UEFA Champions League

April 1, 2008


AS Roma

0 - 2

Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, April 1, 2008


  • 92'

    Well, there we are. A job superbly well done by Manchester United and the trusty youngsters do it again, as Rooney and Ronaldo fire them towards the quarter final. Thanks for your company, until tomorrow...

  • 91'

    Ferdinand clears from a Esposito cross - he has been supreme this evening. a true leader.

  • 91'

    Two minutes of added time to play...

  • 90'

    Another super move from United. Tevez streaks clear, crosses for Ronaldo who hits it first time but it is always rising and sails over.

  • 89'

    Evra fouls Giuly and then Hargraves nods behind for a Roma corner. Which comes to nowt.

  • 88'

    Ronaldo has carved Roma open again there, with a delightful touch and a dollop of searing pace. Sadly, Tevez can't count himself as a towering centre forward and as such he can't meet Ronaldo's cross with his head.

  • 87'

    Tevez does well to make room for a shot, but his angled effort is scuffed and Doni saves comfortably.

  • 85'

    Its a stroll for the Champions at present. Roma are well and truly disheartened.

  • 84'

    That is the Roonatic's last involvement in the game as Carlos Tevez replaces him. One ugly, squat centre-forward for another then...

  • 83'

    Oh dear. Rooney has fluffed a great chance to make it three. Carrick sends Ronaldo scampering down the left, he crosses for Rooney who was one-on-one with Cassetti but instead of running at him he tried a curler and sent the ball about five yards wide.

  • 82'

    Another sumptuous move from United, as Hargreaves and Rooney exchange passes before the front man tries a shot which Cassetti dives in the way of. Shame, it would have been a belter.

  • 80'

    Mancini shows he's got a little fight left in him with a decent run and shot but O'Shea gets his tree-trunk legs in the way to block.

  • 79'

    Ferdinand has been immense tonight. He muscles Giuly out of the way inside the area and wins a goal kick.

  • 78'

    It's still 1-0 to Barcelona in Germany by the way.

  • 77'

    Things have gone very stale at the Stadio Olimpico, which will please the visitors no end. They could put this tie well beyond doubt in the remaining 12 minutes if they really wanted.

  • 76'

    Now Mauro Esposito is on for Alberto Aquilani.

  • 75'

    To be fair to Fergie, he made the switch to 4-4-2 shortly after Hargreaves came on and it freed Rooney up to partner Ronaldo, and took the pressure off the back four a little. It worked. And how.

  • 74'

    Aquilani sums up Roma's last five minutes by trying an, at best, speculative drive from 50 yards.

  • 73'

    Carrick was inches wide from making it three. Rooney flicks the ball out to the edge of the box and the midfielder half-volleys centimetres wide. Yes, I've upgraded it.

  • 72'

    Tonetto went off for Cicinho by the way.

  • 71'

    Poor old Spalletti looks broken, and well he might. His side had been completely dominant after half time but then when the oppo have Ronaldo and Rooney in their ranks, they can score at any stage of the game.

  • 69'

    Cicinho is on. I shall tell you who for in a second.

  • 68'

    Ooh, Ronaldo has hit the post! A great run and shot from him and a fantastic save from Doni, making a mense slightly for the second goal.

  • 67'

    Well, that should be that eh?

  • 66'

    I did say those two were white hot and now both Rooney and Ronaldo have scored. Hargreaves swung in a deep cross, Park headed back across goal, Doni made a mess of it with Mexes in his way and Rooney pokes in the loose ball. Tie over.

  • 66'

    GOAL! Rooney!

  • 66'

    Brown releases Hargreaves down the right wing (what's he doing there?!) but his ball for Scholes is intercepted.

  • 64'

    Roma win another corner and the ball finds its way to Vucinic but his drive across goal is removed from danger by Paul Scholes. Again.

  • 63'

    What a save from Van der Sar! From a corner Panucci's flicked header looked like it was heading in before a superb reflex stop from the Dutchman.

  • 62'

    Wonderful play down the left from Evra who takes down a lofted ball from Rooney beautifully before crossing for Ronaldo, who is a yard off meeting it.

  • 61'

    Roma are ramping it up again now. De Rossi wins a corner down the left but Mancini's delivery is pathetic and United can breathe again.

  • 60'

    Ludovic Guily is on for Rodrigo Taddei and is straight into the action, rolling a ball across the six yard box which Van der Sar does weel to claim.

  • 59'

    Roma has lost a bit of steam now after their relentless opening to the half. Hargreaves will be perfect in breaking up play as the home side continue to pour forward.

