Manchester United 1 Galatasaray 0

Match corresponding to the UEFA Champions League.

A good start to the Champions Leauge campaign that ended so ignominiously last season in December. United played badly and Gala deserved much more from this game, certainly two very clear penalties were not given for the Turkish side, one committed by Vidic in the first minutes of the game! The Turkish fans provided a sterling atmosphere and did not stop chanting through out the match but a penalty given to United, and subsequently missed by Nani (the third spot kick United have missed this season), quietened them somewhat. This came after Micheal Carrick scored a rare goal rounding the keeper, he was also fouled by the goalie and could have gone down for a penalty and a sure sending off for the Galatasaray keeper so credit to Carrick there. Yet United were wasteful in possession and the final ball was very often bad an inaccurate, yes you Mr Valencia. The Turks had a solid control in midfield and were causing United some problems. David De gea pulled off a stunning double save from a Gala counter attack that stemmed from a penalty foul on Nani in the box that the referee ignored. Darren Fletcher came on for his first action in 10 months to a magnificent reception by the Old Trafford crowd. Three points but a very dodgy performance by the team, perhaps the nerves kicked in after last year’s poor showing.

Manchester United Squad

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

6   Johnny Evans

15 Nemanja Vidic

2   Rafael Da Silva

17 Nani

16 Micheal Carrick (Goal)

22 Paul Scholes

7 Antonio Valencia

26 Shinji Kagawa

20 Robin van Persie.

SUBSTITUTES

Darren Fletcher on for Paul Scholes

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez on for Robin van Persie

Danny Welbeck on for Shinji Kagawa

Basle 2 Manchester United 1

Corresponding to Champions League Match Day 6.

Disastrous night for United as we crash out of the Champions League and into the Europa League. Mistakes, a lack of finishing, injuries, lack of wing play and once again the total lack of creativity in midfield meant that United lack depth of penetration. A mistake by De Gea in a clearance that landed at the feet of Streller that volleyed it straight in meant United were one down after 9 minutes. Vidic then suffered what appears to be a very serious knee injury and was stretchered off just before half time. Ryan Giggs did not have shall we say a stellar game and neither did Young, starting to see a drop in his performances (are we slightly out of our depth Ashely?) Frei headed in Basle’s second and Phil Jones headed in United’s consolation. The Silver Lining, we go into the Europa League, we win it and we have all three European trophies. City also out. Fucked off and pissed off but you sow what you reap and those four points dropped at home mean we’re out.

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3  Patrice Evra

5  Rio Ferdinand

15 Nemanja Vidic

12 Chris Smalling

17 Nani

11 Ryan Giggs

4  Phil Jones (Goal)

18 Ashley Young

13 Ji-Sung Park

10 Wayne Rooney

SUBSTITUTES

Johnny Evans for Nemanja Vidic

Danny Welbeck for Ashley Young

Federico Macheda for Ji-Sung Park

Manchester United 2 Benfica 2

Match corresponding to Champions League Match Day 5. Following on the 1-1 draw in Lisbon on Match Day 1 Benfica visited Old Trafford. A stunned silence soon followed after Phil Jones knocked in an own goal 3 minutes into the match. United were stooped into a lethargy all too common this season, especially in midfield. The team sported seven changes from the match at the weekend with Wayne Rooney falling from the list due to injury and a returning Ashley Young filling in in the Number 10 spot. Dimitar Berbatov scored his first goal in Europe for three seasons to equal the score and United dominated the closing stages of the first half. United exploded into the second half and Darren Fletcher scored our second but 80 seconds later De Gea and Ferdinand cocked up to gift Pablo Aimar, the ex Valencia midfielder, a tap in to once again level the score. Benfica’s fans were very vocal throughout the match and at times it sounded like an away match, a very un Old Trafford like moment in Champions League matches. Benfica’s keeper, Artur, made a very good save from Fabio Da Silva as the United defender tried to chip him from close range. Benfica’s defence held a good line with United, Young in particular, being caught offside repeatedly. The 2-2 scoreline means that United need to win away at Basle in Switzerland to ensure qualification. Once again a total lack of quality in midfield made an average Benfica team seem much better than what they actually are!

Manchester United Team

1    David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

4   Phil Jones

20 Fabio Da Silva

17 Nani

24 Darren Fletcher (Goal)

16 Micheal Carrick

25 Antonio Valencia

18 Ashley Young

9  Dimitar Berbatov (Goal)

SUBSTITUTES

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez for Antonio Valencia

Chris Smalling for Fabio Da Silva

Otelul Galati 0 – Manchester United 2

Poor Performance form the Reds, though we played in Blue and Black. Match corresponds to Champions League Match Day 3 that took United away to Romania. Nine changes from the team that played Liverpool at Anfield last Saturday. The match was played in Bucharest as the Galati Satdium, about 140 miles, is rather small, about 15,000 capacity. United failed to make the best of a good playing surface and the wider pitch at the National Stadium. Surprisingly as these would no doubt aid United’s expansive football. The game was a tale of two red cards, Vidic sent off for United, and two legitimate penalties, both scored by Rooney.

United Line Up

34 Anders Lindegaard

3   Patrice Evra

15 Nemanja Vidic

12 Chris Smalling

20 Fabio Da Silva

17 Nani

16 Michael Carrick

8   Anderson

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney (2 goals, 2 penalties)

14 Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

Substitutes

Phil Jones on for Fabio Da Silva

Johnny Evans on for Antonio Valencia