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Third Final in four years now in sight for United

If he said it once, he said it a million times over the years. The motto for Sir Alex Ferguson has always been ‘PATIENCE’ and he has been proven right more often than not. Manchester United could have had one foot in the Wembley final by half time had only half the chances they created were taken. Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was also a huge obstacle as he denied United time and again before he was finally beaten by Ryan Giggs after 67 minutes. Wayne Rooney then popped up almost immediately to double the score leaving the tie virtually over and done with.

One of the most pleasant features was the return to form of the much maligned Michael Carrick who was the heartbeat of United’s midfield throughout the game. Apart from their two goal away advantage, United were so completely dominant that it will take the mother of all upsets at Old Trafford next week to deny Ferguson a third Champions League Final in four seasons – as well as being within sight of a third Premier League title in the same period. Not bad for a side who has been so criticised by so many, for so long, for not matching the insane spending of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City.

Schalke  0  v Manchester United  2

Uefa.comManchester United FC can all but smell the Wembley turf after taking a huge step towards a third UEFA Champions League final in four seasons with victory at FC Schalke 04. United, appearing in their 12th semi final, completely dominated a Schalke side new to this stage of the competition and got the victory their efforts deserved through strikes from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

The winning margin would have been greater but for the brilliance of home goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who made a string of fine saves before United finally broke through with two goals in three minutes midway through the second period, leaving Schalke with a mountain to climb in next Wednesday’s return. First impressions can be deceptive and so it proved here when Schalke midfielder Alexander Baunjohann forced a save from Edwin van der Sar after 29 seconds. It was in the other direction that the traffic would flow, virtually incessantly, for the rest of the match Full Report

Daily Telegraph – Manchester United had to get past the man called Manuel but can now think about Spaniards at Wembley. Schalke’s accomplished keeper Manuel Neuer defied United for 66 minutes until Ryan Giggs, then Wayne Rooney struck, taking United to within touching distance of the Champions League final against either Barcelona or Real Madrid.

United’s victory was studded with marvellous displays. As well as Giggs and Rooney, Michael Carrick was immense, proving that he can patrol and control midfield. Javier Hernandez did everything but score; he’ll play worse than this and net a hat-trick. United were so good they were applauded off by the Schalke fans Full Report

Manchester Evening News – Manchester United took a giant step towards the Champions League final after a commanding victory over Schalke in the Veltins Arena. The Reds dominated the semi-final first leg from the start, and the only surprise was that it took 67 minutes to break the deadlock.

Wayne Rooney sent Ryan Giggs through with a fine ball for the veteran to finish. Two minutes later Javier Hernandez put Rooney through to add a second. Earlier, Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – a reported United target – frustrated the Reds with a series of stunning saves Full Report

Schalke – Neuer, Uchida, Matip, Metzelder, Sarpei (Escudero 72), Farfan, Papadopoulos, Jurado (Draxler 82), Baumjohann (Kluge 52), Edu, Raul.

Manchester United – van der Sar, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park (Scholes 72), Rooney (Nani 82), Hernandez (Anderson 72) GOALS Giggs (67m), Rooney (69m)

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No Responses to “Third Final in four years now in sight for United”

  1. RedScot says:

    A bit drunk and a very much chuffed Scots lad.It was a great night against what I thought was a poor Schalke 04 side(10th in the Bundesliga I believe)How far have Inter Milan fallen in such a short time, from being Champions league winners, to being minced bye that German outfit.The power of a great manager like we have at United.
    I have to laugh sometimes, I was on a United forum just the other day trying to back up the author of the article, regards Micheal Carrick, he was superb in the Chelsea quarters games and ran the games from deep.He has had some serious ‘ballsups’ in his time, but pure class he is, no doubt.He showed it truly again tonight, although not really pressurised, and given time to spray passes around the park.Instrumental in winning United the game(94 passes,87% accuracy,running 11.41km, the most of any United player. Although all the lads in a United shirt served the fans with a brilliant together ness of a performance,speed of passing and precision- majestic.
    I must as I think all football fans would give credit to Manuel Neuer, the nullifier, who kept us at bay for a mighty long time or it would have been a cricket score.Great to see Sir Alex acknowledge Neuer at the end and special praise to the goalkeeper in his after match comments.Another nice touch for me as a young United fan was to see Raul asking our own Ryan Giggs to exchange shirts,class the both of these highly professional players.
    I also want a wee dig, at fans that keep banging on about Wesley Sneijder at United, please watch the role Rooney is playing, magnifcently in the Sneijderesque role.We dont need Sneijder.
    We need a together ness.
    The other bugger in all this “Champions league” final in late May, the price of tickets for poor souls to actually dream of buying one, its a con.Anyways chuffed to bits and we move on to our next challenge, Arsenal, next Sunday
    I move off to the Pub, to sink a few pints.

  2. Manu92 says:

    This was our best away performance this season…in terms of domination and everything…everyone played their part at the Veltins Arena…carrick once again amazed me…at times we couldn’t stop praising him….but everyone else we talk about were great…the back 4 and vds were never tested…we controlled the ball well in the mid…valencia’s return is one of the best things that could have happened to man utd….giggs was evergreen…he’s always brilliant…park too did his job…chicha should have scored…while rooney and his gameplay(including his tremendous long balls) troubled the germans to the core…we completely dominated the game….in words of metzelder…

    ““Against Inter everything we tried worked. Against United we couldn’t even try anything.””

    i was expecting a tough competition from Schalke…before this they had beaten every team in the champions league this season at home…but they were utter poor…the lacked the confidence…were outplayed…and we made them looked lame!!!

    As for Manuel neuer…United should break the bank to sign him…he was cracking…he was brilliant…the only Schalke player who did his job well…he’s an idle replacement of vds and even if united doesn’t sign him(i hope they alteast bid for him) even then he’ll become the best…a natural talent…brilliant!

  3. murty says:

    Van der Sar – safe pair of hands all – held on well to the few shots that were taken
    Evra – solid – helped push S04 back with his runs forward
    Fabio – Some good runs forward and did his defensive work well- silly yellow card though
    Vidic – Dealt well with the few threats that came his way
    Ferdinand – Like Vidic he did what he had to
    Park – his importance was underlined by his substitution – Ferguson wants him fresh for the run in.
    Valencia – Like a new signing after so many months away – had the beating of the full-back all night
    Giggs – What can you say that hasn’t been said over the last 20 years. Bit of shooting practice with his right maybe?
    Carrick – One of his best games in a United shirt – didn’t put a foot wrong – just kept it simple. He needs to do it more often
    Rooney – another excellent performace – his game is changing and he loves dropping deep and spraying it about which is giving us a new dimension
    Hernandez – tireless unfortunate not to score – a real handful – determined – skilful – a certain DB could take a bunch of leaves out of his book.
    Scholes – had it easy when he came on but kept things settled by getting on the ball and keeping posession well
    Nani – Lively when he came on and tormented a tired defence – could have scored
    Anderson – like scholes he didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken

    Ferguson – it goes to show that picking the same team brings its rewards – there was a great understanding from start to finish – it’s probably the best 11 we have and good to see the cohesion.

    Special mention for neuer who reminded me on Schmeichel on more than one occasion.Easy to see why he’s drawing interest – if the deal is not done with Bayern you’d wouldn’t mind him between the sticks based on that performance.

  4. Dakota says:

    Ronney is amazing. It took a little bit for the goals to come in this game, but once they did, it was all over.

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