United endured a difficult night in the UEFA Champions League, needing two Wayne Rooney penalties to defeat unfancied Otelul Galati and playing the last 25 minutes with ten men after Nemanja Vidic's controversial red card.
Both Rooney's first goal and the skipper's dismissal came just after the hour mark as the Reds critically upped the ante after an uninspiring first period at the impressive National Arena in Bucharest. There wasn't a huge improvement in the second half but the English champions did just enough to claim a first win in this Group C campaign and inflict a third slender defeat on the Romanian hosts.
Sir Alex Ferguson's eleven showed nine changes from the side that started at Anfield, retaining only Patrice Evra and, moving from right- to centre-back, Chris Smalling. Nemanja Vidic made his first appearance for the Reds since the opening league win at West Brom, and behind him Anders Lindegaard came in for his third start in goal this term, having impressed on the previous European trip to Benfica.
United's hosts - with their record-signing centre-back Milan Perendija reportedly costing just £85,000 - were massively underdogs, despite only losing by the odd goal in their first ever games in the Champions League group stage - to Basel (1-2 away) and Benfica (0-1 home), the two sides who limited the Reds to just two points prior to this excursion into the unknown in Romania.
As expected, Galati conceded the lion’s share of possession to the English champions but they were comfortable behind the ball for the first 20 minutes. In fact, it was the Romanians who drew first blood in terms of shooting opportunities, the first gifted by the Reds’ rusty skipper Vidic to lone striker Bratislav Punosevac. The latter failed to pack sufficient power into