Thursday, May 22, 2008

Manchester United win the Russian battle

When Manchester United took on Chelsea in the finals of the Champions League it was a Russian battle in more than one way, they were playing in Moscow and the owner of their opposite team, Roman Abrahimovic was an Russian and apart from supporters of both the teams, the neutrals were bound to be supporting Chelsea. Before the match all the talk was about the pitch but the managers of both teams made it clear that they are not going to give it as an excuse if they end up losing. It was the first ever All English final in Champions League and first for Chelsea. United were making their third appearance in the finals and were hoping to maintain their 100% record in finals.

It was not going to be a typical Champions League match as both the teams know each other very well and all expected a cagey affair, similar to the one in the last years FA cup finals. United started with Ronaldo on the left and Hargreaves on right while Malouda started for Chelsea whose starting 11 had never started together once this season. First 15min were evenly balanced and after that United took control of the midfield and Ronaldo gave Essien, who was at Left Back a torrid time. Scholes had a cut in his face when he fouled Makelele. Both of them were booked in that incident. Scholes came back after few minutes and was involved in the build up to the goal. A neat give and go with Brown let to the defender crossing the ball and Ronaldo rose up to head the ball past an unmoved Cech. United could have sealed the game had Tevez taken his chances but Cech made some brilliant saves and kept Chelsea in it. And towards the end of the first half Chelsea had some luck when Makelele's shot had several deflections and it fell to Lampard who dispatched it. Van Der Sar was never comfortable with the pitch and he slipped on that occasion too.

Buoyed by that goal Chelsea started the second half very well and started dominating midfield. The first half scenario was reversed, United were defending now while Chelsea pressed forward. Ferdinand had a cramp but was back on soon. Chelsea had lot of corners but were unable to score. Drogba who was not in the game for long time had a shot that hit the post. Time was running out and Gigss replaced Scholes to become the leading appearance maker for United getting past Sir Bobby Charlton's record. And with teams all square extra time was needed.

In the first half of ET there were no concrete chances for any of them but for Lampard's shot that hit the post. Drogba saw the Red card for a slap on Vidic when Chelsea players nee. Chelsea were a man down and only 5 min were left. United were unable to force anything in that time . Penalties were needed to decide the winner. Ronaldo missed his kick when the scores were 2-2 and Terry had the chance to win it on 4-4 but he slipped and shot wide. In the sudden death United were leading 6-5 and Anelka came on. His shot was saved by Van Der Sar and United were crowned the kings of Europe. A fitting reward for the only unbeaten team this season in Champions League. It would have been poetic for Roman to see his team win in his home country against one the teams which created the football interest in him but United deserved their crown and Ronaldo lead the Red Army in the finals. He was the leading scorer with 8 goals and it goes without saying he will be the "World player of the year" and "European Player of the year".

Click here for the action:

1-0 Ronaldo ,

1-1 Lampard,

Extra Time1 , Extra Time2 ,

Penalties/Celebrations - Link1 , Link2 , Link3

Trophy Presentation - Link

Player's Celebration - Link


Drogba - Hits the bar

Lampard - Hits the bar

Gigss - Great save Terry


First Half

Second Half

Ronaldo Specials:

Link1 , Link2 , Link3 , Link4 , Link5 , Link6 , Link7 , Link8 , Link9

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Anonymous said...

please can u post a link for the penalties....tht link is of celebration only

blueeyez_saran said...

Really superb.....

Nice postings....

try to post more and more....