Unconvincing win for United
Manchester United took another step toward the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League with a 2-0 win over Otelul Galati on Wednesday.
The Red Devils were expected to rack up a big score at home to the Romanian minnows but they were only able to match the score line of their away win in Bucharest on matchday three in what was an unconvincing performance.
Nonetheless, the result sees United move to the top of Group C thanks to the 1-1 draw between Benfica and Basel in a concurrent match in Lisbon. Both the Red Devils and the Portuguese team have eight points, Basel are third with five points, and Otelul have yet to claim a point.
United broke the deadlock early on, with Antonio Valencia tucking the ball home from close range after a good cross from right-back Phil Jones.
Yet the home side did suffer a set-back just a few minutes later when striker Michael Owen, making a rare start in the Champions League was forced off with injury and replaced by Javier Hernandez.
Man United continued to dominate but some resolute Galati defending kept the score down to 1-0 for the remainder of the first half – and it could have been even better for the Romanian visitors, as David de Gea was forced into making a fine save to keep out a left-footed drive from Ionut Neagu.
Galati put together some good attacking moves in the early stages of the second half but it was United who almost added to their lead just before the hour mark when Anderson’s goal-bound lob over the goalkeeper was cleared away by Sergiu Costin.
On 75 minutes Dimitar Berbatov had a great chance to put daylight between United and Galati after picking up on a short back pass but he could only hit the side netting from a tight angle.
The Red Devils finally made it 2-0 with just under five minutes to play, as Wayne Rooney’s long range shot deflected off a Galati defender and wrong-footed goalkeeper Branko Grahovac before hitting the back of the net.