CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Unconvincing Man Utd do enough to get past Otelul Galati
Manchester United have gone top in Group C of the Champions League thanks to a 2-0 win over Otelul Galati tonight.
United dominated the first half following an early goal from Antonio Valencia but had to wait until late in the match to again breach the Galati defence who were solid for most of the night.
The home side got off to a solid start when they took the lead inside 10 minutes through Valencia. The Ecuador international was the recipient of a neat pass from Phil Jones from the right and finished with ease into an open goal after a clever run from Michael Owen.
Three minutes later, Owen had to be replaced by Javier Hernandez after over-extending his left thigh at the near post when the goal was scored and had to come off but it seemed to be more precautionary than anything.
After struggling for most of the second half, United added a second in the 88th minute when their best player on the night, Wayne Rooney, struck from distance with the ball taking a wicked deflection off Cristian Sarghi and bouncing past a hapless Grahovac.
United had a few chances to extend their lead when it was 1-0, in particular when Dimitar Berbatov's angled attempt after a brilliant through ball from Hernandez early in the second half was cut off by Galati keeper Branko Grahovac, and when Anderson and Berbatov played a one-two with the Brazilian clear on goal but his flicked attempt was slightly blocked by Grahovac and defender Cornel Rapa who had converged with Sergiu Costin required to keep out the crumbs.
Just prior to half-time, Galati had their best chances when Ionut Neagu tested David De Gea from long range before the Spaniard came up with a vital save when Neagu's next attempt from inside the area took a deflection off Rio Ferdinand.
For the most part, however, the Red Devils were mediocre with a fairly lacklustre performance which consisted of strewn passes and poor decisions although they got the result they were after to move to eight points from four group stage games, equal with Benfica but with a better goal difference after their 1-1 draw with FC Basel, whilst Galati remain rooted to the bottom without a point.
Champions League Group C
Yellow cards:MANU - Jonny Evans 36' OTEL - Sergiu Costin 16'