Eager to mark his recall, Anderson was instrumental in two early attacks that saw United utilise the left flank. First, he fired in a cross-cum-shot which Diego Lopez had to palm away from the Villarreal goal; next he played in Patrice Evra for a low cross that Wayne Rooney tapped home, only to see an official’s flag raised for offside.
Ex-Reds striker Giuseppe Rossi gave Kuszczak his first save, a simple one low to his right. The keeper's next act was to parry a swerving drive from Santi Cazorla.
Cristiano Ronaldo's resolve, having shrugged off a knock to start, was twice tested under the referee's nose in the first half. Italian official Roberto Rossetti had a word with the United winger and the defender who seemed to claw at his neck - later he showed Javi Venta the yellow card for a foul on Ronaldo, whose resulting free-kick was saved comfortably by Lopez. The next booking was for United's