Sir Alex Ferguson brought Manchester United to the Mestalla and got precisely what he wanted. Make no mistake about it, this United formation was designed to avoid defeat and be on the lookout to snatch a winner. And despite Valencia dominating possession throughout the game, late substitutes Federico Macheda and Javier Hernandez combined to do just that five minutes from the end. As he has done so many times in Europe over the years, Sir Alex got his tactics exactly right.
So all of a sudden the task facing Manchester United in the group stages of the Champions League is not as straight forward as it looked a month ago is it? A first up scoreless draw with Glasgow Rangers at Old Trafford was taken with a slight shrug of the shoulders as merely a blip, and it could still be. But unless United can at least avoid defeat at Valencia on Wednesday, the unthinkable may not prove to be so far fetched.
Tuesday nights European Champions League first round clash with Glasgow Rangers at Old Trafford is the second so called ‘Battle of Britain’ in the last seven years. The two sides met at Ibrox on October22, 2003 where United took the three points with a Phil Neville goal after just five minutes. The English champions did not have everything their own way however as Rangers threw everything at United and were considered unlucky not to at least get a share of the points.