Manchester United got the outcome they expected, but not the way they assumed they'd get it, as the Red Devils defeated Otelul Galati on two penalty kicks, 2-0, on Tuesday, at Stadionul National.
Wayne Rooney converted both second-half attempts, and Sir Alex Ferguson got the coveted three points that had eluded United in two previous Champions League matches.
Rooney converted the first penalty in the 64th minute, but that was followed five minutes later by Nemanja Vidic's red card, who will now miss the remainder of the group phase.
Playing under-manned until the final minutes when Milan Perendija earned his second yellow card, United didn't get the effort they were expecting. With a big Sunday match at Old Trafford, Ferguson likely wanted to get a convincing victory to rest certain players for the Premier League match against Manchester City. What he got instead was a sloppy performance from a squad that squandered possession on multiple occasions under minimal pressure.
Rooney scored the second penalty moments before the final whistle to make the score look good on paper, but it was a lackluster performance by one of the best clubs in the world, to say the least.
Though the Red Devils dominated ball possession (67 percent), Otelul took 15 shots, with three on goal. Manchester United had 12 shots, with six on goal.
Underdog Otelul can't feel good about losing the match in front of their home supporters, but they can perhaps take solace in knowing they made United sweat, and the Romanian club showed confidence at some stretches of the match. Right midfielder Liviu Antal almost got Otelul on the board a minute before half time, when he missed a close-range header.
Here is a look at Rooney's penalty: