Marseille 0-0 Manchester United
Match Reports, Updated:
A thoroughly professional performance from Manchester United helped them to a goalless draw against Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.
There was plenty of mutual respect in the build up to this game which perhaps hinted that the match would be a cagey affair and it panned out just that way with neither side keen to open themselves up.
The first task facing the travelling Manchester United side was to quieten to partizan home support who were bouncing and cheering in unison ahead of kick off and they managed to do just that with a bright start that saw Nani troubling United old boy Gabriel Heinze on more than one occasion.
However, they were unable to create too many chances for Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney to try and snaffle up and the hosts finally forced their way into the game but never really troubled Edwin Van Der Sar.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Marseille enjoying more of the ball but with Nemanja Vidic as towering as ever and the rapidly improving Chris Smalling alongside him they could only threaten sporadically with Brandao and Loic Remy left frustrated by the poor service they were receiving from the flanks.
Even the introduction of enigmatic playmaker Mathieu Valbuena failed to spark the hosts into greater life as the United defence stood firm
There was late controversy as Rooney attempted to latch onto a misplaced back pass only to be pulled to the ground by Souleymane Diawara who was perhaps lucky to escape a red card as the referee failed to award what seemed an obvious free-kick with the defender the last man by some distance.
United will probably be the happier side with their outstanding home form giving them cause for confidence ahead of a tantalising second leg in which Marseille will feel they still have a chance of progress after not conceding an away goal tonight.