Manchester United won for the first time in three attempts in the Champions League as two Wayne Rooney penalties helped them overcome Otelul Galati 2-0.
After a drab first half where United were thwarted well by a strong defensively Galati, it took a handball from the Romanian sides captain Sergiu Costin handled a Rooney cross to gift the English Champions the chance to take the lead, which Rooney took with a well taken spot kick.
Nemanja Vidic was wrongly sent off for a lunge on Bratislav Punoševac, only for Milan Perendija to make it ten on ten after he saw yellow for a second time. In injury time Rooney won United's second penalty which the in-form forward buried for a 2-0 win.
After a shock 3-3 draw last time out at home to Basel, victory over the group minnows was a necessity and despite not being at their best they had enough to edge home.
The games fist chance fell the way of United's Brazilian midfielder Anderson, however his effort from just outside the area was poor and never threatened the Otelul goal.
The early stages were played in the Galati half, however despite Manchester United's possession dominance they never looked like opening the scoring and in fact it was Galati's Iaon Filip who went the closest as his curling effort went marginally over Andreas Lindegaard's crossbar.
After great work from Nani down the Otelul left, Michael Carrick spurned the best chance of the game. The Portuguese winger did well and his cut back was perfect for the midfielder who blazed over when well placed.
Half time arrived and the Romanian side would've been ecstatic in holding the English Champions to a stalemate at the half way point.
United were slow coming out of the blocks for the second half and again rarely threatened to get in behind a resolute Galati defence.
Rooney narrowly missed the target as United spurned a great chance to open the scoring. Carrick did brilliantly to find Nani whose cross found Rooney who swiveled well but scuffed wide.
Seconds later Rooney found space down the right hand side and his cross was handled by the captain and the referee, correctly so, pointed to the spot. Rooney stepped up to take the spot-kick and put the keeper the wrong way, scoring with ease.
After sixty minutes of poor football, the game burst into life, as moments after Rooneys' goal Manchester United's returning captain Vidic was harshly sent off for a late tackle on Punoševac.
The red card gave Galati more of an opportunity to get back into the game, however they struggled to break down a United side which made two defensive changes due to the red card with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans coming on for Fabio and Antonio Valencia who had a poor game.
With time running out, Galati joined United in finishing the game with ten men as Perendija was sent off for a second yellow card.
After a poor defensive pass, the ball made its way to Nani whose long range effort hit a post with the keeper well beaten in the Galati goal.
Moments later United won their second penalty of the game as Rooney was brought down by Liviu Antal. Again Rooney stepped up to take the penalty and his spot kick was superbly placed past the reach of Branko Grahovac.
The win moves Manchester United up to second in the after Benfica's impressive 2-0 win in Basel. With their city rivals next on Sunday, United will have to improve if they are to leag frog Roberto Mancini's side to top the Premier League table.