UK time is: 22:43:02
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Valencia Nets Another Winner

Is it time to start calling him Antonio Ronaldo? Not necessarily but Valencia scored for the second game in a row and his goals gave United the three points on both occasions. This time CSKA was the vanquished side, with the win virtually guaranteeing United's progression.

Not that it was a memorable evening otherwise. It was as dire as United's away games in the Champions League usually are: few chances, lots of scrapping in midfield. Of course we were not helped by the absence of Rooney, Giggs and Evra but we had seen earlier that their presence do not ensure quality football away from home.

At least we have dominated throughout: the unusual central midfield three of O'Shea, Scholes and Anderson ensured United had the majority of possession even though in the first half it was to no avail as we lacked creativity. The strategy seemed to be to get the ball to the wide areas quickly in the hope that Valencia and Nani (or Fabio who was handed his first Champions League start) might do something. They could not as they were hopelessly crowded out throughout. Berbatov was totally isolated up front.

Second half brought a little change: United exploited space in the middle a lot better and took total control. The concerted pressure brought the first real chance on 65 minutes (yes, it was that boring) when Nani's fine header was clawed away quite magnificently by Igor Akinfeev, a player constantly linked with United.

But we actually woke up only in the last 10 minutes - when the otherwise outstanding Scholes was already off the pitch, making way for Michael Owen who was very ineffective... - but that was more than enough to secure the win. Valencia could feel himself unlucky when a brilliant move, involving three one-twos, ended with him crashing a ferocious shot against the crossbar - it would have been a candidate for the greatest goal of the Champions League season.

Three minutes later he scored an excellent and deserved goal though: the otherwise very frustrating Nani's cross was headed into his path by Berbatov (who also came to life in the last 15 minutes) and Valencia steered the ball into the far corner from a difficult angle. His celebration was, once again, pretty low-key but it did not matter: job was done and it looks like that Valencia is settling, slowly but surely. I wish he would sometimes use his left foot though...

All in all, a very satisfactory evening. Wolfsburg drew at home with Besiktas, leaving United five points clear at the top of Group B. Another win against CSKA would almost certainly guarantee top spot in the group as well. It's hardly an impossible task: I had suggested that CSKA were the favourites for tonight's game but they were absolutely disappointing. They failed to ever really get a grip on the game - and they were dominated by a midfield containing John O'Shea, for heaven's sake!




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 21 2009

Time: 10:42PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Manchester United Articles

Evra to be Unveiled this Afternoon (Thursday July 31 2014)

Vidal - Coming or Not? (Thursday July 31 2014)

A Second Chance (Thursday July 31 2014)

Is Hernandez Bound for Spain? (Thursday July 31 2014)

Mind Games! (Wednesday July 30 2014)

It`s Loan Deal Time! (Wednesday July 30 2014)

So What Do You Get for 33 million? (Wednesday July 30 2014)

Three Months? (Wednesday July 30 2014)

Archived Manchester United Articles

List All Vital United Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. TheFamousNo7 132
2. Kanchelskis 55
3. MotorMad 37
4. nordkap 8
5. owoahene 1
6. olami123 1

League Results (view all)

Latest Results

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
8. Leicester City 0 0 0 0 0 0
9. Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0 0
10. Man City 0 0 0 0 0 0
11. Man Utd 0 0 0 0 0 0
12. Newcastle 0 0 0 0 0 0
13. Q.P.R. 0 0 0 0 0 0
14. Southampton 0 0 0 0 0 0

Breaking League News

Bojan Gets Squad Number
Stoke : 31/07/2014 21:46:00
Arsenal Fan Goes Out On Loan
Arsenal : 31/07/2014 21:30:00
Danny: Champion of the World!
Spurs : 31/07/2014 21:10:00
Albion Announce 2014-15 Squad Numbers
WBA : 31/07/2014 18:13:00
Bertrand Joins On Season Long Loan
Southampton : 31/07/2014 18:02:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Can We Win the Premier League This Coming Season?
Suggested By:  Red Boy
Yes! 74%
No! 13%
Too early to say! 13%