United 2 Boca Juniors 1
Wayne Rooney in his attack with Valencia making his debut on the right wing. Much of the attention was on the Ecuadorian, who is earmarked to fill the void left by the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. His first few touches exhibited a touch of nerves and it was Boca who made the more confident start to the game with Juan Roman Riquelme playing an intricate one-two with Insua before his shot was deflected wide of the post. The sale of Ronaldo has not only provided Valencia with the opportunity to take his career onto the next level, but Anderson showed he too could benefit from a bit more of the limelight this season. He curled an unstoppable free-kick from outside the right-hand corner of the penalty area into the far corner of Roberto Abbondanzieri's goal for his first ever goal for the Red Devils. He was inevitably invited by the fans to shoot the next time he received the ball 25 yards from goal, but his earlier strike had not quite given him the confidence to try his luck once again as he instead laid the ball off to Wayne Rooney. The sight of Wes Brown limping from the field with 10 minutes of the first half remaining dampened the spirits somewhat as Rio Ferdinand made an earlier than expected entrance into the game. By this time, Rooney was fully warmed up and he led United's search for a second. His first shot, a volley from fully 35 yards out, drew the approval from 61,000 fans inside the Allianz Arena, but it lacked the direction to trouble Abbondanzieri. Rooney's persistence almost earned him United's second five minutes before the break. He had two bites of the cherry from Valencia's right-wing cross but was denied twice, first by a Boca defender and then by Abbondanzieri. Valencia's early nerves had evaporated as he started to find his rhythm and it was not long before he opened his account for his new club. He received the ball centrally from Rooney and, with a dip of the shoulder, he skipped past two Boca defenders before taking aim and releasing a shot from the edge of the area which squirmed under Abbondanzieri's body and in. Boca emerged for the second half five minutes later than United, but they entered the field with a renewed determination. Substitute Christian Chavez's curling shot tested Tomaz Kuszczak for the first time in the 52nd minute before Insua brought Alfio Basile's side back into the tie. He volleyed in Gary Medel's right-wing cross as Boca began to stamp their authority on the game. Riquelme curled a shot just wide before Craig Cathcart headed against his own crossbar as United began to show a degree of tiredness after their recent trip to the Far East. Riquelme tested Kuszczak again with 15 minutes remaining and Pablo Mouche's effort just skimmed past the United goalkeeper's left-hand upright as Boca threatened an equaliser, but failed to find one.