Welcome friends to another installment of Unforgettable Games.
In this edition I feature a beautiful game.
This game is simply one of my favorite football matches of all time. I should point out that I am featuring the first leg of the semi-final tie.
Enough formalities, I bring you Manchester United vs. AC Milan in the first leg of the 2007 Champions League Semi-Finals.
Before the game
AC Milan was coming off a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich and were riding the scoring power of Kaka.
Manchester United was coming off one of the greatest Champions League performances ever, beating Roma 7-1 at Old Trafford.
Both teams won their groups.
United was very high after their record performance, however Milan were favored going into the tie.
Manchester United kicked off the semifinal scoring fast. Cristiano Ronaldo got a touch of the ball from a corner and deflected it into the net off of Milan keeper, Dida. United were up 1-0.
The match then turned into the Kaka show.
In the 22nd minute Kaka made a gorgeous first touch into the box sped by two United defenders and scored on the far post to even the score at 1-1.
United kept on the offense forcing Dida to make leaping saves to stay even.
In the 37th minute, Kaka struck again.
Taking advantage of a United blunder (Patrice Evra tackles his own man outside the box) Kaka slipped home another goal giving Milan the lead going into the half at 2-1.
The second half started off with a huge United mistake as Michael Carrick missed a shot inside the six-yard box from a corner kick.
Kaka stays in his scorching form as he nearly gets his third goal, but just misses wide of the post. Kaka also mishandles a good cross from Clarence Seedorf in the very next minute to squander a goal opportunity.
The game continued it's high pace fashion as Wayne Rooney ties the game up at 2-2. Rooney was set up by beautiful United passing in front of the 18-yard box. Paul Scholes delivered the superb ball into the box for Rooney to tap home.
Both teams threatened to take the lead late as Dida was forced to make more diving saves to keep the game level.
It wasn't until the 90th minute that this game would be decided. In a counter attack, Ryan Giggs made a fantastic run down the right flank and delivered an even better pass to Rooney who smashed the ball towards the near post for the game-winning goal.
Manchester United would win 3-2.
United and their fans were beyond jubilant. Manchester had a one goal led going into the second leg. Many fans were dreaming of a Champions League Final appearance.
Milan were not distraught by the loss as they had gotten two away goals and Kaka was in unreal form.
The second leg would be played in Italy where Milan dominated Manchester 3-0 to win the semi-final.
AC Milan would go on to win the Champions League Final over Liverpool 2-1.
Living in America, I don't get to watch a lot of football games on TV. Luckily ESPN shows the Champions League. This is one of my fondest football memories as it was a high-pace game filled with lots of goal scoring opportunities.
Rooney's game winning goal in injury time only made it better.
While I was disappointed with the second leg result, I will always remember this one.
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