Sir Alex Ferguson hopes a rare Anderson strike can spark the Brazilian into more prolific scoring form for Manchester United. Anderson scored only his second goal in 109 appearances as he tucked home the rebound to a blistering Park Ji-sung strike just past the hour mark of last night's encounter with Valencia.
It gave United a 1-1 draw, confirming their status as Group C winners. Now Ferguson is looking for more of the same from the former Porto star. "He should score more," he said. "The boy has terrific talent. He has great pace and power. He is a strong boy. We are pleased he got a goal. It may help him."
United now know they will avoid Barcelona and Real Madrid in the first knockout round, although holders Inter Milan, managed by Rafael Benitez, lie in wait. "It is always good to be first. That is important. We will avoid the bigger names, although they will come eventually," said Ferguson.
It was not a totally successful evening for the Red Devils. Pablo Hernandez's well-taken effort was the first goal United had conceded in the UEFA Champions League this season. In addition, Rio Ferdinand limped off rather gingerly at the start of the second half, with Ferguson confirming the extent of the England skipper's injury.
"Rio has a tight hamstring," he said. "He felt it at half-time. He wanted to try it but it still felt tight. We weren't prepared to take a chance. There was no point because we had Chris Smalling to come on. He has six days and I am sure he will be okay for Monday."
The United boss was full of praise for Rooney, whose improvement continues even if he is still to score his first goal in open play since last March. He was also pleased with 20-year-old keeper Ben Amos, who gradually eased himself into only his third senior appearance.
"His best moments were in the second half," said the United boss. "He was a little bit nervous in the first, which you expect. He is only a kid. But he did very well in the second. He composed himself well considering we had so many young players at the back."