Fletcher broke the deadlock after half-time in his 50th Champions League game
By Chris Whyatt
Manchester United eventually strolled to Champions League victory against a blunt Bursaspor in Turkey to virtually guarantee their place in the last 16.
The hosts could not beat Edwin van der Sar in the first period, the 40-year-old blocking well from Turgay Bahadir.
Darren Fletcher then slammed United ahead at the start of the second half before French winger Gabriel Obertan made sure with a superb lashed second.
Portuguese substitute striker Bebe added a late deflected third.
United now need a point in their next match at Scottish champions Rangers to guarantee entry into the knockout stages of a competition which they won in 2008 before losing in the 2009 final.
This match was no barometer for their chances this year, but there were plus points with Obertan notching his first goal for the club and Paul Scholes a constant threat - although improving winger Nani was taken off in the first half with a groin injury.
Turkish champions Bursaspor are now definitely out, having failed to score in four group C matches.
Their coach Ertugrul Saglam had described United as "world giants" before the game, but the team Sir Alex Ferguson started with reflected his insistence that their strongest resources must be utilised to make up ground in the Premier League.
That meant man-of-the-moment striker Javier Hernandez was left on the bench, with Obertan making a rare start in a five-man midfield to provide the closest support to lone forward Dimitar Berbatov.
The Bulgarian - who has now failed to score in seven matches since a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool - put two early efforts on target as deafening cat-whistles rang out around the Bursa Ataturk Stadium in north-west Turkey.
But his weak header from Patrice Evra's cross bounced easily into the arms of Dimitar Ivankov, before a powerful half-volley from Obertan's clever lay-off again went straight into the goalkeeper's arms.
With United's travelling support enmeshed behind what looked like a huge mosquito net, their team set about trying to dominate possession with veteran Scholes the fulcrum.
Yet United were caught napping in the 22nd minute when Sercan Yildrim slipped a pass through to Turgay Bahadir, who had managed to find acres of space on the right-hand side of the penalty area.
But alert Van der Sar sprang to their rescue as he managed to get in the way of an attempted dink over the bar when the Turk should really have scored.
Nani was then replaced by Park Ji-Sung after taking a knock to his groin which will keep him out of the club's match against Wolves on Saturday.
With the game opening up and Bursaspor looking likely, if lacking a little craft, Volkan Sen forced another save from Van der Sar, while Berbatov over hit a through-ball for Obertan when he should have given the young Frenchman a free run on goal.
Fletcher then crashed a volley wide from a tight angle after a superb floated cross from Evra, whose incessant energy drove the visitors on.
Scholes had a 'goal' rightly disallowed in the 38th minute after clearly handling when he burst into the box following United's best passing move of the half.
They then finished the first period on a sleepy note as Van der Sar miscued a clearance and allowed Gustav Svensson a decent chance, but the Swede could not capitalise with his attempted lob.
But United took an almost instant lead after the break when Obertan's smart play in the middle of the field allowed Michael Carrick the chance to knock an instinctive pass to Fletcher, who was lurking free in the area.
Scotland's captain controlled it first time before lashing a low shot across keeper Ivankov and into the far corner to mark his 50th Champions League appearance with only his second goal in the competition.
Plucky Bursaspor tried hard to hit back but they did not have the ruthlessness required to beat a keeper of Van der Sar's vast experience.
Firstly, Ivan Ergic bravely made space for himself despite Nemanja Vidic breathing down his neck but the alert Dutchman managed to pluck his high shot out from under the bar.
Volcan Sen then cannily set Federico Insua free in the area but he dallied and, although he got a shot off, Van der Sar was equal to it.
And that rapid double denial seemed to suck the life out of the Turkish side.
Ferguson had to bring Bebe on for the influential Fletcher, who had suffered a knock to his ankle which is likely to see him also miss the Wolves match.
But United soon turned the screw.
Ji-Sung slotted a pass into the path of Obertan before he confidently cut inside Ali Tandogan to hammer the ball high past Ivankov from just outside the area.
Last year's Premier League runners-up then made sure of victory in the 77th minute, with the peerless Scholes the creator.
With Bebe alert to his team-mate's vision, the Englishman duly slid through a disguised pass for the Portuguese to finish, although the ball skipped off the ankle of Tandogan as he attempted a last-gasp slide tackle.
Berbatov, who was disappointing on the night, could have added a fourth but, lacking any urgency, curled a right-footed shot wide.
90:00+1:54 Gustav Svensson takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.
90:00+1:15 Corner taken right-footed by Ali Tandogan.
89:36 Dimitar Berbatov has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
88:44 Rafael Da Silva takes a shot. Blocked by Ivan Ergic.
88:17 Corner taken by Gabriel Obertan from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Omer Erdogan.
85:29 Effort from outside the penalty area by Ali Tandogan goes wide left of the goal.
85:09 Shot from just outside the box by Gokcek Wederson goes over the crossbar.
84:02 The assistant referee signals for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Indirect free kick taken by Dimitar Ivankov.
80:53 Substitution Volkan Sen leaves the field to be replaced by Ismail Odabasi.
80:53 Corner from left by-line taken by Tiago Bebe.
79:42 Dimitar Ivankov takes the direct free kick.
79:42 Substitution Fabio Da Silva joins the action as a substitute, replacing Patrice Evra.
79:42 The official flags Dimitar Berbatov offside.
76:49 The assist for the goal came from Paul Scholes.
76:49 GOAL - Tiago Bebe:Bursaspor 0 - 3 Man Utd Tiago Bebe finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Bursaspor 0-3 Man
74:43 Corner taken by Ali Tandogan from the right by-line. Ibrahim Ozturk produces a overhead kick right-footed shot from deep inside
the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
74:07 Substitution Sercan Yildirim goes off and Ozan Ipek comes on.
