Rangers could not have asked for a better result drawing Man Utd at Old Trafford, 0-0 in game that was devoid of much creativity and had a handful of scoring threats.
The Scottish champions put on a calculated display of park the bus which Utd were unable to break down except on one occasion when Ryan Giggs was able to break the offside trap through a lovely little chip but Darren Fletcher was slow pulling the trigger and the threat was snuffed out.
Stoppage time added upto 6 minutes all due to Antonio Valencia’s horrific injury- a suspected dislocated and fracture of the ankle. An innocuous tackle by Kirk Broadfoot (was his foot larger than imagined?) and Valencia went tumbling down. He came up with his left ankle twisted at an unnatural angle. A hush descended on Old Trafford as fans reacted. Valencia was stretchered off with oxygen and probably an opioid to manage the pain. He will most likely be out for the season or till very late. An injury similar to Bobby Zamora’s which will require immediate surgery.
Without Valencia, the game went narrow as Man Utd went down the middle. Darron Gibson had a few noteworthy heave hos from range but Rangers goalie Allan McGregor was not severely tested on those occasions.
Broadfoot was again in the limelight when he entered the Man Utd box but went sprawling when his foot was clipped from behind by Chris Smalling. Man Utd got a break as the referee chose to ignore the legitimate appeals of penalty from the midfielder.
Sir Alex Ferguson came out with a revamped team – 10 changes from the Everton game with only Darren Fletcher surviving the cut. Wayne Rooney did himself no favours, looking tentative and timid. No Berbatov, no Nani, and no Scholes. No creativity. No attacking flair.
For Rangers, Maurice Edu kept up the defensive shape and Madjid Bougherra was huge in the center. Walter Smith maybe able to pull off the improbable and make the Ibrox another impregnable fortress.