winger was sent sprawling by Buttner’s rash challenge and Luiz, scorer of the opening own goal three days ago, tucked his spot-kick low to Lindegaard’s right to level the contest at 1-1.
If Luiz kept his head in that key moment, he lost control in the next one – gifting not only possession on the halfway line but also the space behind him for United to ruthlessly exploit. Rafael tackled him but then Anderson was the architect, driving a pass between the scrambling Cahill and Mikel into the path of Chicharito. The in-form Mexican barely needed a second glance to beat Cech for the second time in four days, taking the ball into his stride before lashing it into the same bottom corner previously found by Giggs.
Both managers made a change at the break, with Roberto Di Matteo upgrading his eleven by replacing Romeu with Ramires, and Sir Alex also sending on an attacking midfielder in the form of Nick Powell. This required a defensive reshuffle with Rafael moving across to replace the departed Buttner at left-back and Darren Fletcher filling in on the right.
Powell almost made an immediate impact, his snapshot from outside the box ensuring Cech was still on his toes after his half-time breather. Alertness seemed to be an issue at the other end though; when United’s sluggishness in setting up for a corner afforded Sturridge so much time and space, he should have done much better than just flick the ball across the goalmouth. It was left to another centre-back, Cahill, to show the striker how it’s done from a dead ball as the England defender’s