Man Utd 4-0 AC Milan: Rooney Double In A Resounding Win For United

Football - Manchester United v AC Milan UEFA Champions League Second Round Second Leg

A brace from Wayne Rooney along with goals from Park and Fletcher take Manchester United into the quarter-finals of the Champions’ League. The Red Devils humiliate AC Milan on a day which saw David Beckham return to his boyhood club.

Wayne Rooney returned to the starting line-up for Manchester United after missing the game against Wolves on Saturday. Carrick missed the game through suspension and was replaced by Valencia in the five man midfield that played at the San Siro. Gary Neville started at right back.

Milan, on the other hand were handed a setback as experienced defender Nesta was a last minute pull-out due to injury. He joined Pato, who also failed to recover from his injury that kept him out for the game against Roma. Cristian Abbiati was handed a rare start in goal. David Beckham started on the bench on his return to Old Trafford alongside veteran Clarence Seedorf.

United created the first chance of the game when Rooney turned on the edge of the area but his left footed shot narrowly missed the target. Ronaldinho also got a glorious chance to bring Milan level on aggregate as Nani flicked Pirlo’s free kick straight on to him, but his header was inches wide with Van Der Sar rooted to the spot.

Huntelaar got the next chance and should have done better when sent clean through by Thiago Silva, but the Dutchman’s first touch was poor and the ball was gathered safely by his compatriot in the United goal.

It was United though that got the early breakthrough through their in-form striker Wayne Rooney. Neville delivered a precise ball from the right for Rooney, who scored his third header of the tie to make it 4-2 for United on aggregate.

Milan tried to respond after the goal, as Pirlo’s shot from the edge of the area had Van Der Sar in a bit of trouble as the goalkeeper failed to gather the ball at the first attempt. Unfortunately, for Milan, nobody was there to slot home the rebound.

Half time arrived with no further trouble for the home team, as either side failed to create much in the dying moments of the first half.

With no option left for Milan other than to attack, Leonardo put Seedorf on in place of centre back Bonera.  But that meant Wayne Rooney could have acres of space to take advantage of, and he did.

Less than a minute into the second half, Nani darted down the left and played a sumptuous pass for Rooney to tap the ball beyond a charging Abbiati. The goal was the Englishman’s thirtieth goal of the season and his first from the foot after a run of seven consecutive headers.

The tie was put beyond Milan’s reach just before the hour mark by Ji-Sung Park who added a third for United. Paul Scholes’ brilliantly disguised pass was collected by the South-Korean, who  slotted the ball into the net from a tight angle.

But, the loudest cheer of the night came from the United faithful when boyhood fan David Beckham was put on for Abate. With 3-0 up and the passage to the next round virtually secure, Sir Alex also took the chance to rest his stars. Rooney, Neville and Scholes were replaced by Berbatov, Rafael and Gibson respectively in quick succession.

Beckham was soon involved in the thick of things as his stunning volley from just outside the area brought up a reaction save from Van Der Sar. Gibson also had a chance at the other end with Valencia setting him up following Nani’s cross from the left hand side. But, the Irishman sent his shot sailing over the bar.

The scoring was completed with two minutes on the clock remaining when Rafael delivered a perfect cross towards an unmarked Darren Fletcher at the far post who made no mistake in guiding his header past the hapless Milan keeper.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Ji-Sung Park(Manchester United)
The work ethic of the midfielder and the effort put by him on the night to man-mark Pirlo won the match tactically for United. He was deservedly rewarded with a goal and is our choice for player of the match.