74:07 Substitution (Bursaspor) makes a substitution, with Leonal Nunez coming on for Federico Insua.
72:49 Ji-Sung Park provided the assist for the goal.
72:49 GOAL - Gabriel Obertan:Bursaspor 0 - 2 Man Utd Gabriel Obertan grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Bursaspor 0-2 Man Utd.
71:55 Sercan Yildirim takes a shot. Edwin Van der Sar makes a save.
70:13 Tiago Bebe challenges Gokcek Wederson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ibrahim Ozturk restarts play with the free kick.
69:29 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Scholes on Volkan Sen. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ali Tandogan from right channel.
68:18 Centre by Gokcek Wederson, Nemanja Vidic manages to make a clearance. Outswinging corner taken by Ali Tandogan from the right
by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Chris Smalling.
64:53 Tiago Bebe takes a shot. Ibrahim Ozturk gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Gabriel Obertan from the
right by-line, Paul Scholes has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
63:45 Volkan Sen concedes a free kick for a foul on Dimitar Berbatov. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
61:51 Substitution Darren Fletcher leaves the field to be replaced by Tiago Bebe.
59:02 Volkan Sen takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
Correction - 58:25 Rafael Da Silva challenges Volkan Sen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gokcek Wederson takes the direct free kick.
58:25 Rafael Da Silva gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Volkan Sen. Direct free kick taken by Volkan Sen.
56:25 Outswinging corner taken by Gokcek Wederson, Omer Erdogan produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which
goes wide of the right-hand post.
52:49 Federico Insua takes a shot. Comfortable save by Edwin Van der Sar.
49:33 Ivan Ergic takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
48:46 Ivan Ergic sends in a cross.
47:13 Michael Carrick provided the assist for the goal.
47:13 GOAL - Darren Fletcher:Bursaspor 0 - 1 Man Utd A goal is scored by Darren Fletcher from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Bursaspor 0-1 Man Utd.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+1:11 The ref blows to signal half-time.
45:00+0:30 Darren Fletcher is caught offside. Free kick taken by Omer Erdogan.
44:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gustav Svensson by Rafael Da Silva. Free kick taken by Gustav Svensson.
44:16 Effort from just outside the area by Gustav Svensson goes over the target.
43:03 Volkan Sen sends in a cross, Nemanja Vidic makes a clearance.
42:33 Ji-Sung Park takes a shot. Omer Erdogan gets a block in.
39:30 Free kick awarded for a foul by Federico Insua on Darren Fletcher. Darren Fletcher restarts play with the free kick.
38:56 Chris Smalling concedes a free kick for a foul on Sercan Yildirim. Ivan Ergic takes the direct free kick.
38:02 Paul Scholes is penalised for a handball. Paul Scholes takes a shot. Dimitar Ivankov takes the free kick.
34:23 The assistant referee flags for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Dimitar Ivankov takes the indirect free kick.
32:45 Patrice Evra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Turgay Bahadir. Free kick crossed right-footed by Volkan Sen
from right channel.
32:05 Patrice Evra crosses the ball, Darren Fletcher has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
29:33 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Patrice Evra, save by Dimitar Ivankov.
28:12 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ali Tandogan. Volkan Sen takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
28:12 Substitution Ji-Sung Park replaces Luis Nani.
28:12 A cross is delivered by Ali Tandogan, blocked by Patrice Evra.
25:52 Unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva by Turgay Bahadir results in a free kick. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free
25:37 Centre by Volkan Sen.
24:32 Turgay Bahadir delivers the ball, Nemanja Vidic manages to make a clearance.
22:48 Rafael Da Silva concedes a free kick for a foul on Volkan Sen. Gustav Svensson takes the free kick.
21:14 Turgay Bahadir takes a shot from 12 yards. Save by Edwin Van der Sar. Corner taken by Gokcek Wederson from the left by-line,
Chris Smalling makes a clearance. The ball is sent over by Volkan Sen, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
20:58 Dimitar Berbatov crosses the ball.
20:37 The ball is sent over by Rafael Da Silva, Ibrahim Ozturk manages to make a clearance.
19:45 A cross is delivered by Patrice Evra, clearance made by Gokcek Wederson.
19:04 A cross is delivered by Turgay Bahadir, clearance by Nemanja Vidic.
16:24 Darren Fletcher produces a cross, clearance by Omer Erdogan. Luis Nani decides to take the corner short. Luis Nani delivers
the ball, blocked by Sercan Yildirim.
10:41 Dimitar Berbatov has a volleyed shot. Save by Dimitar Ivankov.
9:07 The ball is swung over by Rafael Da Silva, Ibrahim Ozturk gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani from the
right by-line to the near post, Volkan Sen makes a clearance.
7:52 Patrice Evra crosses the ball, Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Comfortable save by Dimitar Ivankov.
6:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Volkan Sen by Rafael Da Silva. Gokcek Wederson takes the free kick.
6:29 Foul by Gabriel Obertan on Gustav Svensson, free kick awarded. Ivan Ergic restarts play with the free kick.
5:12 Centre by Federico Insua, Headed effort on goal by Turgay Bahadir from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the goal.
4:36 The ball is crossed by Sercan Yildirim, Chris Smalling gets a block in. Short corner taken by Gokcek Wederson from the left
by-line. Centre by Turgay Bahadir, clearance made by Nemanja Vidic.
2:16 Dimitar Berbatov is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ibrahim Ozturk.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
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