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Glasgow Rangers 0 v Man United 1 – Job done


Mission accomplished is the best that can be said about this Manchester United drab 1-0 defeat of Glasgow Rangers at Ibrox. United and Valencia will now battle for top spot in Group C in the final game while Rangers can take some consolation from parachuting into the Europa League ahead of Turkish champions Bursaspor.

Wayne Rooney made his first start since signing a lucrative new five year contract and marked the occasion with the only goal late in the game after United had been frustrated by the Scottish champions for the majority of it. Just like all his colleagues, Rooney showed little spark and imagination but in the end the points were won – after all, that’s what counts above everything else. Given the opposition United were facing (with a 5-man defence deployed AT HOME), it was not the time to bet on the Champions League to restore Rooney’s or United’s swashbuckling nature.

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A fourth European clean sheet in a Turkish stroll


Mission accomplished – almost. The comfortable 3-0 defeat of  Bursaspor in Turkey virtually guaranteed Manchester United of progressing to the knock out stages of the Champions League with two matches to spare. There were many positive aspects in a good second half display from a severely weakened side with Gabriel Obertan and Bebe’s first European goals certain to boost the youngsters’ confidence. Another was the ability of the defence to maintain a clean sheet for the fourth successive Group C match.

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Nani fires United to top of their European Group


An uninspiring performance produced two absolute imperatives for Manchester United. The obvious first was to get all three points from the home game against Turkey champions Bursaspor but just as importantly, they had to show that they have the defensive ability to hold onto the lead given by Nani after just 7 minutes. That goal was also a timely reminder that the loss of any player can always be overcome. It was just over a year ago that Cristiano Ronaldo’s defection to Real Madrid was met with widespread claims that United will never be able to replace him yet Nani is fast proving that belief wrong just as somebody will do after Wayne Rooney departs – as he now looks certain to.

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