The first 45 minutes of the match left a lot to be desired, both teams were playing with little ambition. It’s was somewhat of a a drawn out chess match with a few moments of entertainment here and there. United came in with a game plan to win the possession battle and were successful in doing so. The team was well organized offensively and most important in the defense, a certain Rio Ferdinand being back in the center of our defense definitely helped a lot.
United had a scare in the first half when Van der Sar came our to receive a cross which got by him but Roberto Soldado headed it onto the roof of the net. The Spaniards came close again in the 48th minute when Pablo Hernandez cut in on goal and fired a shot which flew across goal pass a diving Van der Sar.
The Reds’ got their first real chance from in form Dimitar Berbatov received a long ball from Michael Carrick which he neatly controlled and ran pass David Navarro and got into the box and tried to poke the ball pass Valencia goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez who made a nice save. Valencia came close again in the 76th minute when Manuel Fernandes fired a long distance shot which forced Van Der Sar to make a diving save which went out for a corner.
United went on the attack again and Nani played a ball through to Hernandez who got onto it and played in a low cross which Cesar easily collected. Moments later and Hernandez almost got the opener when he and Nani once again linked up this time from a Nani cross which he stretched to get a foot on it and was unlucky to hit the far post.
One minute later United made a substitution and brought on Macheda for Dimitar Berbatov and moments later he received a ball and played a lovely pass across the box which Hernandez controlled and smashed home a shot to give United a 1-0 lead, both subs came on and linked up together to give The Reds a much needed lead and 3 points.