Quite the game, and United march on to the semi’s.
It didn’t seem to be going all that well in the first half, but Chelsea simply lacked that cutting edge that they used to have, with Torres remaining ineffectual at best, embarrassing at worse. It’s becoming increasingly clear that his purchase was a mistake and the suspicion of upstairs involvement in the deal seems justified. I see no reason why Ancelloti would continue to play him unless under pressure from above. His half-time substitution may well be a low-point in his career.
United stumbled towards half-time but remained dangerous. Hernandez’s tap-in was fairly against the run of play, but came at the perfect time to hit Chelsea’s morale. United were able to play their counter-attacking game to a tee in the second, and Chelsea never looked comfortable. The sending off was just another blow.
Drogba remains Chelsea’s best player, and perhaps nothing will get Ancelloti the sack faster than the decision not to play him from the start. His goal was taken well, but United responded as Champions should, straight down the other end to take advantage of lapse Chelsea defending. It is an old footballing maxim: you’re never more vulnerable than when you’ve scored. Park took it well, and that was the ball game.
If Torres was bad, Rooney was magnificent and it is gratifying to see him come back to form. It is a pity that he will miss the FA Cup Semi, but Tevez appears to be aswell, so I guess it all evens out.
Schalke would appear to be the opposition in the next round, barring an unlikely Inter revival. Interesting prospect.