Manchester United played their first UEFA Champions League under the management of David Moyes in a match which ended up being a goal fest. Gone were the moans of United not scoring in normal play but with the first goal the knives were out with the pundits with them suggesting Antonio Valencia was offside, but he was onside then the ball was played, which was why the goal stood. Lee Dixon is a bit of an idiot, we all know that, he is a City fan after all!
United took the lead through Wayne Rooney on the 22nd minute. Patrice Evra crossed the ball into the box from the left, with Rooney scuffing a volley which found its way past Leno. It doesn’t matter how a goal is scored, a goal is a goal and United were off the mark. This followed with some good play for United, who were looking to double their lead.
Nine minutes into the second half Simon Rolfes equalised for Bayer Leverkusen with a 20-yard shot which deflected off Michael Carrick. The Germans were back in the match, but it wasn’t going to last for long. Just five minutes later Robin van Persie had put United back into the lead after Antonio Valencia delivered a fine cross into the path of the Dutch striker, who then shot an acrobatic volley past the Leverkusen keeper to put United 2-1 up. Could the Germans come back and take something from this match, despite not actually beating United before (only on away goals).
With 20 minutes left, United scored another after David De Gea launched the ball forward, which Wayne Rooney latched onto hitting the ball into the back of the net, past an on rushing Leno. United were 3-1 up in cruise control and that way Wayne Rooney’s 200th Manchester United goal. After the goal, David Moyes made his first substitution with Ashley Young replacing Shinji Kagawa. With eleven minutes left United took their final goal tally to four after Antonio Valencia scored a breakaway goal. Ashley Young led the counter attack before passing to Wayne Rooney, who inside the box passed to Valencia on the right. The Ecuadorian winger hit his low shot past Leno, who was not having a good evening in goal for the German side.
David Moyes made another substitution with Tom Cleverley replacing Marouane Fellaini with Javier Hernandez replacing Wayne Rooney three minutes later.Bayer Leverkusen scored a consolation goal two minutes from time. David De Gea flapped at a corner by the Germans. Reinartz hit the crossbar with his header and Toprak got the rebound burying it at the far post. United immediately set to punish the Germans with Robin van Persie missing a sitter in the final minute of the match, but a 4-2 victory in David Moyes’ first UEFA Champions League match will do for everyone. It could have been better, but also a lot worse. United had three points in the bag.
Man of the Match: Wayne Rooney
Goals: Wayne Rooney 22′, 70′, Robin van Persie 59′, Antonio Valencia 78′
Match Statistics: Goals 4, Shots On Target 5, Shots Off Target 6, Corners 6, Offsides 2, Yellow Cards 1, Red Cards 0, Fouls Won 9, Fouls Conceded 9, Pass Success Rate 89%, Possession 57%
Manchester United: 1. De Gea; 12. Smalling, 5. Ferdinand, 15. Vidic, 3. Evra; 16. Carrick, 31. Fellaini (23. Cleverley 80′); 25. Valencia, 26. Kagawa (18. Young 71′), 10. Rooney (14. Hernandez 84′); 20. van Persie Substitutes Not Used: 13. Lindegaard; 6. Evans, 22. Fabio; 8. Anderson
Bayer Leverkusen: 1. Leno; 26. Donati, 5. Spahić, 21. Toprak, 17. Boenisch; 10. Can, 3. Reinartz, 6. Rolfes; 18. Sam (23. Kruse 78′), 11. Kießling (9. Derdiyok 78′), 7. Heung-Min (8. Bender 64′) Substitutes Not Used: 25. Palop; 4. Wollscheid; 14. Hilbert, 15. Öztunali
By Paul Bienkowski
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