UEFA Champions League

April 26, 2011


Schalke 04

0 - 2

Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, April 26, 2011


Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo

  • 93'

    Thanks for joining us folks, hopefully there will be a slightly more interesting clash at the Bernabeu tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

  • 93'

    Schalke 0-2 Man Utd. Despite Neuer's best efforts, United's juggernaut kept on going and eventually breached the German's goal. Two goals in two minutes for United has put them within touching distance of Wembley. Schalke allowed their opponents to play and looked just like a side languishing in mid-table obscurity in the Bundesliga. Ragnick's side must improve dramatically if they are to have any hope of reaching the final.

  • 93'

    It's all over...

  • 92'

    Raul with some space on the edge of the box, he tries to dink it through for Farfan but the ball doesn't make it.

  • 92'

    Papadopoulos with a header, straight into Van der Sar's hands. The Dutchman hasn't been required to make any top drawer saves this evening.

  • 91'

    Everytime United come forward they look like scoring, Nani the latest to look dangerous. But he over-runs the ball, dribbling towards goal on his own.

  • 90'

    Three minutes of added time.

  • 89'

    It's a shame it's become such a one-sided affair because in the first twenty minutes it threatened to be a vibrant encounter. Very disappointing from the Royal Blues. Feel a bit sorry for Manuel Neuer as well, all his good work has gone to waste.

  • 88'

    Stats: Ryan Giggs became the Champions League's oldest ever goalscorer at 37 years and 148 days, overtaking Pippo Inzaghi.

  • 87'

    Evra inches away from making it three. Nani with a lobbed pass through to the left-back, who takes one touch on his thigh and then firs a low shot just wide of the right-hand post.

  • 86'

    Farfan and Nani battle for the ball as Sir Alex Ferguson looks on with a massive grin on his face. This has been one of his easiest ever European away days.

  • 85'

    Hernandez celebrates with Wayne Rooney after the England striker's goal.

  • 84'

    Valencia has been fantastic this evening, he has led Schalke a merry dance down the right wing.

  • 83'

    Nani tricks Uchida with his quick feet but confusion between the winger and Evra sees the move break down.

  • 82'

    Draxler on for Jurado.

  • 82'

    Nani on for Rooney

  • 81'

    Stats: Ryan Giggs' opener v Schalke was his tenth Champions League away goal and his first in Germany since he scored against Bayern Munich in 2001.

  • 80'

    Fierce strike from Escudero, that was sweetly struck from 25 yards but Van der Sar again impressively held onto the ball.

  • 79'

    I honestly find it difficult to stress how bad Schalke have been here, especially defensively. The space at United's disposal is just so unexpected for a Champions League semi. It really does echo Bayern's domination of Lyon last year.

  • 78'

    Ryan Giggs slides home United's opener.

  • 77'

    Scholes pick out Rooney with a delicious pass but Metzelder does well to get a tackle in after the United striker was bearing down on goal.

  • 77'

    Ferdinand and Scholes dictating possession.

  • 76'

    Tweet: Was only a matter of time before Giggsy got one! Top top player...and there's the second for united, Rooney, they have played very well tonight!. Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden is impressed with United's display.

  • 76'

    Farfan strikes it wide. Disappointing.

  • 75'

    The Royal Blues have a chance now though. A free-kick within shooting distance, around 30 yards out on the left of centre. Farfan and Raul line it up.

  • 74'

    Farfan desperately trying to conjure something for Schalke but they look spent. This is a side that has struggled badly in the Bundesliga this season and they look every inch a tenth-placed side.

  • 73'

    "I feel sorry for him and I can see why he's leaving," Sky Sports presenter Martin Tyler on Manuel Neuer. Hilarious.

  • 73'

    Schalke look stunned and Metzelder has just given the ball straight to Carrick.

  • 72'

    Scholes on for Park

  • 71'

    Anderson on for Hernandez

  • 71'

    Escudero on for Sarpei.

  • 70'

    Another chance for United now from a free-kick down the right wing. The away side still pressing hard, this could be a rout. Schalke are in desperate need of a goal.

  • 69'

    Schalke 0-2 Man Utd. It's just too easy for Manchester United. Hernandez slips it through to Rooney and he finds the bottom corner with consumate ease. Two in two minutes. Surely game over.

  • 69'

    GOAL Rooney makes it two.

  • 68'

    Schalke's defence is, to be frank, embarrassing.

