Otelul 0 Manchester Utd 2
Otelul Galati 0 Manchester United 2, The National Arena, UEFA Champions League Group Stage, October 18, 2011. After being held to a 3-3 draw by Basel at Old Trafford in their previous Champions League Group Stage fixture, Manchester United beat Otelul Galati by 2-0 at The National Arena in Bucharest courtesy of two penalty goals from Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had made nine changes from the side which had drawn 1-1 against North West rivals Liverpool at Anfield three days earlier. United´s starting lineup contained goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard; defenders Fabio da Silva, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling, and Antonio Valencia, midfielders Oliviera Anderson, Luis Nani, and Michael Carrick; and forwards Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, while goalkeeper David de Gea; defenders Jonny Evans and Phil Jones; midfielder Darren Fletcher; and forwards Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, and Danny Welbeck were sitting on the substitutes´s bench. On a somewhat chilly evening in Bucharest, Wayne Rooney converted two penalties in the second half to hand Manchester United a fully deserved 2-0 victory over Romanian Champions Otelul Galati in front of an audience of 50,000 boisterous spectators at The National Arena. The Red Devils should have taken the lead a few minutes before the sound of the half-time signal, but Michael Carrick managed to waste a decent goal scoring opportunity over the crossbar. Following a goalless first period against the unfancied Romanians, the English Premier League outfit slowly but surely started to control the play and the visitors were rewarded five minutes past the hour mark when they received a penalty after veteran midfielder Sergiu Costin had handballed inside the eighteen-yard area. With the calmness of a Druid priest, Rooney converted the subsequent spot-kick in fine style, giving Manchester United a well earned 1-0 lead to silence the Bucharest crowd. But with the temperature rising on the field, the Otelul Galati supporters smelled blood when Manchester United and Serbia central defender Nemanja Vidic was handed his marching orders by German official Felix Brych after a high challenge on Romanian international Gabriel Giurgiu a mere two minutes after the opening goal.
Spurred on by their fans, The Steelworkers searched for an equaliser, but the anemic home players lacked bite in attack. As the contest reached the closing moments, Otelul Galati Head Coach Dorinel Munteanu decided to inject some fresh energy into his team by replacing Ionut Neagu, Sorin Frunza, and Bratislav Punosevac with Marius Pena, Silviu Ilie, and Gabriel Viglianti, who emerged from the dark obscurity of the substitutes´ bench in the 72nd, 83rd, and 87th minutes respectively. But with only a couple of minutes remaining on the referee´s watch, former Serbia and Montenegro U21 international Milan Perendija was punished for breaking the laws of the game when he was sent off for his second booking after a professional foul on Javier Hernandez. And with the fixture approaching stoppage time, the hosts received the final nail in their coffin as the omnipresent Wayne Rooney was illegally brought down by Transylvanian born winger Liviu Antal in the penalty box in the 90th minute of action. The England player once again stepped up to the spot and the confident marksman made no mistake, scoring his second goal of the night. Although Manchester United struggled to break down the rugged Otelul Galati defence for most of the encounter, Sir Alex Ferguson´s men stayed patient and got the result they needed. And not even renowned novelist Bram Stoker could have come up with a better ending than this one. Otelul Galati Team: Branko Grahovac, Milan Perendija, Cornel Rapa, Liviu Antal, Sergui Costin, Sorin Frunza, Ioan Filip, Gabriel Giurgiu, Ionut Neagu, Adrian Salageanu, Bratislav Punosevac. Substitutes: Cristian Branet, Silviu Ilie, Cristian Sarghi, Nejc Skubic, Laurentiu Iorga, Gabriel Viglianti, Marius Pena. Manchester United Team: Anders Lindegaard, Fabio da Silva, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling, Oliveira Anderson, Antonio Valencia, Luis Nani, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez. Substitutes: David de Gea, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Darren Fletcher, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, Danny Welbeck.
Wayne Rooney Quickfacts
After joining Manchester United from Everton for an estimated transfer fee of £25.6 million at the front end of the 2004-05 campaign, Wayne Rooney went on to accumulate a total of 253 goals in 559 first team outings for the club before he returned to Goodison Park at the end of the 2016-17 season.