run-out in royal blue combined. From a position wide on the right, former Wigan forward Victor Moses bent a superb long pass to Sturridge’s feet inside the area but instead of fashioning the first shot of note, the England Under-21 international stumbled on the ball to the mirth of the baying away fans behind Lindegaard’s goal. Moses’ balance was later found wanting in a similar position, this time falling onto the ball as he tried in vain to trick his way past Scott Wootton, one half of a young United centre-back duo formed with Michael Keane.
Oriol Romeu collected the first booking of the night by tripping Buttner but Nani couldn’t punish him further from the free-kick, drilling a low shot direct at Petr Cech. The big Chelsea goalkeeper also got down well to deny Welbeck during a decent spell for the Reds.
With dismissals for Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanonic still painfully fresh from Sunday, hearts were in mouths for the home faithful when Romeu, on a yellow card, committed another foul just outside the area, on Nani. The Spaniard escaped the shame of a red card but embarrassment encircled him down moments later when he dawdled on Cech’s short goal kick and Anderson picked his pocket to present Giggs with a very presentable chance. United's record appearance maker snapped up the one-on-one opportunity, coolly curling a low finish past the hopelessly-exposed keeper.
A defensive error at the other end meant United’s lead lasted just nine minutes, albeit a blunder forced by the blistering pace of Moses. The