  • 68'

    United not letting up. Rooney spreads it to Valencia who finds Giggs arriving late on the edge of the box again. This time, the veteran slices wide.

  • 67'

    Schalke 0-1 Man Utd. Superb through-ball from Rooney to Giggs, who was completely in the clear with no-one having tracked his run. The Welshman just slid the ball through Neuer's legs.

  • 67'

    GOAL Giggs.

  • 65'

    Amazingly, United have still yet to concede a goal away from home in this season's Champions League. Schalke haven't looked too much like threatening that record thus far.

  • 64'

    Edu with an excellent touch to take him clear of Park. He tries his luck from distance and catches it cleanly. But Van der Sar holds onto the ball, with Raul in close attendance, sniffing around for any sign of a rebound.

  • 62'

    Jurado with a really poor delivery. United breathe after a good little spell of pressure.

  • 62'

    Raul hangs the ball up to the far post with Papadopoulos closing in. ferdinand gets in the way to head it out.

  • 61'

    Farfan sprints through midfield and releases Uchida. Evra has been found wanting and Schalke have a corner as Vidic heads it out.

  • 60'

    Raul draws a foul from Vidic and Schalke just starting to drag themselves back into the game. Sort of.

  • 59'

    For all the live updates and chat surrounding tonight's game, join Chris Murphy.

  • 58'

    Headed away by Vidic and Evra brings United forward on the counter. His cross-field pass to Valencia finds the Ecuador international offside though.

  • 57'

    And now the noise levels rise among the Schalke fans. Free-kick down the left, penalty area packed.

  • 56'

    Fabio trips Jurado.

  • 56'

    Uchida picks Park's pocket but his subsequent pass is wasteful.

  • 55'

    Valencia crosses to the near post and Vidic tries a cute back-heeled flick. Blocked.

  • 54'

    Giggs with a hospital pass to Valencia, but Sarpei concedes a corner.

  • 53'

    Kluge on for Baumjohann

  • 52'

    Stats: United may have been knocked out of the Champions League every time they have faced German opposition but they have actually won four of their last five and six of their last eight games against German sides.

  • 51'

    Farfan away, showing an amazing turn of pace to accelerate down the right wing - he looks for Raul at the near post and the ball drops instead to Jurado. Sliced wide by Schalke's less famous Spaniard though.

  • 50'

    But Hernandez's strike is ruled out, the Mexican was offside.

  • 50'

    The ball is in the back of the net finally...

  • 49'

    Metzelder fouls Hernandez after dropping deep,he has to be careful.

  • 48'

    Hernandez couldn't find a way through in the first half. Will it be any different in the second 45?

  • 47'

    Rooney releases Valencia down the right with an excellent pass. the winger's cross comically misses Matip and Metzelder and lands at Giggs' feet. He cuts inside onto his right and with the goal at his mercy spoons it nearerr the corner flag.

  • 46'

    He's at it again Herr Neuer. Cracking save from Ferdinand's header. United corner.

  • 46'

    Matip fouls Hernandez on the left wing. United free-kick in a dangerous position. Giggs to whip it in.

  • 45'

    Farfan must have heard me, he went on the burst straight away into the area but couldn't produce the final ball.

  • 45'

    And we're off for the second half...

  • 45'

    "Fantastic saves, that's the difference at the moment." That is Sir Alex Ferguson's assessment of the first half.

  • 45'

    So, 11 shots on goal for United in that half, seven on target but the all important stat is: no goals. Schalke have shown glimpses of attacking intent but Farfan hasn't seen enough of the ball and when he has, he has often been too greedy. No chances for Raul as yet.

  • 45'

    Tweet: Has anyone considered the fact that Man United may be making Neuer look great? Press Pass expert Janusz Michallik has his say.

  • 45'

    Stats: Man Utd had more shots in the first 45 minutes than they did across 90 minutes in each of their quarter-final legs against Chelsea.

  • 45'

    Let's hope tomorrow night's game is just as impressive as this one. Is anyone else as excited as me about Real Madrid v Barcelona?! Dale Johnson has previewed the game for us.

  • 45'

    The man, the legend. Manuel Neuer has been unbeatable in the first 45 minutes. It's been a frustrating evening for Javier Hernandez so far.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: Schalke 0-0 Man Utd. I haven't seen such a one-sided Champions League semi-final since, well, last year when Bayern Munich beat Lyon to be fair. Neuer has been immense, world class. It's a shame for Sir Alex that he is almost certain to join Bayern this summer. Exceptional saves from Hernandez and Giggs have kept his side in a tie that they could have been three or four behind in already.

