Nani’s 7th minute strike was the only main point of the game opposing Man Utd to Bursaspor at Old Trafford, as the Red Devils did not play really well against this “weak” team, and may be the gloom about Rooney’s eventual departure is taking its toll on both players and fans, as the atmosphere was not really what it usually is for a home game, with the fans quiet, and many empty seats available on a Champions League night.
United had only Macheda in attack, while both Berbatov and Hernandez watched from the bench, and this will seem more like the 3 main strikers who will play for the Red Devils once Rooney’s transfer request is dealt with, which most probably will occur in January. But it was Nani who scored the only goal of the match on the 7th minute, unleashing an unstoppable left foot shot from outside the box. Bursaspor rarely threatened Kuszczak at the other end, but the same could be applied for United as well as they failed to impress afterwards.
The only players who were in the game were Rafael, who provided excellent support to Nani in the first half as well as was focused on his defending, Smalling, who looked at ease when needed to clear and put pressure to get the ball, and Nani who ran the defense ragged, till he too faded slowly by the end of the game. Special mention for Anderson as well in midfield, and Evra on the left flank, but Macheda was a total waste, same for Park, Carrick and Fletcher, Hernandez and Obertan, who were introduced later on in the second half played much better. It seems that life without Rooney will look exactly like this, where the fans will have to content themselves with a minimum service, unless Fergie digs in the Glazers’ pockets for some reinforcements. If it was a more superior opposition against United today, then it could have easily been a massive defeat for United, as Bursaspor barely had a shot on goal to see how the Red Devils would have responded if they had conceded an equalizer.
Another English team in action today, Spurs, lost 3-4 away to Inter Milan, but playing most of the game with 10-men after Gomes was sent off. They were trailing 0-4 at half time, but an inspired second half saw Bale scoring a hat-trick to make the loss less painful, and may be more encouraging for the start of the return legs in a few weeks’ time.