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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Fergie Fury At German’s Antics As The 10 Men Of United Crash Out

Match report from an epic night at Old Trafford that started with such promise for Manchester United but ended in heartbreak and anger.


Manchester United (4)3-2(4) Bayern Munich

By Dan Salisbury-Jones.

There was one word on everyone’s lips in and around Old Trafford before kick off, news had broke that Wayne Rooney was to start for Manchester United against Bayern Munich.

In Sir Alex’s pre-match interview with ITV, his cheeky smile suggested he was more than pleased to welcome the striker back and confident his side could progress to be the only English representation in the Semi-Finals.

The other interesting news for United was that Rafael was to start instead of Gary Neville, who was not even in the squad and the surprising inclusion of Darren Gibson in United’s midfield.

An attacking Bayern line-up welcomed back Arjen Robben to the right wing and Bastian Schweinsteiger to the heart of the German’s midfield.

The buzz in the stadium was unquestionable, the fans were obviously buoyed by Rooney’s dramatic return, they were raucous and anticipating one of those great European nights.

The players matched the passionate atmosphere in the ground, instantly tackles were flying in as both sides looked to impose themselves on the occasion.

Just 3 minutes in, United did indeed impose themselves. It started with great work from Rafael, who took the ball around Ribery, feeding a 25 yard ball forward into the middle where Wayne Rooney (of course he would be involved) laid off Darren Gibson 20 yards out, who fired home a right footed shot low at Butt’s near post, queue ecstasy in Manchester.

The Bavarian side looked shell shocked as United grabbed hold of the game, the Reds had the sort of momentum politicians would be dreaming of right now.

Just 3 minutes after United’s first, Wayne Rooney dug out a superb 40 yard ball out to the right winger Valencia, he dribbled the ball closer to the bye-line and goal, before crossing the ball low across the 6 yard box for the onrushing Nani to finish in divine fashion with a flick, a la Joe Cole on Saturday, into the bottom left hand corner.

Munich were just where United wanted them, memories of the last and only time United have overturned a 1st leg deficit in the knockout phase against Roma ensued, that most magical of nights ended 7-1 to United.

After 11 minutes, Bayern’s goalkeeper made a shocking clearance for this level, it went straight to Michael Carrick but the England midfielder pulled his shot wide from outside the area.

United continued their domination on 16 minutes as Darren Gibson whipped in a challenging ball that Munich had to put behind their own goal, the resulting corner bounced up to Wayne Rooney’s head 10 yards out, his header though went well over.

1 minute later saw the game’s 1st booking, Brazilian right back Rafael went down under a challenge from Van Bommel, Raphael though then tripped the Dutchman thus warranting his caution.

If there was any suggestion before the game that perhaps Wayne Rooney would take it a little easy, they were very easily dismissed as the number 10 was as committed as ever to every challenge, there were certainly some heart in the mouth moments early on as he really got stuck in.

Indeed, after 20 minutes his game was seemingly up as he was limping heavily after turning his ankle in similar fashion to how he injured himself a week ago. Rooney though, vowed to play on.

2 minutes later Nani cut inside from the left in line with the area, United fans have seen him do this so often but his shot was wild from 20 yards and he would expected to at least test Butt in the Munich goal.

With 25 minutes gone, the visitors had their first spell of ominous looking possession, sending United very deep in the process, it did however only result in a long range effort from the light haired Schweinsteiger that deflected away from trouble.

Another 2 minutes went by before the second booking of the game, the previous victim Van Bommel was now the villain with a cynical trip on Scotland’s captain, Darren Fletcher.

Half an hour in to the game, United reasserted their dominance with a couple of corners, the first of which Michael Carrick ended up on the deck after a clash of heads with Schweinsteiger, perhaps this had an effect on Carrick’s performance from then in.

The next corner saw the ball arrive to Nemanja Vidic, under pressure he steered his volley over the bar from 12 yards. It was though continual pressure from the reds.