  • 45'

    Half-time whistle goes, what an exciting first 45 minutes.

  • 44'

    Giggs this time clean through and Neuer made himself massive and the Welshman couldn't slide it past him.

  • 44'

    Neuer the scourge of Manchester United!

  • 43'

    Papadopoulos heads out for a corner this time, Valencia was ready to strike.

  • 43'

    Crucial header from Metzelder to divert Giggs' cross away from the waiting Hernandez.

  • 42'

    Matip has looked a little of his depth thus far, it's a big game for a 19-year-old.

  • 42'

    Park chases down Matip but fouls the centre-back.

  • 41'

    Manchester United have scored on each of their last eight visits to Germany, but have only won two of those matches.

  • 40'

    Baumjohann strikes one. Easy enough for VAn der Sar.

  • 39'

    Valencia plants his shoudler into Alexander Baumjohann's back inside the penalty area, but the referee shakes his head to a chorus of boos.

  • 38'

    I am in disbelief that Manchester United are yet to score. You feel it could be one of those games for Sir Alex's side.

  • 37'

    Fabio the latest to find himself in acres of space inside the area. He takes the volley on impressiely but it rises over the bar. The right-back was completely unmarked.

  • 36'

    For all the live updates and chat surrounding tonight's game, join our King of chat Chris Murphy the man whose discussion skills make Larry King look like Vanessa Feltz.

  • 35'

    Hernandez is AGAIN thwarted by Neuer, before Park's effort is blocked and Giggs slices a shot from inside the box. It's like pinball inside the Schalke penalty area.

  • 34'

    United just can't score! The anxiety from the Schalke fans is palpable.

  • 33'

    Valencia sprints down the right wing, probing for an opening.

  • 33'


  • 33'

    Metzelder booked for bringing down Rooney as the England stroker looked to be away from him. The defender had a good old handful of Rooney's shirt.

  • 32'

    Ferdinand rises above Raul to head clear.

  • 31'

    Giggs with a long, floated ball to Rooney, who is once again in behind the Royal Blues' defence, but his first touch is heavy.

  • 30'

    Jose Jurado looking for a give-and-go with Raul but all he manages is the go as Raul tries a dummy that none of his team-mates were ready for.

  • 29'

    Raul dispossesses Park and searches for Farfan. Vidic across with a strong shoulder but Schalke up in the final third for the first time in seven minutes or so.

  • 29'

    Here comes the red wave again, Hernandez is seeing so much of the ball.

  • 28'

    Boos ring around the Veltins Arena as Rooney upends Edu in the centre circle, but the referee dismisses Schalke's appeals for a foul.

  • 27'

    Another fantastic save from Neuer. Schalke were at sixes and sevens from the corner and Giggs headed Vidic's cross towards the bottom corner but the big German is down low and gets a strong arm to the ball.

  • 26'

    United corner now as Metzelder - sporting a rather fearsome mask, heads it out.

  • 25'

    Hernandez is in once more ahead of Matip inside the penalty area but again he can't punish Schalke, He flashes a shot wide of the far post.

  • 24'

    Farfan attempts to engineer a chance on the edge of the box but he is pickpocketed and United can sweep forward on another counter.

  • 23'

    Schalke have only won one of their last six games against English opposition.

  • 22'

    Schalke are playing a high line of defence and are being sliced through rather easily so far. United happy to probe at the moment but you feel they will need to make their chances count as the Germans have enough attacking threat of their own to make Sir Alex's side pay for their profligacy.

  • 21'

    Hernandez battles back and wins the ball in midfield. He plays Rooney in, who then passes it back to Hernandez. Chicharito escapes from Metzelder but then rather ridiculously looks back for Rooney instead of shooting and suddenly the danger is gone.

  • 20'

    Hernandez turns sharply on the edge of the box and fizzes a left-foot shot towards goal. Just wide of Neuer's left-hand post.

  • 19'

    Park crosses teasingly towards Rooney but Metzelder heads it away.

  • 19'

    An excellent game of football so far, both teams really going for the jugular.

  • 18'

    The subsequent free-kick floats harmlessly over and Carrick clears.

  • 17'

    Park penalised for bringing down Uchida on Schalke's right wing.

  • 17'

    Stats: Schalke are aiming to be the fourth German team to reach the final of the Champions League. Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund have previously made it.

