United 1 Bursaspor 0
United took a step further to qualifying for the knockout stages with a narrow 1-0 win over the Turkish side Bursaspor.
With Old Trafford rocking over the Wayne Rooney revelations, Sir Alex welcomed our Turkish visitors with a side that had five changes to the one that had drawn 2-2 with West Brom on Saturday.
Amongst the changes were Tomasz Kuszczak replacing Van der Sar, in goal, summer signing Chris Smalling replacing Rio Fernandez, Park Si-Jung came in for the injured Ryan Giggs and Federico Macheda started in an attack that saw Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez relegated to the bench.
United - Kuszczak, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Macheda, Park
Subs - Amos, Neville, Berbatov, Hernandez, O`Shea, Obertan, Bebe
With Old Trafford awaiting the action Sir Alex Ferguson strode confidently to his dug-out where a plethora of photographers were waiting to snap away. As for Wayne Rooney, let`s just say he was conspicuous by his absence!
Macheda, leading the line, had an early opportunity but his cross shot was blocked by the Turkish keeper. But any respite for the Turkish side was short lived when Nani put United ahead. The Portuguese forward launched a run towards goal and unleashed a curling shot that beat Ivankov all ends up in almost Cristiano Ronaldo-esque style!
Manchester United 1 Bursaspor 0 (Nani 07 minutes)
United failed to capitalise on the early goal and our visitors almost worked their way back into the game when Yildrim went on a foray down the left and was only thwarted by a decent clearance for the United back-line.
With almost half an hour gone Vidic had a great chance to double the lead but headed wide from a corner. Meanwhile Rafael produced a smart interception to deny Sen as he burst through. A glorious piece of teamwork saw Nani and Fletcher combine to provide a shooting opportunity for Carrick but his shot was wayward and over the bar.
As half time approached the referee produced the first two yellow cards of the evening when Ipek and Nani tangled. Nani was perhaps a little fortunate to only receive a yellow after kicking out at Ipek and then pushing him whilst Ipek had his hands around Nani`s neck. Home advantage perhaps!
Half Time - Manchester United 1 Bursaspor 0
Our visitors made two changes at half time with Ozturk and Bahdir coming on replacing Stepanov and Yildirim. The half started slowly with United being encouraged to get forward by the Old Trafford crowd.
Strangely, for a European night, it was becoming a little subdued at Old Trafford and only Evra, pushing forward, caused any problems with the Turkish keeper claiming his shot at the near post.
With things somewhat stagnating the prospect of Sir Alex changing the eleven was starting to be asked. Sir Alex made a change bringing on Obertan for Park but it was Nani who looked the most enterprising, curling a shot straight into the arms of the keeper.
All in all it was proving to be a disappointing second half, not even the introduction of Hernandez for Anderson could provide that spark needed to put the game to bed and fearful of our recent record in Premier League fixtures, the United faithful had to survive a nervous last few minutes.
Hernandez could have eased those fears but shot wide from fifteen yards after a ball from Vidic created the chance. But despite a below par performance the three points belonged to United.
Vital Man United on:
Vital Man United on: