Advantage To Man United After Win At The San Siro

Sports News - February 16, 2010
Tonight Man United and AC Milan took centre stage in the UEFA Champions League. David Beckham started against his former club, this was the first time he has played against United since leaving in 2003 and it wasn’t a very impressive performance.

Man United’s starting XI was- Edwin Van Der Sar, Rafael da Silva, Rio Ferdinand (captain), Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Luis Nani, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Ji-Sung Park and Wayne Rooney.

The game got off to the worst possible start for United with AC Milan going 1-0 up in only three minutes. Beckham floated the ball into the penalty area from a free-kick, Evra failed to clear the ball and Ronaldinho smashed in a volley, which took a deflection off Carrick and took the ball past Van Der Sar.

Minutes after that goal, Milan could have and probably should have been 2-0 up. Thiago Silva took the ball forward for the home team, slid it through to Luca Antonini but the defender shot wide.

After having a few great matches for United, Nani was back to his old self and he especially frustrated Rooney during the first half, which did show once or twice. It is fair to say that Rooney let him know what he thought.

A mistake by Scholes put Ronaldinho through on goal, he was one-on-one with Ferdinand and he fell down on the edge of the box. The referee said no penalty or free-kick, which was correct.

Coming up to the half hour mark, the game slowed right down. The first 20 minutes had been at a very fast pace, which was always going to catch up on the aging Milan players. United had settled down a bit, saw a bit more of the ball but still looked vulnerable, especially in defence.

Football - AC Milan v Manchester United UEFA Champions League Second Round First LegAt this point in the game, United were very lucky to only be 1-0 down, there was a feeling by many that Milan may live to rue the missed opportunities, which is exactly what happened.

Klass-Jan Huntelaar should have put the Italian side 3-0 up when Evans gave away possession too easily; Huntelaar hit the shot from 18-yards out with the ball flying just inches wide of the post.

They may have been 3-0 up but Scholes pulled United back on level terms just before the break. A very, very luck goal for Man United. Fletcher’s cross in from the right fell for Scholes, who initially tried to hit the ball with his right foot, but missed, the ball hit his left foot and trickled over the line past Dida.

Whilst celebrating the goal, Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson called Evans over to the touchline where there was an exchange of words between the pair, not a wise move by Evans.

With two minutes remaining in the first half, Rooney was booked. I am not sure what for, nor was anyone else but the only apparent thing would be something he had said.
Second half and Milan got off to another bright start. Alexandre Pato headed the ball over from 12-yards. That was quickly followed by a sensational free-kick by Andrea Pirlo. He hit the ball from 40-yards out, which had to be tipped over by Van Der Sar.

United got stronger during the second half and it helped that Milan were starting to tire. Both teams were giving the ball away, which in turn handed opportunities to the other side.

Van Der Sar made another fine save after Pato set up Ronaldinho who hit the shot and Van Der Sar parried the ball away from goal.

United were still in the game, even though they shouldn’t have been with most of the threat coming from our only striker Rooney.

Nani was taken off and in on in his place was Antonio Valencia, who immediately out shone the Portuguese. Valencia crossed the ball in and Rooney superbly headed it home to give United an undeserved 2-1 lead.

Not long after that United were 3-1 up with another header from Rooney. This time it was Fletcher who crossed the ball in and Rooney was there again to head the ball past Dida.

United were dominating the game and Rooney could have bagged himself a hattrick after his 30-yard free-kick fell just wide of the post.

Football - AC Milan v Manchester United UEFA Champions League Second Round First LegUnited were 3-1 up but the game wasn’t over, another mistake by United lead to a second goal for the home side. The ball was played to Ronaldinho, his low ball in was put past Van Der Sar by substitute Clarence Seedorf.

That goal woke Milan back up and from then until the end of the game was very nervy for all Man United fans. Milan should have really equalised but Nesta saw his header go wide.

3 minutes were added on and there was still some time for a sending off. Carrick was already on a yellow card but after Milan were awarded a free-kick, he kicked the ball away and in turn he was shown a second yellow, followed by a red card.

The game finished 3-2 to Man United, it was a interesting game to say the least but it was full of mistakes by both teams. United were very poor for the first 20 minutes and AC Milan should have been out of sight. They weren’t and in the end they rued the opportunities they missed.

With a win, three away goals and the return leg at Old Trafford, we should have enough to go through to the next round.

The other Champions League match saw Lyon beat Real Madrid 1-0 in France.

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