Bayern Munich---the team against which United fans had their greatest night is what we'll face in the last eight. Given the fact that we could have been given Barca or Inter this at this stage, I think Bayern is not such a bad draw. I pit them in the category of AC Milan at the moment---not in the sense of age of players but that they are good enough to dismiss complacency form our players and yet not too difficult to beat on our day. This is a team that is no longer as feared as the days when they would ran away with the Bundesliga and concentrate on the Champions League. The only worry I do have for United is that our last eight opponents rely on the wings just as much as we do. Arjen Robben for instance has been the fulcrum of their attack this season. Ribery is another who could take our fullbacks apart on his day. That could mean that both legs might be filled with attacking football.
A much bigger incentive for United is that the semifinal draw has been rather kind to us on paper. We get to meet Lyon or Bordeaux in the last for as a reward for getting past Bayern. It's no disrespect to them but you'd rather meet either French side in the last four than a Barca or Inter. From a distance and bar any disaster between now and May, it looks as if United have been handed another route to the final. We seem to have grasped the requirements of European football. I think we need to make hay while we still have that instinct in us. I mean beating AC Milan 7-2 on aggregate is something. And that we have it in us to do that, we must take advantage.
The ties will be either side of a season defining game against Chelsea at OT so that could be a factor. But if we are to make that game against Chelsea mean anything, we must first do the job against Liverpool this Sunday! The Preview to follow shortly!
Labels: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE