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Otelul Galati 0 United 2 – Spot-On Rooney Secures Victory

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Wayne Rooney scored two second-half penalties as Manchester United defeated Otelul Galati to record their first Champions League win of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson decided to make 9 changes to United’s starting line-up from the weekend’s draw at Anfield with the most surprising of the changes coming in goal with Anders Lindegaard replacing David De Gea.

United dominated possession early on but a misdirected back pass by captain Nemanja Vidic was not capitalised on by Bratislav Punosevac who from just outside the area managed to only shoot weakly at Lindegaard, who dealt with the ball easily.

The Serb had another shot in the half easily saved by the Dane in the goal and was almost presented with a chance when a rash clearance from the keeper hit the striker’s countryman Vidic but thankfully for United the ball dropped kindly away from him and was cleared to safety.

With Antonio Valenica and Nani working the flanks, United had good width in the game but were unable to break down the hosts and only had the one real clear-cut chance on goal before the interval. Good play by the Portuguese winger cut open Galati down the left flank but Michael Carrick leaning back could only drag his shot over the bar.

Moments before half-time Galati’s keeper Branko Grahovac, a boyhood United fan, produced a good save to keep out a Rooney freekick doing well to gather the ball at the second attempt with Javier Hernandez waiting in the wings to tap the ball home.

Galati though had the final chance of the half when Liviu Antal got above Patrice Evra at a corner but could only head over. Despite the game being goalless at half-time you felt that United would go up a few gears and take advantage of the game, which is exactly what was about to happen.

The second-half started with four players quickly going in the book with Galati’s Cornel Rapa perhaps being lucky not to have given his marching orders for his two fouls on Nani early in the first-half which only saw the experienced player cautioned once. The Portuguese winger doesn’t get flustered by being fouled and keeps going and a good bit of play created a chance for Rooney who shot narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

You could sense a goal coming and on 64 minutes United went ahead when Rooney converted a penalty after Galati’s captain Sergiu Costin handled a cross from the England striker that seemed destined to reach Hernandez in the area who would have had a free shot on goal.

Two minutes after going ahead, United were reduced to 10 men when Vidic was sent off for a high and late challenge on Gabriel Giurgiu. It was by no means a reckless challenge from the Serb, but one that in Europe referees tend to punish and all of a sudden Galati had been given a chance to open the door to get back in the game.

Antal had a shot from close range blocked by Carrick before Giurgiu headed over from a Sorin Frunza corner.  Galati’s steam puffed out when Milan Perendija already booked received his second yellow for a foul on Hernandez the game two minutes from time and there chance to get an equaliser was gone.

Nani came close to getting it but a magnificent drive from fully 30 yards cannoned back of the post but it was to be Rooney who would get United’s second deep into injury-time, again from the spot, after being fouled by Antil with Grahovac to his credit just missing out on saving the ball as it beat him for power to his left.

United: Lindegaard, Evra, Vidic, Smalling, Fabio (Jones), Nani, Anderson, Carrick, Valencia (Evans), Rooney, Hernandez

Star Man

Whilst it wasn’t a clinical performance from the team, Wayne Rooney again stood out. He looked lively throughout the game and showed good ‘bottle’ to convert his penalties which ultimately proved the difference between the two sides. He could have easily had a hat-trick last night including the shot on the turn that fizzed wide of the post just after half-time and looks to be in the right ‘frame of mind’ to hurt Manchester City in the game this weekend.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87