Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Schalke 0-2 Manchester United:match report

Manchester United strolled past Schalke in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final to all but secure their place in the final at Wembley next month.Goals from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney sealed a ridiculously comfortable win for Manchester United over a dire Schalke outfit in Gelsenkirchen.Although United travel back to Manchester with a two goal cushion that virtually ensures they will meet Barcelona or Real Madrid in the final next month, they could have conceivably scored five or more goals such was their dominance and the amount of chances they created on the night.

One-time United target and Bayern Munich bound goalkeeper Manuel Neuer proved to be a thorn in the visitors’ side in the first half, pulling off magnificent saves from Ryan Giggs, Ji-Sung Park and Javier Hernandez, who could have easily bagged a hat-trick in the first period alone.Schalke, who hardly got a touch of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, somehow managed to keep Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at bay despite the persistent promptings of Giggs, Rooney, Hernandez and an impressive Antonio Valencia on the right flank.A United goal was inevitable, however, and it arrived through the ageless Ryan Giggs after 67 minutes. Wayne Rooney produced a lovely reverse pass to release the veteran midfielder, who finally managed to beat Neuer by slipping the ball through his legs.
Having finally broken the deadlock, United went for the jugular and grabbed a second goal only two minutes after the opener through the magnificent Wayne Rooney.A long ball by Edwin van der Sar was knocked through to Hernandez by Valencia, Hernandez dinked a lovely ball through to Rooney and the England international made no mistake from close range.Confident that the game and perhaps the tie was wrapped up, Sir Alex Ferguson made a host of changes in the last quarter and saw his side confidently finish the game out.

The Red Devils remain unbeaten in Europe this season, have yet to concede a goal away from home and looked like a side high on confidence coming into such a crucial period of the season.What shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is how poorly Schalke performed on the night, with the German outfit looking more like a side that currently lie tenth in the Bundesliga and nothing like the team that knocked reigning champions Inter Milan out of the competition in the quarter-finals.

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