There was something about last night's team selection that was Sir Alex Ferguson-ish. It's not easy guessing a Manchester United line up but considering the pressure and singular importance of the game, few expected David Moyes to name Rio, Welbz, Valencia and Giggs in our biggest game of the season. Only Sir Alex could and get away with it because he always had the leverage. Seeing Moyes do it prematch sent timelines crashing with how the manager had picked a perfect time to write a suicide note.
When it comes to taking risks in just about every aspect of life, there can only be two outcomes. You either look genuis incarnate or quite simply a fool. David Moyes looked the former on a night that has already taken its place in the archive of famous European nights at Old Trafford.
Make no mistake, as a club, Manchester United shouldn't be too giddy about the events of last night. However, given the nature of season that the club has suffered, Wednesday was about the fans. The manner in which nursed wounds have been re-opened this season has caused an unspeakable hurt to supporters so much so that on Sunday during the derby, fans were forced to sing through the misery in an attempt to drown out the pain. With virtually nothing left to play for this season, Wednesday was the last available straw to clutch on and boy did the players clutch.
The passion, energy and desire on show last night is what fans have been baying for all season. If only we could play with that every game. It's a shame that they still have it in them and yet we find ourselves in this pridicament.
The heroes on the night were quite many as is often the case when it's a collective effort but I thought this result was ultimately down to the ageless class that is Ryan Giggs. How he plays once a month but still turns in a better performance than any of our midfielders is as freakish as the fact that a 40 year old can still play a Champions League game for 90 minutes.
De Gea, Rooney, Valencia, Welbz and of course RVP deserve their plaudits but we all know they won't be doing it at 40. Certainly not at this level.
The last 8 draw is tomorrow but I couldn't care less who we drew for we're now in a pressure-less zone. It's great to be among the best 8 teams in Europe in this season of all seasons. It's great that we've not yet played our last Champions League match for the foreseeable future. And just for 2 days at least, it's great to have that divine feeling about being a Manchester United dan.