Having been threatened for the last couple of years, we now have on our hands an all-English final of the Champions League for the first time in history. Manchester United vs
It’s at Old Trafford we start, and a deafening atmosphere that proved just how much getting to their first final in nine years meant to the United faithful. Having barely had a kick last week in the Nou Camp, and chasing shadows for much of the defeat to
As in the Nou Camp, Messi was the real danger man for Barce throughout, darting around with such pose and intent, but once again, Evra played him with aplomb, and United keeper Edwin van der Sar was on fine form to deny his several pokes at goal. Deco too was excellent for the Spanish side, but twice he dragged decent shooting opportunities just wide as it started to look like another one of those nights for Barce. United created chances of their own though, with Park Ji-Sung sliding a precise effort just wide, and Nani, preferred to Ryan Giggs, wasting a chance to double their lead just three minutes before the interval when he glanced Park's cross. Perhaps the best chance of the game however fell to substitute Thierry Henry just after the hour-mark, who fluffed a point-blank header from Xavi's corner tamely straight at van der Sar. As ironies go, an Henry header at Old Trafford would’ve been almost too much to take for United, but thankfully the ex-Arsenal man failed to get any real power on the ball.
We move to
They almost made a perfect start too, with Dirk Kuyt forcing a crucial save from Cech just minutes into the second half. Gerrard finally started to get a foot in the game, having broken the shackles of Claude Makelele somewhat after an anonymous first-half, and his passing opened the game up with
Having been on the rack for almost 45 minutes straight, the full-time whistle was exactly what
We’ll see you in Moscow on May 21st for the titanic showdown.