United left frustrated by Rangers

14 September 2010 09:59
Manchester United were left frustrated by Rangers as they opened their Champions League campaign with a goalless draw at Old Trafford. United dominated territory and possession against the Scottish champions but were unable to find a way through a well-organised and hard-working opposition unit that came to soak up pressure and hopefully earn a point. Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand returned to the starting line-up as expected but Sir Alex Ferguson opted to make wholesale changes with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday in mind. He made no less than ten changes to the side that was held to a 3-3 draw by Everton on Saturday, with the likes of summer signings Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez, Darron Gibson and goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak all handed rare starts. Mexico striker Hernandez was responsible for the only serious moment of danger in the first half when he rose above a group of three defenders only to steer Ji-Sung Park's left-wing cross marginally wide with a glancing header. Gibson clearly had a taste for goal and the Republic of Ireland midfielder went close with a low 20-yard shot on 34 minutes before driving effort another straight at goalkeeper Allan McGregor soon after. Rooney shrugged off a worrying ankle twist to return for the second half as United again threatened through Gibson's shooting boots which dispatched a 25-yard half-volley just wide. But an injury curse did strike United in the 59th minute when Antonio Valencia went to ground innocuously and the reaction of Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot suggested the winger had suffered a serious ankle problem. Valencia required lengthy treatment before being stretchered off the pitch to generous applause from both sets of fans. Ryan Giggs entered the fray but even the veteran Welshman was unable to provide the key necessary to unlock the visiting defence. His lobbed through-ball was wasted by Darren Fletcher when he opted to take a touch instead of striking first time after 80 minutes. Fittingly the last word went to Gibson when he crashed a 20-yard shot inches over the crossbar to leave United goalless and frustrated on their European opener.

Source: ESA