United 1 Valencia 1
United secured top spot in Group C with a 1-1 draw against the Spanish side Valencia.
Beforehand Sir Alex Ferguson had hinted he`d be playing his strongest starting eleven, all we can think is that he must have had had his fingers crossed behind his back.
There were no Van der Sar, Evra or Scholes in the starting eleven but it still, to be fair, had a strong look to it. Speaking about the selection of Ben Amos, Sir Alex had this to say,
"We decided last week that Ben Amos would play in this match. It's a big responsibility and onus on the boy, but he has got decent composure and is a calm lad.
Team - Amos, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Berbatov, Rooney
Subs - Kuszczak, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Fletcher, Obertan, Macheda
United made a decent chance with the first chance falling to Nani who saw his shot from just outside the area fly narrowly wide. However, Valencia were not prepared to just sit back and invite us to attack them launching several counter attacks and going close when Ricardo Costa headed wide at the far post.
A swift United attack involving Rooney and Anderson saw Anderson`s shot saved by the keeper when he should really have done better. Two minutes later Amos produced his first good save of the evening, at his near post, from Dominguez; long range shot.
Dominguez then saw a shot hit the base of the post as Valencia looked to take an unexpected lead. United were creating several chances but failing to take any of them and when Anderson put through Berbatov it was systematic of how things were going when the Bulgarian tried to round the keeper only for the keeper to palm the ball away.
Just past the half hour mark Valencia took the lead, becoming the first side to score against United in the Champions League this season. Park had seen a volley from point blank range saved and with Valencia breaking quickly Dominguez provided the perfect ball for Pablo Hernandez to beat Amos
United 0 Valencia 1 (Pablo Hernandez - 32 minutes)
United responded well and came so close to equalizing when an effort from Rooney, from some twenty-five yards out, beat the keeper but hit the bar only for Nani to fire the rebound wide.
Half Time - United 0 Valencia 1
Despite being behind United continued to dominate the game but couldn`t take their chances with Berbatov heading a Rooney cross wide. Worryingly, Ferdinand had to be replaced by Smalling with the centre back appearing to have collected an injury.
United thought they had equalized when Berbatov volleyed home from twelve yards out but the flag was up for offside. Rooney then fired wide as United continued to press forward. But United did get level just past the hour mark through Anderson with the midfielder prodding home from close range after the keeper had parried a long range shot from Park
United 1 Valencia 1 (Anderson - 62 minutes)
Searching for a winner Berbatov saw an effort from just inside the area pushed away by the keeper. As the game approached its last ten minutes Valencia started to push for the winner that would see the top the group, but with three minutes of stoppage time announced Valencia couldn`t get the goal to knock United off top spot.
Vital Man United on:
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