Manchester United: 3 Lessons from Manchester United's Champions League Opener
Manchester United began their 2012/13 Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over Galatasaray at Old Trafford, in a match that saw the return of David de Gea and Darren Fletcher to the team.
As a result of last season's early exit, Sir Alex Ferguson named a strong side to face the Turkish side, and that strength allowed United to more or less control the match from the start. As always, United tend to leave their fans' hearts racing and left some cause for concern towards the end.
Here are three lessons from United's win over Galatasaray.
There's a Difference Between Complacency and Having a Bad Day
Coming into the Galatasaray match, the ghost of last season's dismal group stage performance loomed large around Old Trafford.
Most cited complacency as the reason why United lost out last season in what was a relatively easy group, and to correct that, Sir Alex Ferguson chose to play an experienced side today.
For the first few minutes of the match, it seemed like the manager had found the remedy for their troubles. However, as the night wore on, Galatasaray saw more of the ball and came back into the match.
It wasn't so much complacency as it was a bad finishing day. I wouldn't read too much into the result.
What Is Nani Contributing to the Team?
If Nani's lacklustre performance for United against Everton in the opening game of the season was nothing to go by, surely his performance against Wigan should have stayed his call-up to the team against Galatasaray.
Constantly dilly-dallying on the ball, failing to complete passes and out-psyching himself (his pauses in the run-up to his penalty gave away where he intended to hit the ball and his nutmegs rarely came off), what is Nani's contribution to the team?
Goalkeeping Policy May Be Counterproductive
Sir Alex Ferguson recently stated his intent to not have a first-choice goalkeeper this season and instead rotate Anders Lindegaard and David de Gea, but that may not be the United manager's best decision (ESPN Soccernet).
Too often against Galatasaray, there was a distinct lack of coherence between the David de Gea and his defenders. Balls were headed out for corners when they oughtn't to have been and unexpected back-passes could have cost United.
The score between Anders Lindegaard and David de Gea for the goalkeeper spot is pretty equal—why not just pick one, stick with him and give the defense a chance to familiarize themselves with each other?