  • 57'

    Mancini makes space for Aquilani but Scholes blocks his goal-bound effort.

  • 56'

    Owen Hargreaves is coming on for Anderson, as united look to tighten things up a little in the face of Roma's onslaught.

  • 55'

    Ronaldo fires in the free kick and Carrick meets it, but the midfielder can't direct the fizzing ball properly and nods it over.

  • 54'

    Ronaldo has won a free kick from Mexes to relieve the pressure, then the centre back gets booked for his reaction. Silly silly.

  • 53'

    United are hanging on here. Roma have come out of the traps like a team possessed in this second half. They are throwing the kitchen sink at the Red Devils.

  • 52'

    The corner is cleared before Roma win a throw in. From it Mancini flicks on, the ball drops over Brown and Panucci hits a left volley miles over from ten yards out. Unbelieveable!

  • 51'

    Tonetto threatens goal again but his effort was surely a cross. Van der Sar takes no chances though and tips over.

  • 50'

    Then Tonetto nearly equalises! Vucinic touches off to him insode the area and the left back smashes a shot just wide with Van der Sar static.

  • 49'

    Acttion at either end. Vucinic wanted a foul after going down on the edge of the area before Ronaldo throws a strop at Ferdinand for a poor ball out of defence.

  • 48'

    AS force a croner, which eventually finds its way into the area before O'Shea shepherds the ball behind for a goal kick.

  • 47'

    I smell a tad more urgency from Roma already this half. They need an early goal to give them impetus. Surely they need to take a lead to Old Trafford to stand a chance of going through?

  • 46'

    Part II begins....

  • 45'

    There we are. Half time, 1-0. A priceless away goal from the machine that is Cristiano Ronaldo.

  • 45'

    Now Pizarro is booked for a barge on Ronaldo. Minimal contact, but it was late.

  • 45'

    Anderson has been yellowed after tugging back Cassetti. He's conceded a few niggly fouls.

  • 45'

    There will be three minutes of added on time after Vidic's injury.

  • 44'

    The home crowd have been silenced by the goal. All you can hear now are the few thousand fans who've made the trip from Manchester.

  • 43'

    Pizarro hits a lovely ball for Cassetti inside the area but the full back just can't gather it in. Roma have been bright since going behind though. What they'd give for a goal back before half time.

  • 41'

    Ooh, Vucinic should have equalised! He took it down on his chest in the area, Aquilani barged O'Shea out of the way but Vucinic's flick just rolled wide of the far post.

  • 40'

    He took a knock after he'd nodded United in front and we weren't treated to his usual smug style of celebration. But he is alright now and back on the pitch, as the United fans sing his name.

  • 39'

    What a superb miove from United. Rooney execites a wonderful turn before looking for Scholes inside the area. He stands the ball high above the penalty spot and Ronaldo leaps like a salmon to power the ball past Doni. A brilliant goal.

  • 39'

    GOAL! Ronaldo!

  • 38'

    Ronaldo has got his face on again, you know, that one where he looks like he might burst into tears any second. He thinks he deserves a free-kick after a tiny nudge from Mexes but he doesn't. At all.

  • 37'

    Pizarro floats in a corner and Ferdinand clears. Then De Rossi swings it in again and Brown nods away.

  • 36'

    Ferdinand again gets the better of Mancini, sliding in to dispossess the striker again. He needs to be sharp, before O'Shea gets to grips with the game.

  • 35'

    Great intervention from Rio Ferdinand as Manicini again looked for Vucinic. He saved the day there.

  • 34'

    O'Shea is on for Vidic. Finally. And Taddei's free-kick is poor, and Scholes blocks.

  • 33'

    united are stretched here, not surprising as they are down to ten men. Pizarro slides a ball into Mancini but he can't quite locate Vucinic, then Anderson gives away a free kick.

  • 32'

    O'Shea is stripping off but Vidic is still gamely trying to show United's physio that he can still walk.

  • 31'

    Ryan Giggs is jogging down the touchline to find out news on Vidic as Fergie chews gum frantically.

  • 30'

    At least they are covered on the bench, Pique, O'Shea and Silvestre can come on. Vidic is trying to run it off but I'm not so sure Fergie will let him.

  • 29'

    Vidic is down after turning his knee after leaping for a header. It looks nasty, and a stretcher is being called for. Oh dear. Did someone say cruiciate ligaments?

  • 28'

    Decent effort from the lively Vucinic. A nice turn past Ferdinand and then a rising shot which just flies over the bar.

  • 27'

    Rooney is still operating on the left side with Ronaldo up top. Neither player has seen much of the ball yet though.

  • 26'

    But then Roma have lost only three of their last 16 games. Touche.

