United took the three points on offer with a competent rather than spectacular display.
Sir Alex shuffled his pack for the visit of the Romanian side. Berbatov and Owen formed a front two whilst Rooney dropped into a midfield role. At the back Ferdinand was selected alongside Evans, at the heart of the defence, with Jones as a full back. In midfield, Valencia and Anderson returned. Young, Smalling and Cleverley were all missing through injury.
United – De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Fabio, Valencia, Anderson, Rooney, Nani, Berbatov, Owen
Subs – Lindegaard, Evra, Park, Hernandez, Welbeck, Pogba, Fryers
First Half – Although United gave the ball away a couple of times, needlessly, in the first few minutes; it didn`t take United too long to get that crucial first goal.
It came courtesy of Valencia who netted from close range after Berbatov found Jones and his cross evaded Owen but was turned in by the Ecuadorian.
United 1 Otelul Galati 0 (Valencia – 08 mins)
Our visitors responded well with a header Pena that flew wide. Eleven minutes into the half, Owen had to limp off and was replaced by Hernandez.
United continued to dominate possession and Jones thought he`d scored his first senior goal when he cut into the box only to see the head of a defender nod his shot away.
As half time approached, Otelul could have equalised. Nani gave the ball away cheaply and when Neagu pressed forward De Gea did well to produce a one-handed save after the shot took a deflection off of Ferdinand.
Half Time – United 1 Otelul Galati 0
Second Half – United almost doubled their lead in the early stages of the second half. Hernandez lovely ball saw Berbatov try to return the favour but the keeper did extremely well to cut out the return pass.
Hernandez, from the edge of the area, then forced the keeper into another save from a low shot.
Otelul responded with their substitute Frunza causing problems before United, once again, almost doubled the lead. This time Anderson and Berbatov exchanged passes only for Costin to clear a goal-bound effort from Berbatov off the line.
Our visitors continued to push forward and Antal saw a shot flash wide of the post. United did get the crucial second goal though with three minutes of normal time remaining, however, it will be debated as to who scored it.
Rooney took a shot, from the edge of the area, but it looked to be going wide before a defender got his boot to it to deflect it past his own keeper.
United 2 Otelul Galati 0 (Rooney? – 87 mins)
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