14 September 2010

UCL: Tactical Rangers manage a draw at Old Trafford

United had a  rather ordinary European night against Rangers
Javier Hernandez praise before Wayne Rooney and Darron Gibson kick off the 2010/11 Champions League Campaign
Wes Brown made a comeback against rangers from an minor injury
Fabio da Silva looked quite charged up front
Wayne Rooney fighting for the ball
Wayne Rooney looks on as the paramedics give aid to Antonio Valencia
A rather ugly football site, God Bless Antonio Valencia, Fergie says he's out for a "long" time.
Manchester United 0-0 Glasgow Rangers
Old Trafford
Yellow Cards: Giggs, McGregor, McCulloch.

It was a goal-less start to the dream Champions League campaign for Manchester United who were thoroughly frustrated by their British opponents Rangers.

Sir Alex Ferguson made a whooping 10 changes from the squad that drew at Goodison Park, Everton on the weekend. Tomasz Kuszczak was in goal for the entire game as Van Der Sar warmed the bench. Rio and Smalling started in the central defending role. Brown and Fabio Da Silva took on defending on the flanks. Valencia, Fletcher, Gibson and  Park featured in the Mid-field for United. Rooney and surprisingly enough: Chicharito were given the attacking role.  Giggs, Owen, Anderson and Macheda warmed the bench alongside the veteran Dutch goalie.

Hats off to Rangers who did some impressive defending and restricted United from having too many chances. Their defending was totally top class. Hats off to Walter Smith for having successfully planted and implementing working tactics to the Rangers squad. It all worked out well.

Not so good news for United - Valencia got injured in the second and the situation looks pretty bad at the moment. He was carried off the pitch on a stretcher while being oxygenated and was admitted to a nearby Hospital thereafter. It was a very sad moment for United who will lose a very valuable and explosive winger for months as Sir Alex said in an post-match interview.

Darron Gibson was the star of the night again with some impressive long range shooting - his trademark really! He seemed to had taken the role of Paul Scholes - especially when Giggs set him from the corner. Otherwise, a very confined attacking display from the Red Devils. Although they had the majority of the possession in both the halves, they were not allowed to take advantage of it, thanks to the awesome defending of the Rangers.

Giggs came on for Valencia and seemed effective while crossing the ball but couldn't link up with a player neatly.

The game was quite dull to be frank - thanks to the frustrating tactics played by Walter Smith's men.

Player Rating

Tomasz Kuszczak7.5
Rio Ferdinand 7 - made an easy comeback, nearly gave the possession away in the 1st half
Brown 7
Smalling 7
Fabio 6.5
Fletcher 7.5
Gibson 7.5 - Star of the game
Valencia 6.5
Park 6.5
Rooney 7 - looked good with accurate long passes but struggled in the attacking third
Chicharito 6 - needs more noroushing clearly!

Subs
Owen 5.5 - seemed pretty useless
Giggs 6 - his penalty appeal was valid Ref!
Evans N/A

MATCH DAY FACT
United got 6 "legal" extra minutes after the 90 minutes, they had the possession for about 80% of the time and yet couldn't score. Had it been last season, it might have been a different story!

Anyway, thanks for reading, wishing ANTONIO VALENCIA a quick recovery from the miserable injury!
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