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Manchester United make it into the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League, surviving a late scare…

Match Report – Manchester United 2-1 Olympique De Marseille (Aggregate: 2-1) 

: UEFA Champions League, Last 16 (2nd Leg)
Kick-Off & Date: 7:45pm, Tuesday, 15th March 2011
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester (Home)
Attendance: 73,996

Manchester United made it through to the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Champions League in an edgy second leg tie at Old Trafford against Marseille. Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez put the home side into the lead early on, before he netted another with 15 minutes to go. Marseille were then handed a lifeline when Wes Brown unluckily converted an own goal. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had the experience and to see the game out, and stumble past the finish line…

Nemanja Vidic provided a defensive headache for Sir Alex just before kick-off, after failing a last-minute fitness test. Wes Brown therefore partnered Chris Smalling at the back, with John O’Shea starting at right back to provide maturity for United. Patrice Evra was awarded the captaincy in Vidic’s absence. Luis Nani started following his recovery from injury, while Ryan Giggs featured on the opposite wing.

Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick got spots in midfield, while Dimitar Berbatov forfeited his usual place in attack for Javier Hernandez. Wayne Rooney slotted in behind Chicharito, acting as playmaker. Old Trafford fell silent for one minute ahead of kick-off to commemorate the lives lost in the natural disaster along Japan’s north-east coast. 
‘With You Japan’ – Players pause for a minutes’ silence before kick-off

The Theatre Of Dreams roared to life, as the hosts started brightly. Sir Alex set his side up in a very much attacking formation, differing to United’s 2-0 win over Arsenal in The FA Cup on Saturday – where 7 defenders started the game. 

After a brief spell of possesion from Marseille, The Reds regained possesion of the ball and drove forward. Wayne Rooney exchanged passes with Ryan Giggs on the left wing, with Giggsy’s return ball inch-perfect for Wazza to control. Chicharito made a dash into space, tapping Rooney’s square ball past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and into the back of the net on just 5 minutes. The Mexican striker proved again how his positional play can tear teams apart…
Chicharito celebrates The Red’s opening goal on 5 minutes

But things could have been level very soon after Chicha’s opener, or at least Edwin Van Der Sar could have had a save to make – as Andre-Pierre Gignac fluffed his lines, scuppering a major opening as he fired over the goals despite being one-on-one with United’s 40-year-old Dutchman. Marseille manager Didier Deschamps wasn’t best pleased with his no.1 striker. 

Chicharito was then booked by referee Carlos Carballo for a nothing-challenge on Gabriel Heinze, while the Argentinian escaped punishment for a ‘foul’ of the same nature minutes later. Luis Nani then pounced on a mistake by the Marseille keeper, but his release of Rooney came to a dead end. Roo’s opportunity came after his fantastically floated ball was plucked out of the air by Mandanda when Hernandez managed to get his noggin’ on the cross.

Souleymane Diawara then missed an open goal with his head for the away side, from one of their many corners, before the referee signalled for the break. United had lessened their attack on the Marseille goal, as the visitors grew in confidence heading into half-time. The start second half was the direct opposite of the start of the first period.
Marseille came out of the tunnels with more urgency, but some smart defending from Chris Smalling and safe goalkeeping from Van Der Sar kept the Frenchmen at bay. Sir Alex Ferguson countered Didier Deschamps’ side by introducing Antonio Valencia for Nani, while Fabio Da Silva was forced to enter the fray in-place of an injured Rafael – who had earlier arrived following an injury to John O’Shea.
Within minutes, Valencia had made a massive impact – and United were two goals to the good and heading into the Last 8 of the competition. Giggs swapped passes with Valencia – who picked-out the Welshman in space – who then found the onrushing Chicharito for his second goal (and second tap-in) of the game. Sandwiches ?…
Clinical: Javier Hernandez doubles-up on 75 minutes…

…Not quite yet. Hernandez may have grabbed his 16th goal in 33 games, but his work was partially undone when Marseille grabbed a goal back. Fabio cleared for a second successive corner, in which Wes Brown’s attempted header away from goal flew in the wrong direction. Paul Scholes was on the line, but failed to keep the ball from crossing it. However, panic did not set in and Van Der Sar wasted some precious moments.

4 minutes of added time saw The Reds remain in control of the tie, and at the final whistle a deep sigh of relief could be heard making it’s way around Old Trafford. All-in-all an under-strength United side held it together when it mattered, and the Red Army march into the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League once more…
Marseille grab a goal back on 82 minutes, but United hold-out

United Team: Edwin van der Sar, John O’Shea (Da Silva Rafael, 37), Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling, Wes Brown, Michael Carrick, Luis Carlos Nani (Luis Antonio Valencia, 62), Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Balcazar Javier Hernandez, Ryan Giggs.

Goals: Chicharito ‘5, ’75
Bookings: Chicharito ’20

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Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:46:37 pm

great result. glad to see Valencia back and Rooney played really well 2nite. let’s hope we don’t get barca
chicharito and Rooney next seasons strike force


John m

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:48:03 pm

Come on lads we fucked up them asholes



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:53:56 pm

Relieved after that,reminded me of last season with all the defenders injured,but in fergie we trust,picked the best team again to get us through P.s poor bayen !!lol



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:01:51 pm

Well dine lads dnt fear noone.



