Football 10/11: vs Schalke CPL, Semi-Final, First Leg

As a friend of mine put it last night “Looks like League Schalke turned up”.

Seriously, that might have been the easiest Champions League Semi-Final game I’ve seen. I have no idea how Schalke got this far, but it can’t have been if they were playing like they did last night. It’s vey obvious now why they are in the mid table of the Bundesliga.

I am far more annoyed that United didn’t stroll away with it by half-time considering the amount of chances that the hosts coughed up. In that, it is Neuer who is the hero of the hour, the only man on the German side who can actually holds his head up high today.

The rest of that team was awful, with the possible exception of Metzelder. Raul, the talisman, was utterly absent last night, for which Vidic should get a lot of credit. Limited to long shots that Van Der Sar could easily deal with, Schalke were never much of a threat.

United, on the other hand, were. Chance after chance went a begging, as Hernandez, Rooney and Giggs repeatedly found the gaps in the German defence. A United goal was inevitable really, which Giggs took coolly. The second may have been a result of the first, the Schalke defence still stunned from the opener, allowing Rooney to get free inside the area, never the wisest thing to do.

The defence was strong, the wings did their jobs (though oddly, United started with two left wingers, Park and Giggs, then put Rooney into that position), and the central midfield  was never really troubled at any point.

The return leg to come, but United have the away goals they needed. Schalke will have to go all out at Old Trafford, which will leave further gaps in their already shaky defence. They’ll need something special.

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