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Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Marseille   0 - 0   Man Utd

Man Utd winger Nani (left) challenges for a ball with Marseille left-back Gabriel Heinze
Nani (left) and Heinze slide in as they challenge for the ball

By Mandeep Sanghera

Manchester United's last-16 Champions League tie against Marseille is delicately poised after an uninspiring goalless draw in the first leg.

Darren Fletcher had United's best chance but his 18-yard shot was gathered at the second attempt by the home side's goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

It was a rare opening in a tight game of few chances.

Marseille's Andre Ayew dragged a shot across goal in the main threat to United at the Stade Velodrome.

There was little to separate the sides after a first leg in which both teams were more functional than flamboyant, and it was a game that could best be described as a sparring exercise ahead of what will be a decisive return leg on 15 March.

After failing to score in France, United will have to be wary of conceding an away goal at Old Trafford, although they can take confidence from a home record of 17 victories in 20 matches so far this season.

The two legs against Marseille are sandwiched either side of a run in which United will play at Wigan, Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League before a home tie against either Arsenal or Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.

It promises to be a defining period in United's season and they made sure they started it without any hiccups.

In the build-up to the game against the French champions United centre-back Rio Ferdinand, who was absent because of a calf injury, tweeted that "an away goal or two would be nice" as well as a "clean sheet".

In addition, he was also "looking for a solid, composed team performance" and, although it was hardly exciting, he got most of what he wanted.

The closest the visitors came to giving their absent centre-back a goal came early on when they were almost rewarded for a pacy and purposeful start.

A poor Nani free-kick cannoned kindly off the Marseille wall to Fletcher on the edge of the box but his shot was saved by Mandanda and gathered at the second attempt.

That was as much as either keeper had to do for the rest of the first half as Marseille settled, and discipline and defence dominated over any attacking intent and invention that either side managed.

In higher-profile games United boss Sir Alex Ferguson tends to play with a lone striker up front, and that meant Wayne Rooney was deployed on the left of midfield as Dimitar Berbatov led the line on his own for the Red Devils.

Mraseille lacked the creativity to find a way through the 4-5-1 United line-up, and when the visitors switched to 4-3-3 during forays forward, they lacked the cutting edge to open up the hosts.

United almost benefited from a mistake when Mandanda missed a Rooney cross to the far post on the hour mark, only for ex-United defender Gabriel Heinze to head away with Nani waiting to nod in.

With both teams more intent on keeping a clean sheet than engineering a goal, a slice of fortune for the home side almost made a difference.

Edouard Cisse's shot was deflected to Ayew and he dragged his angled effort across goal and just out of the reach of team-mate Brandao.

Rooney appeared to be dragged down late on when he threatened to break clear but the referee saw nothing wrong with the challenge as the game ended in a disappointing stalemate.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Marseille 0-0 Man Utd FT
(HT 0-0)

      Marseille

      • 30 Mandanda
      • 19 Heinze
      • 21 Diawara
      • 24 Fanni
      • 06 Edouard Cisse (Cheyrou 70)
      • 08 Gonzalez
      • 12 Kabore
      • 17 M'bia
      • 09 Brandao
      • 11 Remy (Valbuena 79)
      • 20 Ayew

      Substitutes

      • 16 Andrade,
      • 03 Taiwo,
      • 05 Hilton,
      • 07 Cheyrou,
      • 18 Abriel,
      • 28 Valbuena,
      • 15 Ayew

