Milan 2 - 3 United
Rafael(Brown) Rio Evans Evra
Nani(Valencia) Carrick Scholes Fletcher Park
We rode our luck during the first half. True. Scholes's goal was a fluke. True. Milan could have buried the match inside the first 10 minutes. True. But United played some excellent football during the second half after the introduction of Valencia and two goals by Rooney put United virtually through to the quarter finals. However, a late late Seedorf goal gave Milan a glimpse of hope.
I didn't watch an awful lot from the 1st half but from what I've seen United were really poor. Our midfielders gave the ball away cheaply while our defenders were tortured by Pato and Ronaldinho. In fact Rafael and Evans looked like two amateurs during the first 20 minutes or so. Rooney was anonymous during the first hour mainly because Nani was not delivering any decent crosses. But everything changed with the introduction of Valencia. His first involvement in the game was a mouth watering cross which Rooney headed superbly. Our third goal was the result of an amazing chip by Fletcher. We've heard much about Pato, Beckham & Pirlo, but what Fletcher did was truly world class and overall he had a good game. Rooney confirmed what is already obvious. He is an excellent striker, one of the best in the world.
Anyway I'm a tad disappointed with the manner in which we conceded the second goal. We could have easily avoided it had Rafael not tried to cheekily try and dribble past a Milan midfielder.
The tie is still open. If I made my calculations right, they need to score two goals at Old Trafford. However, given this result, I'm more than confident that our players will finish Milan at Old Trafford in three weeks time. Until then we've got the 'little' matter of the Premier League to concentrate on...
Tonight's had it all: great goals, bizarre goals, early goals, late goals, headed goals, mesmerising skill, several lollipops, defensive fragilty, a confusing red card and ultimately a hugely satisfactory result for Fergie and co.