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Schalke brushed aside as United awaits Barca

The first reaction upon seeing the Manchester United starting line up was that Sir Alex Ferguson has the biggest kahunas of all European managers or that he was a fool – and we all know that he’s not an idiot. Possibly a hopeless gambler but certainly not foolish. Here he was, 90 minutes away from a third Champions League final in four years, and he makes nine changes from the team that took a 2 goal lead at Schalke last week! And his utter faith in every member of his squad proved to be absolutely correct.

So United awaits Barcelona at Wembley on May 28 where one of them will lift the trophy for the fourth time. There’s no doubt that the Catalans are a great side but as Arsenal showed at The Emirates and were then considered unfortunate not to do so again at Camp Nou, while it’s difficult to outplay Barca, they are far from unbeatable. As a born optimist, and the Final held in London, I will certainly be having a wager on United to bring Big Ears back to Old Trafford.

Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg

Manchester United 4  v  Schalke 1

The Telegraph – By the end of this rout, the home fans were chanting “we’re Man United, we’ll do what we want”, which was pretty much anything against supine Schalke in reaching the Champions League final. The M1 will probably more prove more troublesome for United in getting to Wembley than the guileless Germans did. Barcelona, the team of all the talents, will be far less accommodating than Schalke on May 28.

Pep Guardiola, who travelled to Old Trafford last night to watch a largely second-string United, will send out such stars as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi. But nobody, certainly not the respectful Guardiola, will dismiss United’s chances. There is a belief to United, a refusal to bow to adversity that gives them a chance. They also have a desire to make amends for their Rome defeat to Barcelona. Full Report

Daily Mirror – Not A gamble, not reckless. Just a show of sheer faith in his squad. And as Sir Alex Ferguson reached his third Champions League Final in four years, and fourth in all, that trust was repaid at Old Trafford. Fergie’s decision to bench nine of his first-choice side ahead of Sunday’s title showdown with Chelsea could have been an albatross round his neck had Schalke pulled off the mother of all comebacks.

But while never touching the heights as they merely confirmed what we saw in the Veltins Arena last week, United did more than enough to ensure they get their shot at Wembley destiny against Barcelona. The United boss left Nemanja Vidic, Javier Hernandez and Ryan Giggs on the bench, with Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ji-Sung Park in the stands. Yet any doubts were ended as two goals in the space of five minutes from Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson – the second courtesy of an absolute howler from Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer – sealed the deal. Full Report

Manchester Evening News – Manchester United set up a mouth-watering Champions League final clash with Barcelona after demolishing Schalke at Old Trafford. Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson rang the changes for the semi-final second leg, but his selection gamble paid off with goals from Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson putting United into a commanding early position.

Jose Manuel Jurado lashed in a fine effort to give the visitors a glimmer of hope, but two second half goals from Anderson sealed the comprehensive win. United will surely face a tougher game in the final – the Reds’ third in four years and a replay of the 2009 showpiece – on May 28 against Pep Guardiola’s men Full Report

Manchester United – van der Sar, Rafael (Evra 59), Evans, Smalling, O’Shea, Nani, Gibson, Scholes (Fletcher 72), Anderson, Valencia, Berbatov (Owen 77) GOALS – Valencia 26m, Gibson 31m, Anderson 72m, 76m

Schalke – Neuer, Uchida, Howedes (Huntelaar 69), Metzelder, Escudero, Baumjohann (Edu 45), Papadopoulos, Farfan (Matif 75), Jurado, Raúl, Draxler GOAL – Jurado 35m

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No Responses to “Schalke brushed aside as United awaits Barca”

  1. RedScot says:

    We all want to see ” big ears” back in Uniteds hands, thats a given.I personally did not think we would get this far!Simply not because of the players we watch…they need our support.Full stop.Its the Owners I cant stomach.If it were not for my hero Sir Alex, I dread to think where we would be, under these sharks custodian of United.
    I cant pour cold water on a brilliant , no magnificent European cup tie !Was it a semi final of the Champions league….never looked like to me, 04 Schalke were a poor side, I said on Truly Reds I could not see them being worse thsn in the Veltins arena Germany yet they were.
    The key points for me in the game, Anderson please more of the same, the Derry Donkey(Which) I hate should class as a Squad player Darron Gibson.Rafael is a tiger,Smalling composure and occasionally put yer foot through the fitbae.
    One of the best moments of the magnificent evening watching from afar, as we do, 68 mins…. there’s only one Bryan Robson from the Old Trafford crowd.Class.
    United is a family.
    Enjoy yer night Reds.Lets hope for the same against the blockage of the Perch thingie!
    Cmon United

  2. Frank Scicluna says:

    Don’t be so hard on Gibson mate. Any player that Ferguson has faith in is OK by me. I dislike the Glazers as much as anyone but hey, three champion league finals in four years and possibly the same number of Premier League titles during the same period cannot be sneezed at. Yes, it’s all thanks to Sir Alex but unlike many other club owners, they never interfere with what the great man ever does. It could have been so much worse.

  3. RedScot says:

    I have serious probs on this site, Boss.Computer!
    My point was rudely constructed as you do when you are happy!
    The Derry Donkey as he is called(not bye me) was brilliant tonight as was Anderson, who I never understood at United , both were class tonight. My point I think was its time, consistency and recognising you are a huge club.Perform, they did.
    Cmon Frank you are teasing me…. dinnae get me started boss!
    £42 MILLION wasted on leveraged debts

  4. RedScot says:

    I know these Glazers are pinning their hopes on new shirt deals….its not till 2013.????Lets see what the Summer brings, see if they open up the wallet!
    I think not, based on fact and historical proof, net spend since their hijack 5 seasons £5.1 million, per season…Wesley Sneijder, dont make me laugh!

  5. Frank Scicluna says:

    Come on mate. This was a great night for United, let’s all enjoy it. And guess what? I can see many more great days ahead before the season’s over. Here’s cheers

  6. murty says:

    I’m pleased for Gibson – he played well last night and looked a lot more confident than in other games. To be fair the Shalke midfield are no great shakes and he’ll have plenty more difficult nights. What he did prove is that he can come in and do a decent job if he has to in situations like last night. Whether he will want to be a bit-part player indefinitely is another story. I think we all agree he would be a regular in many premiership midfields.
    Anderson did well do especially in the second half. Again I have to qualify my comment by saying that the 04 midfield is not particularly strong.
    The defence did well – Smalling looks like he’s a good solid defender and gives hope for the future though Evan’s while generally solid is not quite so convincing. Berbatov – great movement and pass for the goal but committed his usual sins for a lot of the game and didn’t do much to convert the doubters.
    I would have liked to have seen more of Owen but when he came on we were sitting back although he looked up for it. I think he still has a lot to offer and although opportunities are very scarce.
    All in all it’s a very strong pèrformance for the ‘second string’. The game on Sunday and against Barça will be completely different kettles of fish.

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