Manchester United Lights Up Theatre Of Dreams




Champions League

Champions League

Manchester United win the battle of England’s supremacy against their arch rivals Chelsea on Tuesday. They put up an astounding performance to win the match 2-1 and thereby grabbing the semi- final spot after a 3-1 aggregate score against the Blues at Old Trafford.

The intensity was there from both the teams and the intention was to secure a semi-final berth but only one English team would reach there. Manchester United had already taken a crucial away lead and started with the best possible line-up thereby not resting on their lead. But Ancelotti’s decision to bench Drogba ahead of Torres could possibly be the biggest mistake of the night. Manu started the proceedings dominating from the front and nearly got the dividend in the 12th minute as both Giggs and Hernandez saw the ball deflected wide. Malouda almost fought back bravely shattering the defense of John ‘O Shea but only for Van der Sar to collect the ball safely. Torres’s theory nearly started clicking as he gelled well with Anelka to put more pressure on Manu’s defense. The goal was netted first by a header from Hernandez only for the linesman to call offside. But the wakeup call did not spark the Blues as in the 43rd minute ‘O Shea collected the ball from Rooney to pass to running Giggs who held the assist to drive it near the goal line for Hernandez to get a foot in to give the opening goal of the match.

Ancelotti thought he had enough for the first time as the brought in Drogba in the second half. Just ten minutes into the second half and Drogba plunged into action hit it just wide of Van der Sar from 25 yards. But the more Chelsea attacked, Manu put up their counterattack. Chelsea’s first goal was the best example of their counter. Drogba lined up for an excellent cross from Essien to even up things in the match and made the aggregate 2-1 in the 76th minute. But when Rooney cut a pass to Giggs in open space allowing him to take a shot, the genius of Giggs came into play as he drove a short cross to Park who collected and finished things of in style and Manchester United hailed supreme.

On the other match of the night Barcelona produced a thumping 1-0 win over Shakthar in the 2nd leg to finish 6-1 in aggregate. So now Manchester United will face the winner of Schalke or Inter and Barcelona will face the winner of Real Madrid or Tottenham Hotspur but a Spanish semi-final is well on course. Let’s wait and watch!

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Karthik Gopalan

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