Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich: 5 Things We Learned

Scott RomFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich: 5 Things We Learned

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Manchester United went into Tuesday's class as massive underdogs. Ranked seventh in England, they would surely be out of their depth when playing against champions of Germany and Europe, Bayern Munich.

    Given the German side had already wrapped up their domestic title, they were able to rest some of their key players at the weekend in preparation for this game.

    Whilst they dominated possession, United probably feel more disappointed in the 1-1 result, given the best chances of the game fell to them.

    So, what did we learn from this game?

Vidic Doing His Best to Part on Good Terms

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    Jon Super

    Nemanja Vidic has already agreed to join Inter Milan at the end of the season, so some fans have questioned whether he should still be captaining the team for the remaining weeks of the season.

    After Tuesday's performance that included a crucial goal, those fans might want to reassess their opinion. Vidic clearly wants to leave on a high note and is doing all he can to ensure that happens.

    He did well to put United 1-0 ahead in the second half after getting on the end of Wayne Rooney corner to direct the ball past Manuel Neuer.

Fellaini Can't Start in the Second Leg

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    Marouane Fellaini looks like a shadow of the player who used to play against United for Everton. He was such an imposing figure in those games, winning headers, holding up the ball and charging forward.

    United fans feared him.

    He was lucky to come out in the second half after a truly woeful performance to start. He repeatedly gave the ball away, couldn't win aerial battles and seemed to make the wrong decision time and again.

    The Stretford End resorted to ironic cheers when he managed to head clear one cross into the ball in the first half. 

    He improved in the second half, particularly when going forward, but surely Darren Fletcher should be starting ahead of him in Germany. After all, it was the Belgian who lost Bastian Schweinsteiger to concede that crucial away goal.

Welbeck Will Be Kept Up All Night

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Danny Welbeck harshly had a goal disallowed early on after he was adjudged to have a high foot, although it had as much to do with Javi Martinez's low head.

    But before half-time, he had a fantastic opportunity to give United the lead when one-on-one with Neuer. He overcomplicated what should have been a simple tap-in by trying to chip the ball into the goal. 

    As a dyed-in-the-wool United fan, he will be running that moment over and over again in his head.

Buttner Did Himself Proud

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    Jon Super

    When it was confirmed that Patrice Evra would miss out on this game through suspension, there were plenty of worries over the possibility of Alexander Buttner starting.

    Whilst he has shown time and again that he can be dangerous on the attack, he has too often proved to be a bit of a defensive liability.

    However, whilst he was out of his depth on a number of occasions in the first half, particularly as there was a lack of cover from any players ahead of him, he grew in confidence as the game went on.

    He received a standing ovation from the stadium when he went off injured in the second half and might gives David Moyes something to think about for the return leg.

Injury-Ravaged Defence Did a Job

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    Jon Super

    United started with centre-back Phil Jones at right-back, aging duo Rio Ferdinand and Vidic in the centre of defence and inexperienced Buttner at left-back. This is far from United's first-choice back four.

    Then Buttner got injured, meaning Jones was played in an entirely unfamiliar role on the left, which put right-winger Antonio Valencia at right-back.

    This is far from an ideal situation against the champions of Germany and Europe, yet the United defence did themselves proud. They will be disappointed to have conceded that crucial away goal, but on a night when many thought United would be embarrassed, the defence did a sterling job.