If the pre-match talk focussed on Wayne Rooney’s statement that the striker is leaving Old Trafford because of Manchester United’s lack of ambition then Sir Alex Ferguson’s second string offered little in counter-argument. United edged a dull encounter against the Turks, but offered little inspiration as the post-Rooney era began.
Rooney, as expected, stayed clear of Old Trafford, although the United faithful let no doubt remain about the collective feeling. One banner, with more than a hint of malice pondered ‘Who’s the whore now Wayne?’, while another suggested United’s supporters were less likely to forgive the Scouser than his wife, Coleen.
Neither Ferguson nor chief executive David Gill would be drawn further on the Rooney saga before the game. Ferguson, however, could hardly have been happy with his side’s underwhelming performance even if a clean sheet is welcome.
“I think we could have pushed on better,” the United manager told Sky Sports.
“We did the job well in the sense that we kept the intensity right. We controlled the whole match and they only had one shot, so we did that right.
“I didn’t think they’d score, because defensively our concentration was right.”
Ferguson responded to Rooney’s criticism by sending out a fringe side, including Federico Macheda as United’s lone striker, supported by Nani and Park Ji-Sung from the flanks.
With Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov rested, Bursaspor might have sensed an opportunity for an Old Trafford upset but the Turkish champions had lost its previous six European matches, including games against Valencia and Rangers this season. That lack of experience showed, with United dominating the opening exchanges.
As, arguably, United’s senior player on the pitch, Nani set about winning the game for the home side early on. A seventh minute turn and drive towards goal brought reward for the winger, who lashed home a left-footed 20-yard shot past Dimitar Ivankov for the winning goal.
On this evidence Nani is United’s sole remaning player of world renown – a fact noted, perhaps, by Rooney.
The stunning goal reflected the early pattern in the match, with United dominating possession, if not creating clear-cut chances.
United’s vibrant early tempo was perhaps understandable given the circumstance; it didn’t last though as Bursaspor, whose players seemed overawed by the occasion for the first 20, slowly grew into the game.
The visitors signalled their intent when Sercan Yıldırım span Nemanja Vidic but failed to pick out a colleague after a rapid break. Then just after the half hour Rafael da Silva was forced into a last ditch tackle as Burdaspor’s rising star Volkan Şen drove into United’s penalty area.
But the scratch United side was guilty, as too often in this season’s Champions League campaign, of wastefulness in possession. Nani, Park Ji-Sung and Anderson each culpable of gifting the ball to the Turks with unnecessary carelessness.
Carrick in particular, whose place at United has been questioned now for more than a year, was seemingly both causal in the pass and wasteful in front of goal, with his sole chance from the edge of the opposition area blasted high and wide.
United fans attempted to raise the flat atmosphere at half time, with a less than family-friendly reminder of which city Rooney hails from. Fun perhaps but it did little for the United side, which was content to hold the slender lead against very average opposition.
Yet it was not until past the hour that United genuinely threatened in the second period, with Anderson and Macheda exchanging passes before the Italian dwelled too long on the ball to get his shot away.
Few chances flowed. Nani, receiving a pass from Darren Fletcher on the right, lashed an effort straight at Ivanov. Then Gabriel Obertan, on as a second half substitute for the disapointing Anderson, headed Nani’s corner wide when perhaps he should have scored.
Another substitute, Javier Hernandez, fired past the post as the game petered out.
Chances, though, were few and far between with United’s tempo almost as flat as the Old Trafford atmosphere. Little wonder, with the minimal entertainment on offer.
Inevitably, talked turned to again to Rooney. Ferguson, told of Rooney’s demand for assurances about United’s future spending, responded in cutting fashion.
”Rooney wants assurances?,” asked the United manager. “Have I won 30 trophies or what?”
He’s right but on this evidence the Champions League isn’t likely to become 31.
United – 451 – Kuszczak; Evra, Smalling, Vidic, Rafael Da Silva; Nani, Anderson (Hernandez 77), Carrick, Fletcher, Park Ji-Sung (Obertan 71); Macheda.
Bursaspor – 451 – Ivankov; Wederson, Erdogan, Stepanov (Ozturk 46), Insua; Sen, Svensson, Ipek, Tandogan (Keceli 71), Ergic; Yildirim (Bahadir 46).
