Rangers hold United to goalless draw

BY foxsports • September 14, 2010

Manchester United lacked a cutting edge as it was held to a goalless draw by Rangers in a Champions League match marred by a serious ankle injury to United winger Antonio Valencia on Tuesday.

An almost second-string United featuring recalled England striker Wayne Rooney failed to break down a stubborn Rangers defense in a Group C game of few chances at Old Trafford. United midfielder Darron Gibson came closest to breaking the deadlock with a raft of long-range efforts.

Valencia was hurt in an innocuous second-half collision with Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot and the right winger was taken immediately to hospital.

"It looks as though it's a dislocation and a fracture," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "He seemed to dig his toe in the turf. Unfortunately, it's a bad one."

Rangers, which defended deeply and rarely threatened going forward, will be happy with a draw - the Scottish champions failed to win a point in group play last season.

United made 10 changes from the team that started the 3-3 draw at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, with midfielder Darren Fletcher the only survivor, and Ferguson may regret taking Rangers too lightly.

"Rangers came here, set their stall out to defend and you have to respect that," said United defender Rio Ferdinand, who played his first competitive match since damaging knee ligaments just before the World Cup finals.

"Our final ball wasn't as good as it could have been."

Rooney, who was left out at Goodison Park following allegations about his private life, was one of those players returning but was unable to spark United in a first half bereft of clear-cut chances.

Rangers, playing five at the back and just one up front, restricted the home side to long-range shots, with Gibson shooting wide and then at goalkeeper Allan McGregor just after the half-hour mark.

Before that, Javier Hernandez had headed wide in the 12th minute after rising high to meet a left-wing cross but that was all United offered before the break.

Rangers defended just as well in the second half, with Gibson's fierce volley a minute in the only threat to McGregor's goal.

The crowd fell quiet in the 58th when Valencia fell. The reaction and concern of the players nearby said everything about the seriousness of his injury, and the Ecuador international was carried off on a stretcher and taken straight to hospital.

Ryan Giggs came on for Valencia but United continued to struggle, the lively Gibson coming closest to scoring when he fired a 30-meter(yard) shot over the bar.

"It was a difficult game for us, this is a hard place to come at any time and we're delighted to come away with a point," Rangers defender David Weir said. "You have to respect them - we were very defensive but that's how we had to be."

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