did the same to set up a marvellous 5-0 triumph at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.
December was a mixed month for the winger, who started six of the Reds’ nine fixtures and came off the bench against Newcastle and Shakhtar Donetsk. The high point was the 3-0 win away to Aston Villa, in which home full-back Antonio Luna was given a torrid time by Valencia, who also set up the second of Welbeck’s goals. But after featuring in further wins over Stoke and West Ham, Valencia blotted his copybook at Hull when he kicked the ball away to earn a second yellow card and, of course, a sending-off.
Valencia played in all seven of United’s January fixtures and scored a crucial goal to help seal the Reds’ first win of the New Year, breaking the deadlock against Swansea. He was also involved in Robin van Persie’s opener against Cardiff, heading onto the bar before the Dutchman found the net from the rebound.
Valencia’s two starts this month came in the draw with Arsenal and the defeat to Olympiacos, but his most notable moment was defensive as he helped keep a clean sheet at Arsenal. The Ecuadorian was in the right place at the right