`Little pea` is Man United`s sting in the tail

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2010, 09:29 AM IST

Valencia: Javier Hernandez came off the bench to fire Manchester United to a 1-0 Champions League win over Valencia and improve the English club`s poor record on Spanish soil.

The 22-year-old Mexico striker, nicknamed "little pea", took Federico Macheda`s low cross and drilled the ball past Cesar Sanchez in the 85th minute to secure only United`s second victory in 19 away European matches against Spanish opponents.

United, held 0-0 at home by Rangers in their opening match, moved joint top of Group C with the Scottish champions on four points. Valencia, the Spanish league leaders, are third with three points after their opening 4-0 win at Bursaspor.

"You`ve got to give us credit for the way we defended," United manager Alex Ferguson told a news conference.

"They`re not top of the league for nothing so for us to win here tonight is a good result for Manchester United."

Neither side showed much creativity on a pleasantly warm night at the Mestalla, although Valencia improved in the second half, roared on by the passionate home support thronging the steeply-banked arena.

Strikers Dimitar Berbatov for United and Roberto Soldado for the home side cut lonely figures up front at times, although Berbatov forced a smart save from Sanchez when through on the Valencia keeper soon after halftime.

Bureau Report