Manchester United weere held to a dull 0-0 draw at Old Trafford by Scottish side Rangers in the opening round of Champions League group stage matches.
United lacked fluency in their opening Champions League bout and couldn't break down Walter Smith's resilient Rangers side. United lost Anton Valencia to a nasty injury that saw him break a bone in his ankle and suffer a dislocation after an un-malicious challenge from Broadfoot. Broadfoot went down in the United box after a clumsy tackle from Chris Smalling late on, but his claims for a penalty were turned away.
Wayne Rooney looked to have suffered an ankle injury shortly before half time, but he recovered and managed to play out the rest of the game. The striker, whose personal life has been all over the papers this week failed to find the back of the net on a frustrating night for the Red Devils.
Wayne Rooney was given a great chance to score early on, but instead of shooting he chose to square the ball to Hernandez, and the chance came to nothing. Hernandez also headed over in the opening minutes, while Darren Gibson shot wide on more than one occasion.
Gibson's long-range efforts became United's primary source of attack as a well-drilled Rangers unit stood up to a weakened United side. Ferguson made a double change with 20 minutes to go, with Evans and Owen coming on for Fabio and Park. Nothing changed, though, as Rangers continued to thwart United's attacks with ease.
Sir Alex Ferguson made 10 changes from the side that was held to a 3-3 draw by Everton at the weekend. Only Fletcher retained his place as Wayne Rooney made his return to the side, along with Rio Ferdinand who had been out injured since the start of the World Cup in South Africa.
This meant that there was no place in the squad for Nani, Berbatov, Scholes, or Vidic as Ferguson gave some key players the night off before United's clash with Liverpool this Sunday.
Encouragingly, Ferdinand played out the full 90 minutes. Although he didn't have all that much to do, Ferguson will still be pleased that his captain came through the game unharmed.
United dominated the statistics as Rangers "parked the bus" and got plenty of men behind the ball. It was clear from the outset that the priority was not to concede. Rangers will be pleased with their performance, they achieved what they set out to achieve. A point at Old Trafford is a more than respectable result.
Rangers defensive tactics left Kenny Miller isolated up front, but he worked tirelessly, chasing balls everywhere, unconcerned by the lack of chances he was getting. Miller was taken off by Walter Smith with about 10 minutes to go. Any thoughts that Rangers might change their tactics were quickly dispelled as Kyle Lafferty took over from where Miller had left off
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Manchester United: Kuszczak, Brown, Ferdinand, Smalling, Fabio Da Silva(Owen), Valencia(Giggs), Fletcher, Gibson, Park(Evans), Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Van der Sar, Owen, Anderson, Giggs, O'Shea, Jonathan Evans, Macheda.
Rangers: McGregor, Broadfoot, Weir, Bougherra, Papac, Whittaker, Davis, McCulloch, Edu, Naismith, Miller(Lafferty). Subs: Alexander, Lafferty, Foster, Beattie, Weiss, Little, Hutton.