Frustrating Performance Overshadowed By Injury To Valencia

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney holds his head in his hands during their Champions League Group C soccer match against Rangers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, September 14, 2010.   REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
A disappointing draw with Scottish Champions Rangers has been overshadowed by an awful injury picked up by Antonio Valencia. Sir Alex Ferguson has said that it looks like Valencia has suffered both a dislocation and a fracture.

Sir Alex made 10 changes to the team who started against Everton at the weekend. Tomasz Kuszczak, Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling, Fabio da Silva, Ji-Sung Park, Darron Gibson, Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney were all brought in. Darren Fletcher was the only player to keep his place.

The visiting were happy to continue with the tactics they used which got them to the 2008 Uefa Cup final- ‘parking the bus’ in front of the goal. With a huge Premier League game against Liverpool at the weekend, the team selection was a gamble but the players should have had enough to score against an average side.

There were very little chances for either side throughout the game, the first of which fell in the 11th minute to Hernandez, whose header fell just wide of the post. Rooney had an opportunity to quieten the Rangers fans but instead of shooting, he squared the ball to Hernandez, but it failed to reach the Mexican. Gibson took every opportunity to shoot, one of which brushed off the post.

Hearts were in mouth just after the half hour mark when Rooney pulled up after twisting his ankle. After a few minutes of discomfort the striker played on and ran off the injury.

After a very frustrating first half, the second wasn’t any better. With 62 minutes on the clock Old Trafford was silenced.

Valencia was running down the wing, Kirk Broadfoot’s fair challenge ended up with Valencia going over on his left ankle. Broadfoot immediately called for a stretcher and medics to attend to the winger, who was later taken to hospital. Ryan Giggs came on in his place.

With the scoreline still at 0-0 with 15 minutes remaining two more changes were made- Fabio and Park were taken off, replaced by Jonny Evans and Michael Owen. There was no creativity by United, they should have been stretching the defence, but the ball was continually being played through the middle.

United were unable to break down the Gers and both teams will take a point from the game. Rangers will be happy with the point, United are disappointed but neither team deserved to leave with all three, so a draw is just about fair. Antonio Valencia will have an operation in the morning, and best wishes have to go him, hopefully he will make a full and speedy recovery.

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