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Lopez the hero: Villareal 0-0 Manchester United

Despite United guaranteed a place in this years’ European championship, United had to battle against a strong Villareal side with the likes of, ex-red striker, Guiseppe Rossi challenging Kuszcak at every possible opportunity.

Although the final score ended all evens, with United recording back-back goaless draws since god knows when, United were still lacking the attacking potency without the attacking strike force that is Dimitar Berbatov.

Sir Alex’s lineup at El-madrigal showed 5 changes to the side which put up a similar performance against Villa, Nani and Fletcher replaced a poor Park ji-sung, however, I feel giggs should have remained, due to the strength and depth he adds to the team. Two defensive changes gave Tomasz Kuszcak and Jonny Evans a well deserved start with ‘The Serbian Rock’ taking a well deserved break.

Determined to make an impact on his recall to the squad, Anderson was instrumental in 2 early attacks, which resulted in a close call cross having to be palmed away by Lopez, and a lay-off to Evra who whipped in a cross to Rooney who found the back of the net, only to see the offside flag raised.

But this was not the last of Uniteds’ pressurising attacks, the devils strung together a number of chances before the break. The closest of which came from the magician himself, with a ferocious shot into the top-left producing an equally excellent finger-tip save from Diego Lopez, pushing the shot ontothe crossbar, however, although United dominated play, and created countless numbers of chances they could not capitalise with the sides equal at the half-time interval.

Ronaldo resumed his duel with Lopez, sending him flying everywhere, and produced yet another belter which bounced awkwardly, but Lopez was up to the job with another swift palm, which increased Uniteds’ frustration. By the hour mark United were in full flow with Anderson placing two low shots, but simply not good enough to get past Lopez, with Rooney also going close with a shot on the turn but suffered the same results as his team-mates who could not penetrate Lopez.

With the game on tenterhooks, a Rooney attempted cross turned into a spectacular chip when catching a deflection heading into the net, but was cleared of the line by a quick-thinking

Capdevila. However, Villareal’s luck ran thin when the 90 was drawing to a close, as hero turned villain when Capdevila’s disgusting lunge, nearly sent Ronaldo out for the season. and he was shown a straight red, with Ronaldo escaping lightly.

The final 10′ were a cagey affair with Tevez, Park and Gibson brought on to try and open the game up a bit more however they were unsuccessful, and United suffered there second goaless draw, but were still assured safe passage into the knockout stages.

Villarreal:Lopez; Venta, Rodriguez, Fuentes, Capdevila; Santi Cazorla, Senna (Bruno, 46), Eguren, Pires (Fernandez, 65); Ibagaza, Rossi (Franco, 79). Subs not used: Viera, Edmilson, Cygan, Lopez. Booked: Venta, Eguren, Fuentes. Sent off: Capdevila.

United:Kuszczak; O’Shea, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Ronaldo, Fletcher (Gibson, 80), Anderson, Carrick (Tevez, 86), Nani (Park, 84); Rooney. Subs not used: Foster, Giggs, Vidic, Rafael. Booked: Evra, Ronaldo.

Diego López Intends To Continue At Villarreal

 MAN OF THE MATCH: DIEGO LOPEZ

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