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Manchester United 2-1 Valencia - Fellaini wins it at the death for United

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Marouane Fellaini was the surprising hero as Louis van Gaal made his Old Trafford debut with a win.

Clive Brunskill

If the fact that Marouane Fellaini scored the winner wasn't enough to suggest it, this wasn't a great game and nor was it United at their best. Nonetheless, Van Gaal is now off to a winning start at Old Trafford, and we'll hope to repeat it against Swansea in a few days time.

Wayne Rooney missed an early fortunate penalty, before Darren Fletcher saw a deflected shot go in. Valencia equalised afterwards through a mistake from Tom Cleverley allowing Rodrigo to score, but Fellaini won it at the death with a idiosyncratically artless goal from the big Belgian.

United started reasonably well and Ander Herrera continued to impress, while Tyler Blackett looked decent in defence. But there was little in the way of a goalscoring opportunity until Rooney went down somewhat optimistically in the area, but saw a penalty duly awarded. But after stepping up, he clattered it off the post and the scored remained level at half-time.

Darren Fletcher made the breakthrough in the second half as he latched onto a half-cleared corner to send in a half-volley which found the back of the net via a deflection, continuing his impressive pre-season form.

But United were soon second-best in the game and Valencia bagged a deserved equaliser. A lack of communication between Herrera and Cleverley ended up with the latter brainlessly clearing the ball straight to Rodrigo, who made no mistake with an excellent finish.

But United pushed for an equaliser, and the introduction of Adnan Januzaj gave Van Gaal's men a lift towards the end. With the game almost over, Fellaini used his strength to muscle defender and goalkeeper out of the way before slotting home into the net to maintain United's 100% pre-season record.

And yes, that is a spike for the phrase "Shop Window" you can hear coursing through the airwaves. Let's hope we can carry on this sort of form from pre-season - whether playing excellently or winning even while playing poorly - into the season ahead.