goal. They were guilty of relinquishing possession, especially in the second period, but they did create a lot of opportunities. It wasn't their best European night, but it's a clean sheet and three points against a really good side.
6/10. The Turkish outfit entered the match having scored 10 goals in their last three games in Turkey – and it was easy to see why. They set up with two strikers and were impressive with the speed and intensity in which they attacked. However, they were really open in defence and but for some poor United finishing, they might have ended up losing by three of four. It was that kind of match.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Nemanja Vidic: The Manchester United skipper was just sensational this evening. When he plays like this there isn't a better defender in world football. Period. He made every tackle and won every header. Just sensational.
Biggest gaffe of the match
This most undoubtedly go to Nani for his penalty. I'm not sure what it is with United and penalties at the moment but they seem unable to stick them away. The Portuguese international jinked before he released a tame strike.
It was an extremely eventful night for Wolfgang Stark. He might have awarded the away side two penalties – one at the very start and one at the end – while United also had another two claims. He rightly awarded United one in the second period, but he looked a bit jumpy under the pressure.
Manchester United: United return to domestic action with an away clash against bitter rivals Liverpool on Sunday.
Galatasaray: The Turkish side also return to their domestic league on Sunday with a home clash against Akhisar Bele.