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Nani fires United to Bursaspor win
20 Oct 2010 - 21:53:16
Manchester United put the Wayne Rooney saga to one side with a professional performance in a 1-0 Champions League victory over Bursaspor.
On the day that Rooney confirmed his intention to leave Old Trafford after citing the club's lack of ambition, it was a comfortable night on the pitch for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and Dimitar Berbatov were all rested, with the likes of Tomasz Kuszczak, Chris Smalling and Federico Macheda handed starts in a much changed line-up.
Macheda tested visiting goalkeeper Dimitar Ivankov with an early low shot as United started at pace and threatened to rip their Turkish opponents to shreds.
Nani broke the deadlock on seven minutes with a well-taken goal.
The Portuguese enigma drifted past two defenders and found the bottom corner of the net with an inch-perfect curling left-foot shot from 25 yards.
United were off and running but the major frustration for Ferguson and the Old Trafford crowd was their inability to turn possession into goals.
Nemanja Vidic headed a flicked on corner wide of the mark from eight yards in what was a half-chance.
At the other end and with Bursaspor offering nothing, his slip did not prove costly as Rafael raced back and took the ball off Ipek just as he was looking to pull the trigger.
The second half continued in the same vein with the home side bossing the game but unable to really find their fluent best in the final third.
Patrice Evra's cross almost left the keeper red-faced but he punched away the goalbound effort at the base of his near post on the hour mark.
Nani let fly with a shot from the edge of the box on 72 minutes but it was straight at the keeper.
Substitutes Gabriel Obertan and Javier Hernandez went close with a late header and shot respectively, but a killer second goal failed to materialise on a low-key European night at Old Trafford.
However, after taking seven points from the first nine on offer, the unbeaten Red Devils are in control of their own Champions League destiny as they sit on top of Group C at the midway point.