It took until the 18th minute for the game's first noteworthy attempt, as Bojan Zajic flashed a 20-yard effort across Anders Lindegaard's goal, but the majority of the game had been spent in Valerenga's defensive third, with Danny Welbeck and Nani frequently involved, while Paul Scholes' metronomic passing dominated a game being conducted at three-quarter pace in the Norwegian sunshine.
Increasingly, United's attackers began to chance their arm. Young and Scholes had shots blocked and Rooney's free-kick struck the top of the wall, but the hosts' massed central defensive ranks proved difficult to navigate.
Valerenga responded with a Mohammed Fellah effort which hurtled over from 30 yards, but United finished the first half in the ascendancy, as Welbeck curled an effort comfortably wide from the edge of the area, had a volley deflected wide and then nodded a Rooney cross narrowly over the bar.
With five minutes of the opening period remaining, the England strike duo combined in delightful fashion as Rooney released Welbeck, only for the Longsight-born striker to lose control of the ball under heavy pressure. Then, twice before the break, Welbeck brought the best from goalkeeper Gudmund Kongshavn.
First, superb interplay between Nani and Valencia culminated in Kongshavn fending away Welbeck's arrowed snapshot, then the home stopper flung