these with a steady array of more ambitious long balls. In many ways, his performance was reminiscent of the way Paul Scholes used to quietly dictate a game's rhythmn.
Indeed, it was the Reds' no.10 who was responsible for launching the attack that yielded the early opener. His long, raking pass to the right wing found Dimitar Berbatov, who held the ball up briefly before releasing Phil Jones on the overlap. His ball to the near post just eluded Michael Owen’s stretch, but waiting behind, unmarked and only three yards from goal, was Antonio Valencia. He was never going to miss.
The joy in the stands was tempered a minute later when Owen, who appeared to have injured himself while attempting to reach Jones' cross, limped down the tunnel and was replaced by Javier Hernandez. It was United's two full-backs, though, who came closest to adding a second before half-time. First Fabio embarked on a dribble from the left-back position that only ended when his attempt to roll the ball across goal for Berbatov was blocked by a last-ditch tackle. Along the way he'd left countless Romanians in his wake.
Then Jones surged down the right, cut inside the penalty area and unleashed a curling left-footed effort that looked bound for the far corner until Sergiu Costin intervened with a headed clearance. Galati, too, almost troubled the scorers on 42 minutes when Ionut Neagu pounced on Anderson's loose pass and advanced on goal. His effort took a touch off Rio Ferdinand, which forced David De Gea, hitherto unworked and