  • 16'

    Tweet: Lots of space for Rooney. He'll make it count., ESPN pundit Robbie Mustoe.

  • 15'

    Raul and Farfan combine dangerously on the edge of the box - smart little exchange from Schalke's chief attacking threats. But Vidic gets another important block in with Edu lurking.

  • 14'

    But Neuer again is up to the task. Very good save, but Hernandez should have done better.

  • 14'

    Hernandez now clean through, played onside by Sarpei much to the horror of Schalke's defence...

  • 13'

    What a counter-attack, unbelievable pace from Fabio.

  • 12'

    But as he searches for Rooney with a ball across, his attempted pass is deflected into Neuer's arms.

  • 12'

    United break straight down the other end though, what a run from Fabio, he's through...

  • 12'

    Farfan got in behind Evra but Vidic did well to block the ball out for the corner.

  • 11'

    Remember all you Twitterati can follow us. @ESPNSoccernet is where all you need to go for all your Tweeting needs.

  • 11'

    Edu searches for Raul with a threaded pass on the edge of the box but Fabio intercepts. If he hadn't, the Spanish striker would have been clean through.

  • 10'

    Schalke fans piping up a bit after a fairly quiet opening from them. They've sounded a bit nervy.

  • 9'

    Farfan cuts in from the right, holds off Evra with his right hand and fires in a low shot from 18 yards. It's well wide of the post in the end, though.

  • 8'

    Excellent tempo to the game, both sides certainly showing plenty of willingness to attack. Can't see this one ending 0-0.

  • 8'

    Valenica with marauding run down the right and he stands up a cross, but Metzelder heads clear.

  • 7'

    Edu's turn to shoot now and Van der Sar up to the task. The goalkeepers have looked pretty faultless so far.

  • 6'

    Valencia advances and finds Hernandez with a superb cross. The Mexican shoots with his left foot but Neuer again gets his body behind it.

  • 5'

    Park's turn to cut inside and shoot - Neuer makes another good stop and Hernandez goes in for the rebound but is offside. Another impressive save.

  • 4'

    That Neuer save before was really superb, Rooney's curler was heading into the top corner.

  • 4'

    Sarpei combines well with Baumjohann but the left-back's cross is taken by Van der Sar.

  • 3'

    Easy for Neuer. The Schalke captain climbs highest to claim the ball.

  • 3'

    United corner. Giggs to deliver.

  • 3'

    Rooney take on a curling shot from 20 yards after cutting inside Uchida. Fantastic save from Neuer - the effort was deflected.

  • 2'

    Sarpei plays it through to Farfan in midfield but the Peruvian controls it with his hand.

  • 1'

    Shot from Alexander Baumjohann, easily collected by Van der Sar.

  • 1'

    Early touch for Raul but he can't find strike partner Edu.


    And we're off...


    Right, we're closing in on kick-off now.


    Back in his Madrid heyday, Raul scored four goals against United in the 2000 and 2003 quarter-finals, both of which Real won.


    Most notably, of course, there is the threat of Raul. The Real Madrid legend is the Champions League's all-time leading scorer with 71 goals and has twice netted braces against United in his career - Real progressed on each of those occasions.


    But Schalke have scored 13 goals at home in this season's competition. Not to mention those five they scored at the San Siro in the quarter-finals - there are definitely goals in this side.


    United have not conceded in any of their five away games in the Champions League this season and have kept clean sheets in 13 of their last 18 away games in the competition.


    19-year-old Joel Matip will partner Christoph Metzelder in defence as Benedikt Howedes is out.


    Raul and Edu will lead Schalke's line, while Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Alexander Baumjohann (I'm not going to enjoy typing their names repeatedly) both passed late fitness tests to be included in central midfield for the Royal Blues.


    Team news in then and Nani misses out for United - Valencia and Park will occupy the wings with Giggs and Carrick in the middle. Ferdinand and Vidic return to the heart of the defence, while Hernandez and Rooney continue up front.


    John Duerden has been talking up the potential of Schalke's Iranian star Ali Karimi, while Sir Alex Ferguson says he is motivated by the desire to establish Manchester United in the top echelon of clubs in the history of the European Cup.


    Man Utd have been knocked out by German opposition three times in the past 14 years including last year's quarter-final exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.


    Join us at 1945 BST for live text commentary of the Champions League semi-final first leg between Schalke and Manchester United at Veltins Arena. Can either side take a giant stride towards the Wembley final on May 28?