Manchester United booked their third win in as many games in the group stages of the 2009-2010 Champions League last night and is now all but qualified for the knock out phase with two home games and one away game at Vfl. Wolfsburg to go.
The Reds delivered a performance worthy of Champions and after CSKA was better in the first 10 minutes ManUtd quickly took control of the game, without pushing the Russian squad too hard. It was obvious that we needed to get used to the ‘plastic’ pitch and there were some awkward moments initially but as time passed the Russian could only enjoy the odd counter anymore as the English Champions controlled the game brilliantly. The first half was dominated by the ever so great Paul Scholes, Nani and Valencia. Brazilian youngster Fabio Da Silva also delivered a great performance in the first half, but had to be stretchered off near the end of the second half with a cramp.
At the start of the second half the Reds continued to control the game in a mature way and upped the tempo as time ran out. The back four delivered a solid performance after they got used to the pitch. Ferdinand and Vidic aren’t back to infamous level yet, but it was obvious that the defence felt a lot more reassured with EVDS back in goal. Brown who came on after 56 minutes for Rio also delivered a solid display, although hardly threatened. Neville looked at least 5 years younger and at some point even almost scored with his left foot!
With 20 minutes to go Scholes was substituted by Owen, who showed his hunger and mistimed his volley on a cross from the excellent Valencia. When Owen came on Berbatov had more space and someone to play off/to but it would be Valencia who scored for ManUtd in the 86th minute, only minutes after hitting the crossbar after a brilliant combination play with Berbatov.
One minute after scoring the Red Devils substituted youngster Fabio Da Silva who suffered a cramp and Carrick came on. SAF clearly was looking for the kill and Anderson almost scored his second of the season but his goalbound effort was deflected.
All in all a very solid display and the Reds won deservedly in Moscow. Now we can get our beach balls ready for Sunday when we will beat Rafa and inflict the waiter with his 7th defeat out of 14 games this season.
Squad:Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio Da Silva, O’Shea, Valencia, Scholes, Anderson, Nani, Berbatov // Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Owen, Carrick, Welbeck, Jonathan Evans, Macheda.