Schalke 0 Manchester U 2
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.