Before this game (and indeed, before any away game Manchester United have played in the last couple of seasons) the media trotted out figures to suggest that United were abysmal away in Europe – and few United fans would have argued against it after 4 away defeats last season (Celtic, Copenhagen, Roma and Milan) in the Champions League.
Still, United’s home record (on the verge of setting a new European record of 11 straight home wins if they beat Roma next Wednesday) stands up to any other team’s record and there was a certain anticipation to this tie – which side had learned their lessons better from last year?
Apparently it was just one player – Cristiano Ronaldo – whose improvement in the face of adversity and an otherwise average game (by his standards) put Manchester United ahead in the first half and after that as long as United kept 11 men on the pitch there wasn’t much danger of losing the game.
I’ve dissected SAF’s European tactics and a few player performances (especially Ronaldo’s) here on Red Rants – have a look and tell me what you guys think.
Man of the match – Wayne Rooney, for another fantastic all-round performance – the kid was everywhere, left-back, defensive midfield, left wing, center forward.
Catch match highlights here.