In more ways than one, Manchester United have succeeded in making the second leg of this tie with Inter a nervy one. It reminded me of last season's semifinal against Barcelona when we got a penalty within the first minute and somehow Ronaldo managed to miss hence give Barca the confidence they would have lost if we had taken such an early lead.
Last night, United had the chances to put the aggregate tie to bed but unfortunately, none went in. Julio Cesar kept his best reflexes for this match and has almost single-handedly kept his team into this tie going into the second leg.
For starters, the mere fact that the Brazilian no.1 was named man of the match shows how well we played. When you compare the performance of United last night to that when we got beaten by AC Milan a couple of years ago, you have to say that United have come a long way.
The tactical discipline that Fergie has employed in Europe. Manchester United are now a very difficult team to beat home or away in Europe.
Mr. Jose could not find an answer to the tactics used by Sir Alex yesterday and worse still he'll be worried that it's United that shaded the possession and had more and better goalscoring opportunities.
Ronaldo had the bulk of chances in the opening half but neither his free-kicks nor his bullet header could find a way past Cesar into the Inter net. I was particularly pleased that he did not go AWOL in such a big game. His only fault was a couple of balls that were not delivered well into the box when we had men better placed.
Giggs was, for me, United's star player. The Welshman is seemingly immune to bag games these days as he has constantly put on displays that are award winning. He constantly cut the Inter defence with superb passing and took on a few defenders himself. He had our best chance of the first half that was created by his own magical thinking and then nearly produced another Giggsy special in the second half after a solo run.
We just might need him in the second leg as well so hopefully Fergie will start him.
Berbatov did well enough as a lone striker though a little bit of speed in his play would have made it harder for Inter.
Carrick and Fletcher did well as far as protecting the back four was concerned. That for me was Fergie's master stroke in this game. At the start of play, many of us must have questioned Wayne Rooney's absence in the starting line-up but now we know what Fergie was up to. Hopefully he'll start the second leg.
The result is a rather intriguing one.United have not got beaten as many pundits had predicted but they have not scored an away goal as well. A score draw at home will put us out out the competition so we need to keep it tight at the back whilst trying to score but if we play as well as we did last night, then we shall surely beat Inter at OT. One thing is for sure, it will be a night where the fans have to BELIEVE!
Labels: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE