Champions League - Rangers frustrate United

Eurosport - Tue, 14 Sep 21:45:00 2010

Manchester United and Rangers played out a 0-0 draw in their all-British Champions League meeting after the Scottish champions produced a superb defensive effort to frustrate the home side at Old Trafford.

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The game was marred by a horrific injury to Antonio Valencia, who was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocation and a fracture of an ankle midway through the second period.

United made 10 changes to the side that drew 3-3 at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday with only Darren Fletcher retained, but failed to trouble visiting goalkeeper Allan McGregor despite dominating for long periods.

United's main threat came through Irish midfielder Darron Gibson, who was unfortunate with two long-range strikes either side of half-time.

Rangers set up to frustrate and left with a draw courtesy of some superb defending by David Weir and Madjid Bougherra at the heart of their defence.

Valenica top Group C after they demolished Bursaspor 4-0 in Turkey with United and Rangers picking up a point for their exertions.

Walter Smith's side did not manage a single shot on goal during the first half, but they were hardly under pressure against a United team who huffed and puffed without building up any real head of steam before the interval.

A superb ball into the box by Fabio saw Javier Hernandez's header fly inches wide with McGregor scrambling across his goal on 11 minutes, but United would soon be restricted to hammering in shots from distance as Rangers rediscovered the away form that carried them to the UEFA Cup final in 2008.

When United did threaten to cut open the visitors, they usually found a blue shirt or three only too eager to repel them.

Wayne Rooney, restored to the side after being left out at Goodison Park, tried to feed Hernandez on 20 minutes, but the evergreen Weir, at 40 the second oldest outfield player to appear in the Champions League behind the former AC Milan central defender Alessandro Costacurta, got back to snuff his pass out.

There were few moments of real craft in the United play and they will certainly need improvement ahead of the visit of Liverpool on Sunday. Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to make a similar number of changes for that match.

Scotland captain Fletcher set up Gibson on 32 minutes but his raking effort from distance flew low past a post before the lively midfielder volleyed over from Bougherra's header out of the box on 47 minutes.

To add to United's ill fortune, Valencia went down after a fair tackle by Kirk Broadfoot on 57 minutes as players from both sides looked horrified.

The medics were called on and the Ecuadorian required painkilling treatment before being carried off to sympathetic applause from both sets of fans.

Rio Ferdinand had appealed for a penalty after a backheel from close range hit Weir's hand in the first half, but the Glasgow side had their own claim in the second period when Broadfoot was clipped by Chris Smalling on 70 minutes.

Gibson continued the general theme of the night when he thumped a shot over in the final 10 minutes but despite having six added minutes to find a goal, United never looked likely to collect all three points as Rangers left with what they came for.


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