Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Manchester United Master Class

Everyone in the Manchester United camp were smiling after the final whistle was blown at the Stadio Olimpico.The English Champions had just orchestrated a fine tactical performance. The result could have been a lot better had it not for Vidic's injury.
Manchester United went to take on Roma for the 6th time in a year(something that doesn't happen often considering the opponent being a European team) in the first leg of the Champions league. It was at the same stage United met Roma for the first time in history at the same avenue. The match was marred by crowd trouble and many United fans stabbed.This time around everything went on well much to the delight of the Rome authorities but where it went wrong was on the pitch for the Serie A aspirants.
Roma started on well against a United side that had Ji Sung Park as a surprise inclusion in place of Gigss with both Tevez and Hargreaves on bench. United were solid at the back and were more organised with Carrick and Scholes running the show in middle of the park. United passed well after they had seen off the early part of game. Rooney predominantly was on the left while Ronaldo played further upfront. Just when Manutd were settling well on the ball and looked confident, Vidic landed awkwardly on his knees twisting it. He was subbed with O'Shea and right after that Rooney held the ball well, made a good turn and passed the ball to Scholes who entered the box and his cross by met by the Flying Ronaldo and United got the lead.
In the second half Roma were more adventurous with Vucinic being the main threat and Van Der Sar was forced into a brilliant save from Vucinic. Roma were threatening a lot and Manutd did not have the ball and gave them away. Guily was introduced and he got into the groove immediately making brilliant runs but the United defence stood firm with captain Rio Ferdinand doing well in the absence of Vidic.
Roma earned a lot of corners but could not use them properly. United got their first corner only after the hour mark. Just when Roma looked more dangerous Brown crossed the ball from right and Park did brilliantly to head the ball back into the danger area. Doni trying to catch the ball spectacularly failed to hold it and it fell to Rooney who just tapped in for his 6th goal in 7 games against Serie A opposition.
United had got themselves into a fine position and Roma were unsettled with gaps opening up Carrick made a foray into the box and his shot going very close to the post. Ronaldo hit the post and Roma were not in the game. Though they tried to attack, it was not a threat for the defence. And United closed out the game comfortably with Tevez coming in for Rooney in the last ten minutes. It can easily be said as one of Manchester United's finest European displays.........
Click here for the goals
2-0 Rooney

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