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:03:20 pm

16 goals in all competitions now for Hernandez. What a player!



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:07:09 pm

Good goal by Hernandez great team work by Ronney good goal keaping by van der sar man of the match tho to ronney tho for his amazing come back cince the world cup



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:11:57 pm

gr8 game by smalling, rooney, vds, n chachrito….. gud to see valencia on he really injected da pace in game after coming on n wt a clever pass 2 giggs 2 construct da goal….. all in all gud performance wana see park, rafeal n vidic back soon….. Smalling = young ferdinand



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:13:32 pm

I feel bad for wes brown that own goal sucks but all around united played well posied hat off to rooney his passing was spot most of the night



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:26:15 pm

Rooney is a long-term replacement for scholes, it’s clearly obvious. He wants the ball, has the eye for superb passing and can score goals from 30 yards to poaching them. His performance was the driving factor. Well done lads.



Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:50:52 pm

Chicha n Rooney were brilliant …great combination .!!! Rooney playing in a dropped attacking role is injecting creativeness into our game… Which is what we don’t get from most of our midfielders …
Let’s hope we get drawn with shaktar …


Chris m

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:11:43 am

Guys i didt c the game as im wrking tnite im mostly interested in how carrick did tonite was he any good?


United q8

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:13:05 am

Chicha was amazing rooney is back i hope rafeal & o’she will be ok we want to have a full squad berba must fire against bolton .


Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:14:34 am

Michael Carrick was quite composed, Chris.


United q8

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:15:42 am

Vidic we need u as soon as u can hope that u will be fine


Sean 123 Mufc

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:20:22 am

wow we made . it was never inside Old Trafford people next me go up at 89 minutes and i said to them were going and they said wont be able to take the last few minutes . a true Reds stays to the end . i dont think he was a true Red anyway great win lest get Spurs next play them away and then at home they have a bad time when they play us at home


Chris m

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 1:16:18 am

I want barca i realy do,chichrito wil score at barca i want barca with rio and vidic in defence il be pretty confident


Sean 123 Mufc

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 1:18:58 am

I rather Real they may have Ronnie but there back line is shite and slow which will be better for us . save Barca to the final i say



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 5:11:49 am

I say roll in chelsea… This time with uefa officials… Show the FA how to officiate big matches… & show this chelski fans wat the real results wud hav been this 3 years if we wud be give a FAIR n STRONG refree….


cherry weeks

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 5:25:27 am

Have been watching Chicharito develop as a footballer since the World Cup and happy to note that he’s getting better and better! A breath of fresh air all around…



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 5:53:34 am

chicharito is one of the best strikers one can think off…he made us proud and also make us heard towards the cup again….


J d

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 9:29:18 am

Bring on barca you have beat the best to win it



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 9:41:27 am

Any news on O’shea and Rafael?
I thought Valencia was injured again at one point, but he took it well. Played some good football though and he gave that right back a horrid time.
I think its safe to say i’d rather have Tottenham next round or Shalke, but I cant help but think you have to beat the best to be the best, so if we get Barca or Real then so be it!



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 9:42:14 am

*Left back sorry!



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 5:20:27 pm

Saf 5 match touchline ban £30.000 fine they really don’t want us winning that 19th the fucking wankers he only told the truth have they questioned the ref on why he didn’t send or book chelsea don’t think so they are a fucking joke Manu have carried the British football on there shoulders for years all over the world and this is how we a treated disgrace shame in u f.a shame on u try as u may it won’t stop us winning the prem



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 6:25:00 pm

Th f.a are a joke if they think this will stop us they are wrong if anything I think this will make us play harder let’s do it for saf cmon utd


Chris m

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 6:25:38 pm

Makes me sick fukers jst who do they thnk they are it wont make a diference anyway confident wel stil win it,oh that second charge from last year wen the ref was unfit he had told rooney to slow down during the games as he couldnt keep up with him wat a piss take fat unfit whiley dictators they are just like a corupt goverment


Sean 123 Mufc

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 6:50:39 pm

i was thinking All DAY right fergie get five match ban grand but why not bring in Roy keane for the rest of the season a bit of drive n the touch line . i think it will be a great idea as keane is out of work of put Gary neivle on the touch line one of them will do



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 7:50:56 pm

Not a bad idea Sean having nev on touch line as fergies enforcer might just work


Chris m

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 7:59:41 pm

Neva goin to happen



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 9:05:36 pm

I aggree tho never going to happen


Chris m

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 9:20:10 pm

Jst dnt think they have the privlge of playin the kings roll jst yet it would seem demeaning to saf to me despite them being united legends



Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:42:04 pm

mentioned above Rooney is the perfect replacement for scholes. then buy benzema to partner Hernandez and a quality defensive midfielder goalkeeper n I’d like to see bale or ashley young if nani does leave wat are you’re thoughts



Thu, 17 Mar 2011 2:25:47 am

Chica needs to work on his first touch more. Sometime his first touch really let him down.. But u got to admit, his positioning and those run for empty space inside the box is just amazing…


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