Manchester United Draw At Marseille
Manchester United managed to collect a most important draw in the Champions League Round 16 match against reigning French League Champions Marseille at a full packed and noisy Stade Velodrome on Wednesday night. Yesterday´s goalless encounter didn’t comprise much excitement, however, as Marseille as well as Manchester United struggled to create any noteworthy scoring chances against solid defensive performances on both sides.
The Reds had the better of the first half and Darren Fletcher got a decent opportunity on eight minutes, but his low effort was saved by the goalkeeper. There was drama at the Theatre of Drums just four minutes after the half time break, however, when Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic received a deliberate elbow to the face after challenging for a ball with Marseille forward Brandao on the edge of the Manchester United penalty area. Apparently believing in survival of the fittest, German referee Felix Brych decided to take no action at all against the Brazilian who more or less surreptitiously used violence to meet his ends. Although the Gallic legionnaires grew into the game in the second half, the home side found themselves unable to break down the rock steady Manchester United defence. Dimitar Berbatov almost managed to thread the ball through to Portuguese international Nani with just ten minutes remaining on the clock, but the goalkeeper beat the free flowing flankman by inches. Despite the somewhat hostile atmosphere at the Stade Velodrome last night, the Manchester United players efficiently managed to subdue the boisterous Marseilles supporters taking a valuable draw back to Manchester.
Sir Alex Ferguson eventually replaced Northern Ireland international Darron Gibson with evergreen workhorse Paul Scholes in the 72nd minute of the encounter.