Munich seemed to not have done their homework on United’s Darren Gibson and his shooting ability, as he was allowed to strike from 25 yards after 32 minutes without being closed down. The shot didn’t quite dip into the top right hand corner but was certainly not a million miles away.

Franck Ribery, sporting pink boots lost out to Rafael a minute later, the Brazilian then gave the ball before continuing his run, Darren Gibson then fed him through into the Bayern half and despite a desperate attempt the block the pass, Rafael was in on goal. The youngster however looked lost as he approached the goal and decided to fire his shot across the target, he pulled it wide though much to the dismay of the waiting reds, such as Wayne Rooney.

With a stricter referee Bayern could have been down to 10 men after 38 minutes, Mark van Bommel fouled Rafael. He escaped punishment though and the Germans sought to create their first meaningful opportunity, they did that when Muller played in fellow striker Olic who seemed destined to score, but his touch allowed Edwin Van Der Sar to close him down and smother his effort.

3 minutes later a United throw-in found Antonio Valencia, who was giving the left back Badstuber a torrid time, the Ecuadorian then took the ball around Demichelis before pulling the ball right back across the box to Nani on the left hand corner of the area  who calmly lofted the ball into the roof of the net, United were in dreamland.

There was though an instant reply from Bayern, showing again their own great character, a cross field ball was flicked on to Olic who out muscled Michael Carrick, the United player to be fair to him had tracked the Croatian, the striker had been sent wide to the left of Van Der Sar’s goal but he still managed to squeeze the ball inside the far post. Silencing the Streford End in the process and putting the Germans back to within a goal of being back in the drivers seat.

On the stroke of half time there was another reminder, if it was needed, that Bayern were well and truly still in the tie when ex-Chelsea man Arjen Robben drove at United’s defence from the right hand side before cutting inside and striking a left footed shot low across Edwin Van Der Sar’s goal, the Dutchman kept out his fellow countryman though with a strong 1 handed save.

And that was the first half of what was fast becoming one of the greatest European football battles ever witnessed in the Champions League. United had been stunning, Wayne Rooney’s sheer presence changing the whole atmosphere from that of Saturday lunchtime. Raphael had capably stepped in for Gary Neville, the Brazilian along with Valenica, Nani and Gibson were among the outstanding performers of United’s dominant first half.

Bayern looked to their top goal scorer Mario Gomez at half time, he replaced Muller who had been relatively ineffective.

The Germans started the second half with a purpose and saw a large amount of the ball, this was a feature of the week before and matters were certainly not helped by what happened next.

On 50 minutes, Rafael was shown his second booking for pulling back Franck Ribery. The Frenchman certainly realised what implications the right back could be in for and was joined by his team mates who barracked the referee to show the card, he obliged and a visibly distraught Raphael was sent off.

4 minutes later there was a costly booking for Bayern, this time as left back Badstuber was yellow carded for a foul on Valencia meaning he would miss his next European match. The freekick that followed was punched poorly away by the Bayern keeper to Nani, just outside the box, the Portuguese winger took it down with his knee before forcing Butt to tip an effort over the bar.

Wayne Rooney was to be sacrificed to cover the gap left by Raphael’s early bath, John O’Shea made a long awaited come back to first team action, with the task of keeping Franck Ribery quiet.

United then had a corner and through some great skill from Nani, the ball found itself with Darren Fletcher to the left of the box in front of the Stretford End but his right footed shot wouldn’t quite curl into the far post, despite the best efforts of the crowd to suck it into the net.

On the hour mark the German side really began to force United to defend deep and there was a certain sense of inevitability that United would have to ride their luck to stay in this. There was a thunderous strike on the hour from Ribery from outside the area, which thankfully for United was straight at Edwin Van Der Sar.

