right when he produced the yellow card for the challenge.
Youngster Tello caused problems on the left with one cross hammered behind his own goal by Rio Ferdinand and another centre prompting a fine block by De Gea as Messi pounced, although the offside flag was raised in any case. Yet United finished the first half strongly, with Danny Welbeck defending well from the front and Scholes at his probing best. Ashley Young's inswinging corner almost caught Valdes out with Nemanja Vidic and Rooney unable to scramble in the rebound and Nani earned a penalty after being caught by Tello's careless tackle inside the box. With the clock ticking over into injury time, Rooney stepped up but saw Valdes parry out his spot-kick and the United striker slashed the rebound well wide with the goal gaping.
Undeterred, Sir Alex's side started the second period in impressive fashion with Valencia bursting forward to find Welbeck, who teed up substitute Shinji Kagawa for what was almost a dramatic introduction to the game but Jose Manuel Pinto, another half-time replacement, dived to save. Kagawa tested Pinto's reflexes again soon afterwards with a cross-shot but Barca passed their way back into the ascendancy.
Thankfully, De Gea was in top form as he kept out Dani Alves, although the Brazilian was offside as he latched onto Cesc Fabregas' slide-rule pass, before pulling off two wonderful stops in quick succession. The former Atletico Madrid No1 stood up well to Alexis Sanchez to win a one-on-one with the Chilean and then dived full length to tip a Pedro