Wednesday, March 16, 2011

United hoping for luck of the draw after knocking out Marseille...

United are through to the quarter finals of the Champions League after knocking out Marseille at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. It finished up 2-1 - for the most part, it was a nervy affair - but it was always likely to be like that following the goalless first leg.

Javier Hernandez grabbed the headlines after scoring a real goal poachers brace - the young Mexican striker continues to give Ferguson selection headaches and against Marseille it was a slightly bemused looking Dimitar Berbatov who was left sat on the substitutes bench.

Wayne Rooney was United's star performer on the night - at times his passing was superb. Without doubt the high point of Rooney's performance was the part he played in laying on the opening goal after just five minutes. Rooney received the ball in the centre circle and played it to Giggs on the left flank, the Welshman played it back to the United striker who was steaming into the Marseille penalty area before finding Chicarito with a slide-rule pass for Hernandez to score.

Last season Rooney was the club's top goal scorer, but it has been an altogether different story this season following the fall-out from his contract wrangles and the problems relating to his private life.

On the pitch at least anyway, Rooney appears to have put his troubles behind him, but more often than not, he is now playing in his more familiar second striker role and he's showing signs that he's coming back to something like his best. As well as Rooney has played up front at times this season, some media pundits and fans alike are wondering if Rooney's future lies in central midfield; there's no doubting that Rooney sees a pass as well as anyone in the United squad and when he's at his best he rarely loses possession.

It remains to be seen how the future will pan out, but the good news for Ferguson and United fans is that the team is no longer reliant on just one striker to score the goals, and what's more, as we saw against Arsenal last weekend there could well be serious competition for places in the offing in the problem area that has been central midfield following the quite brilliant first-half performances of the da Silva brothers.

But against Marseille, it was the veteran Ryan Giggs who played an important part in United's goals; the Welshman laid on the second after good work by the once again impressive Antonio Valencia who has been superb in his two cameo appearances from the bench.

The only downside on the night was the Wes Brown own goal, but considering Vidic and Ferdinand were both absent, the manager and fans alike will have been well pleased with the performance of Smalling and the rest of the United defence.

As a result of the win over Marseille, United are looking forward to Friday's quarter final draw and there's no doubting everyone wants to avoid Barcelona. According to Jose Mourinho, he ONLY wants to avoid Chelsea and Inter Milan, because it will be 'too emotional' - are we left to assume he wouldn't mind facing Barca again? After the drubbing Barca gave to Madrid at the Nou Camp earlier this season you can bet Jose's comments are very much wide of the mark. Nonetheless, Barca vs Real Madrid would be the dream draw for the remaining clubs in the competition - because one of the favourites would be eliminated.

United will be hoping to avoid the Spanish giants and so just about any other club will do.

1 comment:

  1. fa cup semi final manchester utd win
    rio ferdinand
    manchester is the good level
    no injury


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