      Man Utd

      Substitutes

      Ref: BrychAtt: 58,000
      MARSEILLE
      MAN UTD

      Possession

      • Marseille 39%
      • Man Utd 61%

      Attempts on target

      • Marseille 6
      • Man Utd 5

      Attempts off target

      • Marseille 3
      • Man Utd 2

      Corners

      • Marseille 5
      • Man Utd 2

      Fouls

      • Marseille 6
      • Man Utd 12
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+1:17 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
      • 90:00+0:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Luis Nani on Souleymane Diawara. Free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.
      • 89:07 Mathieu Valbuena takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Dimitar Berbatov.
      • 87:46 Souleymane Diawara takes a shot. Blocked by Nemanja Vidic.
      • 87:14 Inswinging corner taken by Mathieu Valbuena from the left by-line, clearance by Dimitar Berbatov.
      • 83:47 The ball is swung over by Darren Fletcher, save made by Steve Mandanda.
      • 82:48 Souleymane Diawara challenges Luis Nani unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.
      • 82:13 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Scholes on Lucho Gonzalez. Gabriel Heinze takes the direct free kick.
      • 79:53 Unfair challenge on Stephane M'bia Etoundi by Patrice Evra results in a free kick. Steve Mandanda restarts play with the free kick.
      • 78:11 Substitution Mathieu Valbuena is brought on as a substitute for Loic Remy.
      • 73:44 Effort from just outside the area by Dimitar Berbatov goes over the bar.
      • 71:58 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Paul Scholes coming on for Darron Gibson.
      • 69:24 Substitution (Marseille) makes a substitution, with Benoit Cheyrou coming on for Edouard Cisse.
      • Correction - 68:44 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Souleymane Diawara gets a block in.
      • 68:44 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Rod Fanni gets a block in.
      • 65:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephane M'bia Etoundi by Luis Nani. Steve Mandanda restarts play with the free kick.
      • 63:00 Lucho Gonzalez takes a shot. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
      • 61:44 Effort on goal by Andre Ayew from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
      • 60:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Heinze by Luis Nani. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Lucho Gonzalez from left wing, clearance made by Darron Gibson.
      • 59:39 Corner taken short by Andre Ayew.
      • 59:31 Loic Remy takes a shot. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
      • 59:07 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save by Steve Mandanda.
      • 55:12 Stephane M'bia Etoundi fouled by John O'Shea, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Mandanda takes the free kick.
      • 55:02 Wayne Rooney delivers the ball, Gabriel Heinze makes a clearance.
      • 54:21 Charles Kabore gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darron Gibson. Free kick taken by Chris Smalling.
      • 53:24 Evanilson Brandao takes a shot. Comfortable save by Edwin Van der Sar.
      • 51:52 Gabriel Heinze sends in a cross, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
      • 51:13 Darron Gibson challenges Charles Kabore unfairly and gives away a free kick. Charles Kabore takes the direct free kick.
      • 50:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Edouard Cisse. Edouard Cisse takes the free kick.
      • 50:18 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Evanilson Brandao.
      • 49:37 Foul by Andre Ayew on Nemanja Vidic, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Nemanja Vidic.
      • 47:57 The ball is swung over by John O'Shea, clearance by Rod Fanni.
      • 45:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Smalling on Evanilson Brandao. Lucho Gonzalez takes the direct free kick.
      • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+0:14 The referee calls an end to the first half.
      • 43:28 Shot by Charles Kabore from a long way out goes over the target.
      • 41:24 Corner taken by Luis Nani played to the near post.
      • 39:52 Corner taken by Andre Ayew played to the near post, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
      • 39:06 Luis Nani handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Lucho Gonzalez.
      • 36:05 Unfair challenge on Nemanja Vidic by Evanilson Brandao results in a free kick. Edwin Van der Sar takes the direct free kick.
      • 31:50 The ball is sent over by Luis Nani, save by Steve Mandanda.
      • 31:15 Luis Nani concedes a free kick for a foul on Andre Ayew. Indirect free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.
      • 29:42 Patrice Evra takes a shot. Blocked by Souleymane Diawara.
      • 29:21 Unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Lucho Gonzalez results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Darron Gibson.
      • 28:35 Shot by Evanilson Brandao. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
      • 26:10 Corner taken by Lucho Gonzalez from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Dimitar Berbatov.
      • 24:41 Andre Ayew takes a shot. John O'Shea gets a block in.
      • 23:42 Shot by Andre Ayew. Chris Smalling gets a block in.
      • 11:08 The assistant referee signals for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.
      • 10:40 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Stephane M'bia Etoundi gets a block in.
      • 8:09 Darren Fletcher takes a shot. Save made by Steve Mandanda.
      • 7:11 Stephane M'bia Etoundi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Luis Nani from right wing, Stephane M'bia Etoundi gets a block in.
      • 5:29 Handball decision goes against Lucho Gonzalez. Free kick taken by Patrice Evra.
      • 3:23 Unfair challenge on Lucho Gonzalez by Darron Gibson results in a free kick. Steve Mandanda takes the free kick.
      • 2:58 Dimitar Berbatov produces a cross, clearance made by Rod Fanni.
      • 1:58 Luis Nani produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
      • 0:20 Luis Nani concedes a free kick for a foul on Gabriel Heinze. Gabriel Heinze takes the free kick.
      • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Champions League results

      23 Feb 2011 23:59 UK


      see also
      Wednesday football as it happened
      23 Feb 11 |  Football
      Wednesday's football photos
      23 Feb 11 |  Football
      Ferguson enjoys 'big games' test
      22 Feb 11 |  Europe


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