Manchester United confirmed their date to face Barcelona at Wembley on the 28th of May, as the United ‘B’ team gave Schalke a tough time at Old Trafford to finally end the night on a 4-1 scoreline, and 6-1 on aggregate following the first leg. No Rooney, Chicharito, Ferdinand, Vidic or Carrick in the starting lineup, but yet those chosen to represent the Red Devils were up to the task, and did not disappoint. Gibson gave may be his best display so far, and riposted from the humiliation suffered on twitter in a fitting manner, as he assisted Valencia, then scored one himself, and patrolled the midfield most of the game.
The lineup from Fergie raised some eyebrows, as the back four was completely renewed, with Evans and Smalling as central defenders with Rafael and O’Shea on either flanks, while in midfield, Scholes, Gibson, Anderson, Nani and Valencia were present, and Berbatov the sole attacker. The game was pretty balanced till the 26th minute, where Nani collected a loose pass and played it to Gibson, and the latter saw the run of Valencia and played a perfect 26 meters pass to him. Valencia went one-on-one with Neuer, and found the space between his legs to slot the ball home for the opener. Gibson was then on the scoresheet himself 5 minutes later, as he smashed Valencia’s pass towards goal, and despite Neuer’s attempt to save, the shot hit the keeper’s hands, bounced off the post and in. But Schalke got one back 3 minutes later, as Smalling failed to clear the ball properly, and Jurado hammered a shot past Van Der Sar following some defensive mix-up. United looked somewhat shaken up a little after conceding, but Schalke, despite playing better than last week, were not threatening too much.
The second half saw United drop a little back, while Schalke sent on Edu to try get a result, with United proceeding more on counters. We had to wait till the 72nd minute to see another goal for United, as Nani passed low in the box, and Anderson managed to keep away the ball from Schalke’s defenders and shot low past Neuer for 3-1. He was at it yet again 4 minutes later, this time served unselfishly by Berbatov, and all he needed to do was to guide the ball into the net with Neuer beaten. Huntelaar saw a goal ruled out for offside at the other end as Schalke tried to at least keep some dignity, but United held on to see off the game and book the date for the final against Barcelona at Wembley, with Pep Guardiola watching the game from the stands.
Next big game for United is against Chelsea in the weekend, which some are already referring to as the final of the Premier League, as the winner of that game will surely claim the league title, and United have to make sure they are the ones to do so if they really want that 19th title in their history.