Robben’s 74th minute strike sent Bayern Munich to the semi-finals despite losing 3-2 at Old Trafford, but since Bayern won 2-1 in the first leg, the 2 away goals automatically qualified them, while Manchester United can only have themselves to blame for, their poor defending on both goals, and added to that they played most of the second half with ten men as Rafael was sent off on the 50th minute. A big surprise however at kick off was the presence of Rooney in the starting 11, he who was supposed to be absent for at least 2 weeks, but still he was not 100% fit , as he twisted that ankle again in the first half, and could not participate fully in the attack when United were dominating the first half. Also to be noted that no English teams will be present in the semi-final games 😯
So it was one of the biggest surprise to see Rooney start this game 24 hours after Sir Alex had said a definite no (playing mind games again the old man… 😉 ). But Rooney was involved in United’s first goal on 3minutes as he put a pass to Gibson who did not hesitate and took a shot on goal for the opener. Four minutes later, Nani was on target as he brilliantly back-heeled a super pass from Valencia. It seemed that United were going to do a miracle as Bayern were left completely stunned, and Nani scored a third on the 41st minute to give what should have been a definite winner for United.
But it seems that the players got overconfident and Bayern took full opportunity as Olic brushed past Carrick and slotted past Van Der Sar to give the Germans some hope, as this away goal meant that one more and Bayern are in the semis. Half time 3-1 in United’s favor, but it could be sensed that with Rooney out of action and hobbling around the field, Bayern could indeed master a coup.
And so it was as only five minutes in the second half Rafael and Ribery tussled, but the little Brazilian was the one to commit the first foul, and was sanctioned with a second yellow card, resulting in a sending off. It was then that Sir Alex decided to pull off Rooney, who was completely KO by that time, and with O’Shea sent on, United dropped back allowing Bayern to take things in their hands. Nani however got away on one of the rare breaks for the second half, but Butt managed to palm his shot for a corner. But the fatal blow for United came on the 74th minute, when Ribery floated a corner to an unmarked Robben on the edge of the box, and the latter’s volley was too well placed to be saved, and Bayern got that second goal to send them to the semis, and despite Berbatov and Giggs sent on for the last minutes, United could not manage any breakthrough in Bayern’s defense and had to content themselves with a 3-2 home win, 4-4 on aggregate, but the qualification was for the Germans on the away goal rule.
Elsewhere, in the second quarter-final game, which was an all-French affair, Bordeaux managed a 1-0 home win against Lyon, but since Lyon won 3-1 in the first leg, they qualified with an aggregate of 3-2, and will face Bayern Munich in the semis, while the other semi-final game will oppose the two winners of last night (Tuesday night), Inter Milan vs Barcelona.
Concerning Rooney’s presence in the squad, Fergie took a real gamble with him on this one, and as Rooney limped off, concerns arise whether he may have caused more damage to his ligaments, which could see him being absent for some more time, but one thing is sure if Rooney does not make it to the World Cup, all fingers will be pointed towards Fergie and what may have been his stupidity, mostly when Rooney had twisted his ankle again, but the coaching staff did not deem it right to sub him at that time.