The biggest game in Europe (at least on the day) saw Manchester United host Real Madrid at the famous Theatre of Dreams. A game that saw the world pay attention for 90 minutes without blinking. I heard Cristiano Ronaldo (a former United player) forgot he didn’t play for the Red Devils anymore and went into their dressing room to get ready for the game, hahaha that’s me joking. An explosive encounter as expected though I was surprised at the outcome. A 1-1 draw at the famous Estadio Santiago Bernabeu put Man United in a good position to qualify for the quarter finals of the Champions league having scored an away goal, so I thought. Sir Alex had said there would be goals on the night and I was already having a feel of what his first XI would be like, my thoughts were wrong after gists engulfed the football world with the absence of Wayne Rooney in the line-up. Like seriously the most hardworking player in the team left on the bench? It just came to my mind to say the usual trust Fergie he knows best.
The first half started out boring but both teams got into their stride as the game wore on. Ronaldo was surprisingly quiet, I guess its Barcelona that catches his fancy these days. Nani who replaced Rooney in the starting line-up was having a good game though I was still of the opinion of using the same tactics Ferguson used in the first leg. Van Persie, Nemanja Vidic and Danny Welbeck came close to scoring for United but Diego Lopez made saves and Vidic’s effort hit the bar. Hope? Yea I got hopeful. First half ended 0-0 with the Red Devils still holding the advantage because of the away goals rule. At this point I was hoping Ferguson would bring on Rooney and Anderson at the start of the second half. Didn’t Madrid have chances? Of course they did.
I thought wrong again, the second half started with the same personnel employed to carry on the task. It was looking good for Man United and a Nani cross in the 48th minute was knocked into the net by Sergio Ramos. Goaaaaaaaaal I screamed. Own goal? Yes it was and who wouldn’t accept such gift? It wasn’t a bribe or was it? At this time I wasn’t frowning at why Nani was used ahead of Rooney anymore until that moment he was sent off. Was it a red card offense? Yes it was. Should he have been sent off? Yes he should. Why were United fans ranting? Oh he didn’t have an intention to raise his studs? Come on even a sip of Chivita active wouldn’t have given you the 6th sense to have known Nani’s intentions. He was looking at the ball quite alright but was he the only player on the field? He should have known the other 21 players too had their eyes fixed on the ball and one or two his opponents would come chasing after it. Well game on and Mourinho’s reaction after Nani’s sending off was amazing, he brought on Luka Modric and before we knew it the Little Croat equalized and evened the tie with my beloved Man United needing to score a goal or two to ensure their progress. Was it possible? I thought so when Rooney was introduced but the belief disappeared when quiet Ronaldo scored a second goal for Madrid. 10 men needed to score 2 goals. It was difficult. The lads gave it a trial and sprung up chances at the Stretford end but none buried.
The game ended 2-1 in Madrid’s favour and the Spanish side qualified for the quarter finals of the Champions league 3-2 on aggregate. Fergie was livid from his actions after the red card. Better luck next season, you still have a double (League and FA cup) to focus on. I hope Madrid or Juventus win the Champions league as they are the only two teams left I can support. A friend said, Dipo I hope you will support Arsenal when they face Bayern next week because they are an English side and my response was why should I? I don’t do sentimental stuff like that, why would I wish my fellow league rivals well? If it was Spurs that was playing Bayern would Arsenal fans wish them well?
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Twitter handles: @theswizzmemoirs/@dipoogun
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