United defeated Otelul Gulati 2-0 at Old Trafford to claim the pole position in Group C after Benfica drew 1-1 with Basel. United dominating the game with about 20 shots on goal but still not ruthless enough to kill the game early. There were lot of chances wasted but luckily Otelul Gulati wasn’t a threat almost of the game. While United rued the missing chances the Romanian was happy enough to sit back as they were not ambitious. United had early lead thanks to Valencia after nice linkup between United player that release Jones that later provided perfect cross which resulted the goal. United pressed on but only had the second goal three minutes before time. Rooney shot was deflected into the net. United talisman claimed it but UEFA said to award it as own goal.
United went into the game with some unexpected line up. As Vidic was suspended Ferdinand came in to partner Evans as central defenders. Jones was at rightback while Fabio at the left. The most surprising was Rooney played at middle of midfield together with Anderson. My wish to see Valencia and Owen play came true when both were at starting line up. Valencia played as right winger while Nani played left. Owen partnered Berbatov at the front.
I was so happy Owen got chance to play this morning. As I always said that he stills the best in the business. But much to my disappointment when Owen was limped out after 11 minutes for suspected hamstring. In was Hernandez.
Ferdinand also had commanding game as he marshaled the defense very well. He has something to prove after the gaffer’s comment regarding his performance. Jones also had fine game where his probing run cause problems to Otelul Gulati defense. But the most talking points would be Rooney. He played deep in the midfield. United obviously missed Scholes. This is the part that United have to fill quickly. It seemed to be the main issue to solve. Cleverly said to be the man but was limited by injury. But still United needs another player in same quality but bigger experience. Rooney played exceptionally but when he scores (the deflected) goal the suggestion was he is much better as striker where he could score many goals. He passes was amazing especially the diagonals. But he is the striker so his place is in front.
Beat Benfica United would be the Group Champion and could avoid Europe big boys in the second round.