Despite the depth United were playing with they managed to hit Bayern on the break next with a beautiful ball from Evra down the left hand side that set Nani away through on goal, Bayern’s defenders caught him up and narrowed his angle to manoeuvre, he shot with his right foot inside the area but Butt the goalkeeper stood up to the shot with a strong 1 handed stop.

The resulting corner found its way to Darren Fletcher, his shot was deflected for another United corner as the reds looked to make the most of having the ball deep inside Bayern’s half, something that with 10 men would be a scarce occurrence.

Nani’s low corner was met by Micheal Carrick inside the area but he put his effort over the bar, he was under pressure but it was a chance.

68 minutes in, Bayern were to come the closest yet to completing their come back, Oliver Lamb’s right footed cross from the right hand side was met by Mario Gomez, jumping with Rio Ferdinand, his effort went on to loop on top of the bar on its way behind the goal.

More pressure ensued and after 71 minutes Bastian Schweinsteiger struck straight at Van Der Sar from range once again. United though kept asking Bayern’s defence questions, even with 10 men, Gibson had the ball pulled back to him 20 yards out but his shot was tame and straight at Butt, he would have expected better of himself given the ferocity of his opener.

Arjen Robben was beginning to cause more problems and he was to next cut inside on 74 minutes and strike a left footed shot that was blocked by Nemanja Vidic behind for a corner.

The corner that followed was a piece of brilliance worthy of sending any team into the Semi-Final. Ribery’s left sided corner picked out Arjen Robben on the far right hand corner of the area, the Dutchman struck a sweet left footed volley back across goal which nestled in the bottom left hand corner.  It should be pointed out that Raphael had guarded that post in the first half.

That was to be Robben’s final contribution as he left to be replaced by Turkey international Altintop. The German side then sprayed the ball about with real quality, they didn’t look to get another, just wanted to keep hold of the ball.

The final throw of the dice from Sir Alex came with just over 10 minutes to go as first Berbatov came on for Michael Carrick and then goal scorer Darren Gibson departed to be replaced by Ryan Giggs.

It did not have the desired effect though and United simply couldn’t get hold of the ball, never mind create a chance to get the goal that would send them through.

On 84 minutes it was Croat for Croat, as Pranjic came on for Olic in Bayern’s final substitution of the night.

With just 2 minutes to go Franck Ribery almost wrapped up the tie, when after copious amounts of possession the Frenchman found himself 25 yards from goal, his right footed shot went just over the upright.

Nemanja Vidic was thrown up front in a last ditch attempt to breach the Germans back line one more time but apart from a pulled Nani shot wide, it was not to be for United.

It was too much to ask, even for United and so the curtain falls on this years European campaign in heartbreaking fashion.

Sir Alex Ferguson was furious after the game with the decision to send off Raphael and the part the opposition played in making up the referee’s mind, although conceded the Brazilian’s inexperience was also costly.

“Bayern would never have got through had it not been for the red card, with 11 men, we would have had no problem. Rafael’s a young boy, a bit inexperienced, but they got him sent off. The Bayern players went towards the referee. They’re like that.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

Do you agree with Sir Alex? What were your thoughts on the game? What next for United? Why have the English clubs failed this year? Here at Football-talk we love to hear your opinions so voice yours in the comments box below…



  1. ManU

    April 8, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Ribbery was having problems with Rafeal because that boy is talented and got the pace to match him. So the only way was to influnce the refree to sent him off.Very dirty German tactic, they injured Rooney in both the matches and got what they wanted. Why was Van Boomel not sent off with his at least three dirty tackles in the first place ?

  2. bob

    April 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    german tactic ???? ribery is french, the trainer van gaal is from the netherlands…

  3. celusta

    April 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    whatever. ribery was just scared to lose face

  4. CFC

    April 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    And Man U doesn’t play dirty…
    I was actually shocked they got yellow cards. Seems like at OT they’re untouchable.

  5. t, lawton.

    April 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    the mistake was not taking Rooney off when the score stood at 3 0.

  6. TomPier

    May 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    great post as usual!

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