Schalke 0 Manchester U 2

Wayne Rooney

Schalke 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2, Velt­ins Arena, UEFA Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Semi-Fi­nal Fir­st Leg, April 26, 2011. Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Man­chester Uni­ted mo­ved a step closer to a Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Fi­nal wi­th a con­vin­cing 2-0 away vic­tory ag­ainst Schalke. Ry­an Gig­gs net­ted the fir­st goal when he slot­ted the ball un­der Manuel Neuer on 67 min­utes be­fore Way­ne Roo­ney com­pleted the scor­ing wi­th a fe­ro­cious try at the netminder’s near post two min­utes later.

Af­ter beat­ing Ever­ton 1-0 at Old Traf­ford in the Pre­miership three days earli­er cour­tesy of a goal from Mex­ic­an stri­ker Javi­er Her­nandez, Man­chester Uni­ted trav­elled to Ger­many to take on Schalke in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Semi-Fi­nal Fir­st Leg in April 2011. Uni­ted had to man­age with­out the phys­ic­al pres­ence of Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, who was still suf­fer­ing from the groin strain that had kept him out of the ga­me ag­ainst The Tof­fee­men, whi­le Ji-Sung Park and Ne­manja Vid­ic bo­th re­turned to ac­tion. As for the hosts, Tim Hoog­land, Klaas-Jan Hunte­laar, Mario Gav­ran­ovic, Peer Kluge, Chris­top Mor­itz, and Chris­ti­an Pander were all in­jured. Al­though Uni­ted dom­in­ated much of the fir­st frame, they fou­nd the Schalke de­fence very dif­fi­cult to break down. It was not un­til af­ter the re­sump­tion that the dead­lock was broken as Way­ne Roo­ney set up the fir­st goal and pro­duced the sec­ond in­side two min­utes. A pin­point pass from the marks­man fou­nd Ry­an Gig­gs who ma­naged to out­fox Manuel Neuer in the Schalke goal 22 min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod. The Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al then sco­red the sec­ond goal of the even­ing in the 69th min­ute of play when he latched onto a clev­er ball from Her­nandez and ex­ecuted a mag­ni­fi­cent ef­fort pa­st Neuer and in­to the back of the net to make the fi­nal sco­reline read 2-0 in Man­chester United´s fa­vour. Roo­ney was ev­entually sub­sti­tuted to­wards the end of the clash, how­ever, as the for­ward was re­placed by Por­tuguese wing­er Lu­is Nani wi­th sev­en min­utes left.

On pa­per, a fix­ture ag­ainst Schalke in Gelsen­kirchen look­ed tough, but the North Rhine-West­phalia te­am were dis­ap­point­ing for long peri­ods of the mat­ch. And, at two goals up, Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Man­chester Uni­ted were more than con­tent to see the ga­me out in sec­ond gear. Chances on goal were lim­ited for the Bundes­liga si­de who had their ex­cel­lent shot stop­per Manuel Neuer to thank for keep­ing the score re­spect­able, but af­ter los­ing at ho­me to Uni­ted, on­ly a mir­acle in the sec­ond leg at The Theatre of Dreams could help The Miners reach the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Fi­nal at Wemb­ley. Schalke Te­am: Manuel Neuer, Chris­toph Met­zeld­er, Kyriakos Papado­poulos, At­suto Uchida, Joel Ma­tip, Al­ex­an­der Baum­jo­hann, Jose Jurado, Hans Sarpei, Edu, Jef­fer­son Far­fan, Raul. Sub­stitutes: Math­i­as Schober, Ser­gio Es­cudero, Nic­olas Plest­an, Ju­li­an Draxler, Ali Karimi, Peer Kluge, An­gelos Char­isteas. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Rio Fer­dinand, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Fa­bio, Va­lencia, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ry­an Gig­gs, Ji-Sung Park, Javi­er Her­nandez, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: To­masz Kusz­czak, Ra­fael, Jon­athan Evans, Chris Small­ing, An­der­son, Nani, Paul Scholes.

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