Hernandez snatches win for United after lacklustre display
A late Javier Hernandez goal put Manchester United’s Champions League campaign back on track and sent them top of Group C alongside Rangers.
In a dour game which saw both Valencia and United equally happy to share the spoils, two substitutes in Hernandez and Federico Macheda combined to provide Sir Alex Ferguson’s side with the creative spark that was distinctly lacking throughout the previous 85 minutes.
With United missing key players in Rooney, Giggs and Scholes, Ferguson set his side up in a 4-5-1 formation to frustrate Valencia, and the return of Rio Ferdinand proved the answer to United’s recent defensive frailties.
With the Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic partnership struggling at the start of the season, Ferdinand’s return is a timely boost to United and his dominant display in the Valencia game suggests clean sheets are on United’s agenda.
The win leaves United top of Group C alongside Rangers on four points, with Valencia back in third on three points.
United face a double header against Bursaspor and they will be confident of claiming six points which will put them in the ascendancy in a group they are 3/10 to top.
Valencia’s two games with Rangers are the key clashes as the two sides battle it out for a place in the knockout stages.
Rangers 1-0 victory over Bursaspor has put them in a great position to qualify and with the first of the two Valencia games at Ibrox, Gers fans can be quietly confident of retaining their place at the top of Group C – they are 10/1 to win the group.
United’s win has seen them cut from 8/1 into 7/1 to win the Champions League.
Despite their draw with Rubin Kazan, Barcelona are still 9/4 favourites to win the Champions League. See the full UEFA Champions League football betting odds market here.