Manchester United completed qualification to the next round of this season Champions League, as Group Winners, thanks to a 3-1 win away at Braga.
This will be welcome news to Sir Alex Ferguson as it now gives him the opportunity to rest many key players for the remaining 2 group fixtures and focus on the League whilst our Title rivals need maximum points from their remaining group games.
United gambled with their team for the trip to Braga, resting the likes of Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand, whilst giving Chris Smalling his first action of the season after long injury absence. The gamble looked to be back firing, after 80 mins United were 1-0 down and struggling to really put the hosts under pressure. Enter the main man, ORVP, to get the Reds level and lift the entire team to score twice more and win the game.
Despite long periods where United looked labored and frustrating they did give us several moments of brilliance to enjoy. Here are my top 5 GIF moments…
1. Danny Welbeck backheel nutmeg pass
Despite a very quiet yet hard working shift on the left wing (not where he is at his best), you will always get a moment of brilliance from Welbeck with his technical ability and skill. Here he gives us a beautiful backheel nutmeg 1-2 return pass to Patrice Evra
2. Nani & Valencia defending
The 2 wingers showed the kind of defending you would expecting from attacking players. First Nani does well to win the ball before passing it over his shoulder to Valencia, who then juggles the ball before taking on and beating his man.
3. Ryan Giggs play and pass
Whilst you get the feeling his time is starting to draw to an end, there is still no doubting that Ryan Giggs can produce moments of pure class. He shows brilliant feet to draw in, and then go past the defender before playing a delightful pass into the run of Javier Hernandez. His first touch was great and shot saved before Rooney wins United a penalty.
4. David de Gea skill
Like we saw earlier this season v Fulham, David de Gea has great feet and demonstrated this again with a nice little drop of the shoulder to get away from the onrushing striker.
5. Wayne Rooney assist
I love this. Pure brilliance from Rooney, who under pressure when receiving a cross from Valencia, plays a stunning skilled pass to the unmarked Javier Hernandez (who eventually put the ball in the net). Awareness and delivery of the highest class.