Possession: United 61% – 39% Bursaspor
Attempts: 12 – 4
On target: 6 – 2
Corners: 6 – 1
Fouls: 11 – 9
17 thoughts on “Reds edge Turks for Euro win”
Just need 4 more points and we should finish top of the group, I reckon.
Great result for us in the Rangers game. 1-1.
‘Who’s the whore now Wayne?’
I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more of that line.
Nani could be the next in line on tonight’s showing.
Ronaldo – Tevez – Rooney – Nani
He’s got the ability & the below average attitude to match those 3.
All 4 are signed young, make the transition from erratic to match winner, then get too big for their boots & go.
Giggs, Scholes & Neville are just a different generation of footballer. Its getting to be a case of signing just as much on personality as ability.
In the light of this I’m more in favour of Hernandez over Macheda.
Ihe only way everyone is going to get any satisfaction out this whole scenario if SAF makes an announcement that he will be buying four or five world class players to strengthen the squad and everyone would be feeling great.
Did anyone see the snippet of the post match press conference on mutv where fergie was talking about waiting on younger players to mature? He said he once had a player who told him Ronaldo and Rooney weren’t good enough and he wasn’t willing to wait on them. Reporter asked was it Roy to which SAF replied yes…
Ooops Roy, bet you didn’t want that one getting out. Maybe you should pay more attention to your own shit team and not feel the need to comment on utd everytime you get asked. Has anyone noticed that its the only time you ever hear of dear old Keano now? When hes got something shitty to say about SAF, Utd or Rep of Ireland. But like the Murphys stout from Cork…Hes not Bitter!
But not as exciting up front as in previous games where we’ve had 2 central midfielders and collapsed and been dominated
So an improvement
What we gonna do in this away game against Stoke?
Who should start and who should not be playing at all?
Guess they will go to Stoke looking for at least another draw.
We are soo fucked if Nani leaves
Let’s establish a few things up front – I loathe the Glazers and I’m deeply uncomfortable about the unswerving loyalty of Ferguson and Gill to Glazernomics. LUHG.
Having said that, I think it’s a bit unfair (at this stage anyway) to say that the dull performance last night is the future for Man U. Our 2010/2011 season was frankly built on Rooney providing the flair and the goals. OK, fair enough, he should have had 3 or 4 other world-class players around him to help out. But last night will only have been a glimpse of the future if Ferguson does not spend in the summer.
The Glazers are not United – they are carpet baggers who will be gone eventually. United survived Munich – United will survive the departure of Rooney and will continue to be an institution of world football long after the Glazers have gone and Rooney has retired.
I would put money on 4-5-1 vs. Stoke.
Possible Fergie selection:
Got to say squad is looking a bit thin at the moment! Good to see Bebe & Obertan on the bench though.
think last night was a great win considering the team he put out. just shows that macheda, carrick, anderson and park are way way off where they need to be.
at least macheda is only young but he looks pretty average everytime i have seen him. surely time for anderson and park to fuck off and bring in a decent creative centre mid and winger in.
replace rooney with centre forward and think we would have a team that could challenge.
plus points yesterday were smalling, rafael looking better each game they play and nani showing glimpses of becoming a real match winner (although a little carelewss as said above with possession at times)
also, anyone else notice Obertan looks like he has stacked on a stone or two?? give him a couple of games, got to be better than park.
i still can’t understand why fergie felt the need to put 5 in midfield against fucking bursaspor at old trafford. as if that weren’t bad enough, park was on the left and we had a 19 year old alone up front.
1 up front at home against a shit side, with a bumbling anderson, disinterested carrick, useless park and a petulant (want it on a plate) striker.
Its getting more and more embarrasing when nani is one of your best players.
4-4-2 was the formation used when we conceded the following:
West Brom 2
With a problem fielding 2 strong central midfielders on a regular basis and Rooney on the way out 4-5-1 is the formation which will bring the best results, but not the most exciting football.
Spot On Bill.
If SAF does not have enough talented youngsters to cover key positions in case of injuries, he will have to bring in suitable replacements in January. Right now I only know of Tom Cleverley coming back. SAF will definately have to spend some money on players.