United battle back for victory
Carrick the hero as Red Devils see off plucky Wolfsburg
By James Pearson. Last Updated: October 1, 2009 7:09am
Manchester United battled back from a goal down to secure a 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Wolfsburg at Old Trafford.
The German champions deservedly held United at the break and actually took the lead shortly after half-time through Edin Dzeko.
However, it proved a blip for The Red Devils who hit back through Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick to maintain their 100 per cent start in Group B.
The Bundesliga outfit started brightly with Grafite and Christian Gentner both worrying United's defence in the early exchanges.
Brazilian striker Grafite was indecisive after getting in behind United's defence while Gentner's left-footed shot was comfortable for Tomasz Kuszczak
Michael Owen then came close to connecting with Giggs' left-wing cross while Dzeko lashed a right-footed shot wide from distance after Patrice Evra needlessly conceded possession.
Sir Alex Ferguson was forced in an early change after 20 minutes Owen was forced off with a groin strain and replaced by Dimitar Berbatov.
The Bulgarian lifted United's game and Wolfsburg's bright start to the contest had disappeared as they spent majority of the remainder of the half keeping out The Red Devils.
Antonio Valencia should have done better after a neat flick by Berbatov gave the winger a sight of goal, but he ended up dragging his shot across Diego Benaglio's goal.
Berbatov then played in Carrick, but Benaglio was quick to read the danger and quickly off his line to snuff out the midfielder's shot.
Shortly after Gentner headed Zvjezdan Misimovic's corner over the home side were back on the front foot.
Berbatov was unable to keep a half-volley at the back post from Giggs' cross down while Carrick's diving header was straight at Benaglio from Valencia's cross at the half ended goalless.
The Red Devils started the second half as they ended the first - in the ascendency.
Anderson was proving the thorn in Wolfsburg's side as he first lashed just wide from distance before Benaglio parried his second effort just minutes later.
However, against the run of play the visitors took the lead through the dangerous Dzeko after 56 minutes.
Makoto Hasebe collected a loose ball on the edge of United's penalty area before sending up a delightful back post cross that Dzeko powered home after getting the better of Evra.
United's response was positive and they were not behind for long. Shortly after Anderson was felled on the edge of Wolfsburg's penalty area Giggs saw his deflected free-kick sneak into the far post.
Rooney was coming more and more into the game and was unlucky on two occasions not to get his name on the scoresheet. He firstly sent a curling shot just over while his deflected left-footed effort floated into Benaglio's arms.
United finally made their dominance pay when they moved in front with what proved the match-winning goal.
The impressive Berbatov tried to pick out Giggs, who rather than control the ball, opted to pick out Carrick on the edge of Wolfsburg's penalty area and with time and space to shoot the former Spurs man delightfully stroked the ball home.
Wolfsburg to their credit never threw in the towel and gave the home side a few nervy moments, but in truth Kuszczak was never troubled and if anything United came closer to adding a third.Ferguson's side lead the way in Group B two games into the group stage of the competition with a 100 per cent record while Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow are joint-second with three points apiece.
|Manchester United||Team Statistics||VfL Wolfsburg|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||2|
|7||Shots off Target||8|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 30th Sep - Group B
CSKA Mosc2 - 1Besiktas
Man Utd2 - 1Wolfsburg
Wed 30th Sep - Group D
FC Porto2 - 0A Madrid
Apoel Nicosia0 - 1Chelsea
Wed 30th Sep - Group C
AC Milan0 - 1FC Zurich
R Madrid3 - 0Marseille
Wed 30th Sep - Group A
Bordeaux1 - 0Maccabi Haifa
Bay Munich0 - 0Juventus
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||5||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|4||FC Viktoria Plzen||5||0|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||5||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||5||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H