Antonio Valencia takes the pitch for the first time in months as Sir Alex Ferguson withdraws goalscorer Fabio da Silva for the Ecuadorian winger at half time, drawing loud cheers from the Old Trafford crowd. Fabio, who worked his tail off down the left flank in the first half, deserves the rest and Valencia was undoubtedly itching to come onto the pitch, making his return from a broken ankle suffered against Rangers in early September.
The second half is now underway, and Manchester United, astonishingly, have doubled their lead thanks to the head of England striker Wayne Rooney. Rafael da Silva fed Javier Hernandez in the box, and his clash with the Manuel Almunia led to the ball popping up invitingly for Rooney, and his flicked header evaded the attentions of Almunia and Bacary Sagna to creep inside the far post. It's a 2-0 lead for United, and that comes within seconds of Edwin van der Sar pulling off a miraculous save to keep the home side ahead.
Laurent Koscielny, who despite being a centre back is no stranger to bombing upfield in open play, was fed by Robin van Persue, and while his first shot was easily kept out by the Dutch goalkeeper, the rebound fell to van persie, who again fed the defender. Koscielny's second effort was superb and draw an equally superb reaction from van der Sar, who picked himself off the ground to produce a crucial save as the ball started to curl in at the far post.