  • 25'

    Stat attack: United have lost only two of their 16 games since they came to Rome in the group stages.

  • 24'

    Anderson slips a pass to Scholes who lines one up from 20 yards out, but three Roma players charge out to block his drive.

  • 23'

    Pizarro does better than Taddei and just lifts his crossfield ball over Rooney and Cassetti volleys an excellent ball across goal but no-one in a Roma shirt attacks it. Spalletti promptly goes ballistic.

  • 22'

    Decent work from a back-peddling Rooney who makes sure Taddei's ball doesn't reach Panucci down the left wing.

  • 21'

    Ronaldo has just had a pop from 45 yards out, after United won a free-kick. A ridiculous effort from a man drunk on confidence.

  • 19'

    Ferdinand got in a bit of a tangle there and is fortunate to win a free-kcik. Vucinic looked like he was edging ahead to win the ball in the penalty area.

  • 18'

    Oh dear. Rooney's break opens up a shooting chance for Anderson but his effort is hopeless. Maybe his hair got in his eyes.

  • 17'

    Now Carrick wastes a great opportunity to slip Ronaldo in. That was massivley overhit and very un-Carrick-like.

  • 16'

    Now Roma zip it about nicley and Mancini fires in a shot which is blocked for a croner. From Aquilani's delivery, veteran defender Christian Panucci nods over from ten yards. Should have done better.

  • 15'

    Sorry for that errant red exclamation mark by the way. United's move was nice but certainly wasn't worthy of that.

  • 14'

    Oh, Vucinic! What a poor ball that was. Taddei was bursting into the area but the striker's ball was woeful. A glorious chance squandered.

  • 13'

    Goal in Germany; Bojan has scored for Barca against Schalke.

  • 12'

    Nice move from United, Anderson jinking past two defenders before Evra's cross finds Park. His shot is blocked by Tonetto though and Roma clear.

  • 10'

    A nice stretch of possession for United, which again attracts a volley of catcalls from the Italian crowd. Carrick has settled into his role nicely to date.

  • 9'

    Ooh, that was a bit too cute from Ferdinand! He does well to muscle Mancini out of the way inside the area but then elects to knock it back to Van der Sar who just manages to clear before the Roma striker can block! Easy Rio!

  • 8'

    Ronaldo's first few touches haven't been on the pace, much to the delight of the crowd. He tries a flick for Anderson which is a yard behind the Brazilian.

  • 7'

    I'd forgotten how big the pitch is at the Stadio Olimpico. It's huge!

  • 6'

    Pizarro looks for Vucinic but his delivery is poor and Scholes gets his ginger bonce on it to clear.

  • 5'

    Anderson has given away a free kick, and Roma can launch one into the box from 45 yards out.

  • 4'

    Ronaldo has started up top with Rooney wide left. Interesting.

  • 3'

    Mancini carves into the penalty area at the other end before his shot spirals well wide. Bright start in Rome.

  • 2'

    United are quickly on the attack with Rooney down the left. His mazy run is greeted with a crescendo of whistles.

  • 1'

    We're away.....


    These two should know each other pretty well having played so regularly in the last few years. Few can forget the 7-1 drubbing United gave Roma in the UCL this time last year. As for this year's group stages United won 1-0 at home, then drew 1-1 with Roma in Italy. We're all set, let's go!!


    COPWATCH: The stadium is absolutely rammed, and the atmosphere is building. We all know what happened in this stadium not so long ago but there have no reports of any bother so far. Let's hope it stays that way.


    As for Roma, I like the look of striker Mirko Vucinic. He turned the game against Madrid after coming on at the Bernabeu in the last round, scoring a vital goal as well. He will be a handful for the usually rock solid pairing of Vidic and Ferdinand.


    Do cakes count as confectionary? Anyway, back to footballing matters and a slice of tactical tittle-tattle. United line-up in a 4-5-1 - their tried and trusted away formation in Europe. They are in supreme form at present, especially Messrs Ronaldo and Rooney. They will be hoping for at least one away goal I'm sure.


    And the current English champions, Manchester United: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Anderson, Ronaldo, Park and Rooney.


    Fear not, no more confectionary based similies for now, just the teams, starting with our Italian hosts: Doni, Cassetti, Mexes, Panucci, Tonetto, De Rossi, Aquilani, Taddei, Pizarro, Mancini and Vucinic.


    Champions League hooooooo! Good evening one and all and welcome to the business end of the Champions League - the cream on top of the continent's much-touted, and over-decorated competition cake if you will.


    Join us at 1945 BST to see if Manchester United can overcome the Totti-less Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.