Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

Valencia Nets Another Winner

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!



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

Writer:Zae
Date:Wednesday October 21 2009
Time: 10:42PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Mourinho to United Rumours Gather Momentum

The 'Special One' believes he will be the next manager of Manchester United.

I Wonder Who'd Win?

It's a question we might not want to know the answer to!

AUDIO: UWS Podcast 144 - Chelsea away

I still can't believe United didn't take all three points at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Times Running Out for Neville

Over in Spain our former defender, Gary Neville, faces what many feel could be a make-or-break couple of days.

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Profile
Charlie Bacchus
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v Chelsea (a)?
Suggested By: Red Boy
De Gea66%
Darmian0%
Blind0%
Smalling2%
Borthwick-Jackson5%
Carrick0%
Fellaini2%
Lingard5%
Mata5%
Rooney2%
Martial8%
Schneiderlin0%
Depay5%
Herrera0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 25 15 8 2 53 20
2 Spurs 25 13 9 3 48 26
3 Arsenal 25 14 6 5 48 17
4 Man City 25 14 5 6 47 21
5 Man Utd 25 11 8 6 41 10
6 West Ham 25 10 9 6 39 9
7 Southampton 25 10 7 8 37 9
8 Everton 25 8 11 6 35 12
9 Liverpool 25 9 8 8 35 -4
10 Watford 25 9 6 10 33 0
11 Stoke 25 9 6 10 33 -7
12 Crystal Palace 25 9 5 11 32 -4
13 Chelsea 25 7 9 9 30 -2
14 WBA 25 7 8 10 29 -9
15 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 7 11 28 -12
16 Swansea 25 6 9 10 27 -9
17 Newcastle 25 6 6 13 24 -18
18 Norwich 25 6 5 14 23 -20
19 Sunderland 25 5 5 15 20 -19
20 Aston Villa 25 3 7 15 16 -20
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Feb 13 2016 12:45PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Shrewsbury Town (a)
FA Cup
Feb 28 2016 2:05PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 2 2016 8:00PM : Watford (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 6 2016 4:00PM : West Bromwich Albion (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 12 2016 3:00PM : Crystal Palace (H)
Barclays Premier League

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)