30/09/2009 21:40, Report by Nick Coppack
United 2 Wolfsburg 1
United’s no.9 then had a (difficult) chance himself, an effort that had it found the net would surely have been a contender for goal of the season. Giggs and Rooney played a neat one-two to carve open the defence before Giggs lofted a ball to the back post. Berbatov, charging in from outside the area, stretched to meet the ball on the half-volley but couldn’t keep his shot down.
By this stage the Reds had asserted dominance and Rooney – superbly teed up after exhibition stuff from Valencia and, yes, that man Berbatov – scuffed a shot on goal before Carrick also forced Benaglio into action with a brave diving header.
But for all United’s huffing and puffing, the Reds hadn’t yet blown the Wolfsburg door down when the teams disappeared down the tunnel at half-time.
After the break there was an early scare for United when Ricardo Costa found space at a corner. He fired wide, however, just like Anderson shortly afterwards.
The Brazilian was then denied by a smart save from Benaglio before Wolfsburg took the lead on 55 minutes. Makoto Hasebe found a yard of space inside the penalty area, turned and clipped a teasing ball to the far post where Edin Dzeko out-jumped Patrice Evra to head past Tomasz Kuszczak.
The goal stunned Old Trafford but like so many times in the past, adversity simply inspired the Reds. Wolfsburg’s lead lasted just four minutes before Ryan Giggs’ free-kick deflected off Christian Gentner in the German wall and spun into the far corner.
With parity restored by Giggs’ 150th goal in a United shirt, Sir Alex’s men set about finding a winner. Rooney shot straight at Benaglio from the edge of the box before Giggs put the ball in the net once more, only to wheel away to see the referee's assistant holding aloft his flag.