TheHardTackle’s REFEREE REPORT CARD
Name: Busacca
Grade: B (Decent)

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MATCH STATISTICS

MANCHESTER UNITED 4-0 AC MILAN (Agg. 7-2)
Venue: Old Trafford
Attendance: 74,595

Manchester United Line-up: Van der Sar, Neville (Rafael, 66’), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes (Gibson, 73’), Park, Valencia, Nani, Rooney (Berbatov, 66’)
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
Cautions: Scholes (68’)
Sent-off: None
Scorers: Rooney (13’,46’), Park (59’), Fletcher (88’)

AC Milan Line-up: Abbiati, Abate (Beckham, 64’), Bonera (Seedorf, 45’), Thiago Silva, Jankulovski, Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Huntelaar, Borriello (Inzhagi, 69’), Ronaldinho
Manager: Leonardo
Cautions: Ronaldinho (72’), Flamini (85’)
Sent-off: None
Scorers: None

  • Tanay

    The ghosts of three years ago are finally buried…:)

  • Ankur

    A fitting end to the story if one is a United fan.A comprehensive win coming a day after Arsenal mauled Porto at home,leaves no doubts in the minds of people about how competitive EPL is.
    But no matter how staunch a supporter one is of United,there was a faint wish in the heart of hearts of every United fan that Beckham scores at OT especially after United had sealed the deal with the third goal.On a day when Milan barely got any chance to make Van der Sar work,the volley from Beckham brought the crowd to its feet.
    Its been a long journey for him coming back to the theater of his dreams.He scored two brilliant goals against Real Madrid the last time he played and to expect a goal from him yesterday was not a far fetched dream.
    Apart from his brilliant volley he also provided a breathtaking cross which Inzaghi failed to dispatch.He left the ground in front of a packed Trafford crowd in whose heart he still remains a red devil.

  • 75K odd people cheering for an opponent player. How many times do you see that? It was their son after all, David Beckham. To me, the moment of the match, was the screamer-volley shot that David threw at Abbiatti. What control, what power! Brilliant.

    Apart from that, nothing special from Milan, they were very ordinary, really slow (What do you expect from 30+ olds?). Leonardo should really think hard about changing the squad for next season, puting more young blood in there. Just imagine, your subs are Becks, Seedorf and Pippo, all well past their primes! Makes no sense!

    ManU were terrific, Rooney just ‘owns’ the striking role now! They were smooth and very clear with their objectives.

  • ToD

    Beckham also showed that he is a true United fan by putting the green and gold scarf around his neck. People are saying that United emulated Arsenal in thrashing their opponents, but hang on, aren’t this MILAN we are talking about??

  • Somnath

    This current Milan side promptly display everything that is wrong with Serie A now. Old players, basking in past glories, lack of speed, lack of creativity & a whimsical board.

    The average age of the Milan reserve bench ? 34. THIRTY FOUR. A bench old enough & fit enough to be a Supreme Court bench.

    The last UCL win made Milan think that side could carry on for some more years. That was the crucial mistake. They didn’t do enough when they should have been building upon that success. It has all went downhill since that.

    Oh & Serie A in all likelihood will lose that 4th UCL spot to Bundesliga, the latter catching up on UEFA Coefficients. Only Inter & Juvetus left. Germany still has Stuttgart, Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Bremen & Bayern left in Europe.

    Two French clubs in UCL QFs, two in EL round of 16.

    By this pattern Serie A will be fighting with the French after a few years :(

  • “United’s soul is never sold,
    So proudly wear that Green and Gold,
    We’ll never wear our famous Red,
    Till Glazers gone or even dead,
    So raise that ancient standard high,
    By Green and Gold we’ll live or die,
    That Day will come again for sure,
    When we can wear our Red Once more”

    LUHG!!!

  • LOL @Sounak…
    “To me, the moment of the match, was the screamer-volley shot that David threw at Abbiatti. What control, what power! Brilliant.”
    Did you forget that Becks plays for Milan? 😛

    And please refrain from calling our club “ManU”… its offensive!

  • ToD

    @ sonauk and all others who think that Milan was beaten cos their players are old, here is a fact – United’s starting XI on Wednesday night boasted a higher average age (29) than Milan’s (28)…Its the quality of the players and not their age that matters

  • The Galaxy must be upset with this injury also – Will he play for the Galaxy at all this year?

  • The Galaxy must be upset with this injury also – Will he play for the Galaxy at all this year?

  • Great site!