Man Utd 2 Boca 1: Who needs Ronaldo as Valencia scores winner on debut
30 July 2009 01:22
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Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful he has found two unlikely sources to help fill the goals gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Real Madrid.
While Michael Owen has been brought in to help bridge the gap left by Ronaldo's �80million move to Spain, Antonio Valencia showed on his Manchester United debut here last night that, with the right service, he can grab his fair share, too.
And to further boost Ferguson's optimism his team can cope with the loss of the World Player of the Year, even Anderson managed to score his first goal in open play after failing to do so in 75 previous competitive matches for United.
Anderson's goal - a sweetly taken 25-yard free-kick - helped United to a 2-1 win against Argentines Boca Juniors. Ferguson said: 'I hope this sparks Anderson off and gives him the incentive to be more positive with his shooting.
'Over the two years he has been with us he has had many close opportunities, hit the post and had saves. Hopefully, his luck changes and he will go on and score more.' Goalscoring was hardly Valencia's forte at Wigan, either. His record of just seven from 89 appearances will need to be improved.
'We have to think why he has not scored more goals,' said Ferguson.
'Maybe the way we play will give him more opportunities and he will get more. He created a good goal for himself in this game. He opened the space up for himself well.'
Behind his team-mates in terms of preparation after missing the Far East tour due to visa problems, the game somewhat passed �17m buy Valencia by in the opening exchanges. He was not alone as Boca more than held their own despite this being their first game for two months.
But the Argentines began to feel the pace as the half wore on and a lazy foul on Valencia just outside the box led to United's opener as Anderson's free-kick flew into the top corner.
Valencia's goal came after he collected a pass from Wayne Rooney, glided past two Boca defenders before dispatching an angled drive which was too hot for keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri to handle.
Fatigued or not, Boca proved a far more difficult proposition then anything faced in the Far East and when United's defence went to sleep, Federico Insua was on hand to volley home Cristian Chavez's deep cross in the 55th minute.