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.com – Manchester 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)