Well firstly, nobody could have predicted how easy it has been for United to make it to the last eight of the Champions League for the fourth successive time--not when the draws were made and we were paired with our 'bogey' team Milan.
That the 7-2 scoreline was not at all flattering goes a long way in telling how dominant United were over the two legs. More damning is the fact that United had an average of 29,higher than that of Milan at 28. That throws the age factor out of the window as far as excuses are concerned---I mean isn't it from their age and experience that they derive their strengths?
So in short, United were that good yesterday. If the played like they did against Wolves saving it for last night, then I'm fine with that.
I'd like to think that our defence is getting closer to that form of shutting out the opposition week in, week out. That's two games with our best defenders and keeper and nothing has gone past EVDS.
When all is said and done however, we really have to break down our success over Milan into individual performances. Wayne Rooney's praises have been sang by just about every British paper this morning so no need to get in that but what about Park Ji Sung. I mean this lad did exactly what Gattusso did for Milan in 2007 when they beat us--nullifying Milan's creative powers and at the same time provided wonderful link-up play for our attacks. He has, for me, graduated into that vital player that United actually miss when he is not in the team. It's good the manager has noticed his contribution over the two legs.
The rest were at their usual best but why not save some space to put this win into perspective.
We're in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and things can only get harder in that department--more on that later in the month. We still have a battle on our hands in the league. In many ways, the league is our best shot at another trophy this season. For starters, we know how to win it better than any other team. However, it is more cruel than the Champions League as we found out when we came from Italy in high spirits only to be sank by Everton the other week.
That we cannot afford to drop points in the league for the rest of the season is testament to the job we have on our hands these next few weeks. To put it simply, we must view every game as a Cup final for us now. I'd like to see the players adopt the enthusiasm they displayed in midweek in each game for just 9 more games. 9 games separate these players from making major history at the club. Whether the players are hungry enough for that is another issue, but we fans are. Before we blow this up, let me just say we are in a good position to start our decade with gold.
Labels: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE