Bursaspor 0-3 Manchester United

Manchester United recorded an impressive 3-0 win in Turkey and importantly, found themselves with an unlikely possible solution to a winger dilemma as both Gabriel Obertan and Bebe made telling contributions scoring and creating. Darren Fletcher netted the decisive goal as the Red Devils all but sealed progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The first half was lacklustre; United’s set up of 4-3-3 was typical of their away games in Europe and at least served its purpose when it came to possession. Of the chances that presented themselves in that first period, the visitors had a couple of good efforts – Dimitar Berbatov could have done better with a header on the 8th minute and although his volley in the 11th was an improvement, it was still easy work for the Bursaspor stopper.

Clear cut chances were to present themselves for both hosts and visitors; Turgay almost benefitted from an Evra mistake but his effort was well saved, before Evra made amends creating a chance at the other hand, but Darren Fletcher’s effort was miscued. In between those efforts, Nani was substituted for Park, and before the break there was time still for Paul Scholes to have an effort disallowed for handball.

Another player to “make amends” was Fletcher, just two minutes into the second half, when he scored from a similar position to the place he missed in the first half. Michael Carrick found him with a beautifully weighted pass, and Fletcher took a touch to compose before slotting in from 10 yards.

Bursa could have levelled soon after had Insua not fired straight at van der Sar; and Paul Scholes might have made it two with a header from an Obertan corner, but his header went over. Scholes might not have scored the second, but Obertan did, and did so with aplomb. Park carried the ball on the break and when the time came to release it, he made the right choice finding the French winger. Obertan cut inside and fired high into the goal sensationally from 18 yards to net his first goal for the club and, by doing so, virtually seal the result. Having made a crucial contribution in getting the ball for the first goal, the winger was having by far his best game in a United shirt.

Bebe – on as a substitute for Fletcher – made sure that the result was most definitely guaranteed when his impressive half hour was capped with a goal. Paul Scholes showed great strength to retain possession and typical creative genius to play the ball through. Bebe seemed to make contact with the ball just before the defender, and the ball rolled into the corner, rounding off a magnificent away performance from United.

Berbatov could have added further gloss after a frightening burst of pace from Bebe in the dying seconds, but his shot curled wide. It was of little significance for now, as United cruised, but the Bulgarian will no doubt be keen to hit the goal trail again soon.

Ratings : van der Sar 7, Rafael 7, Smalling 8, Vidic 7, Evra 7 (Fabio), Nani 6 (Park 7), Fletcher 7 (Bebe 7), *Scholes 8, Carrick 8, Obertan 8, Berbatov 6

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