Man United-Bayern Munich: Rating United After Champions League Defeat
After 41 breathtaking minutes, Manchester United led a deflated Bayern Munich team 3-0 in the second leg of their UEFA Champion's League quarterfinal.
They conceded a goal on the stroke of half time after a momentary lapse in concentration, and they fell behind on the away goals rule mid-way through the second half following Rafael's sending off five minutes after the break.
There can be no complaints from United fans. They were superb for 20 minutes, but they never really finished the hosts off. They were always under pressure once they lost Rafael, and Roben's winner was right out of the top draw.
Here's how I graded Manchester United on what turned into a disappointing night at Old Trafford.
Edwin van der Sar: 6
He didn't have to dirty his gloves for the first 38 minutes, but when he was called into action for the first time,he was decisive and imposing. Bayern carved United open and Olic got played through one-on-one with Van Der Sar. But the veteran rushed of his line and bravely saved with his legs.
He had no chance when Olic got in behind the back four moments later, but he did make a fine one-handed save to his right from Robben in first-half injury time, and from Ribery just before the hour mark.
There was nothing he could do about either goal.
Nemanja Vidic: 6
He was strong in the air, and he marked Gomez out of most of the match. He coped especially well when United went down to 10 men, complimenting a decent first-half performance. That will be little consolation though, as United went out on the away goals rule.
Vidic only made one real foray into the German box, lifting a low flick-on over the crossbar in the first half.
Rio Ferdinand: 6
Ferdinand had a quiet game, but that's not necessarily a bad thing from United's point of view. He commanded his back line well, but he was lucky to avoid a second-half booking when he felled Schweinsteiger in a dangerous position just outside the box.
He battled hard in the second half under the German onslaught, but there was nothing he could do about the decisive Robben goal that swung the balance of the match to Bayern for good.
Patrice Evra: 5
Evra was decisively average and that wasn't good enough tonight. Late tackle on Robben in ninth minute from behind.
He played a perfectly-weighted pass through to Nani in the second half that almost led to a fourth goal, but once Bayern took a foothold in the match he was rarely able to venture out of his own half.
Rafael de Silva: 3
De Silva looked lively early on, but his naivety arguably cost United a spot in the semifinals. For United's first goal, Rafael received a pass from the right-back, rolled away from his marker and played the ball inside to the feet of Rooney who set up Gibson's strike.
He was booked in the 18th minute for a petulant foul deep inside the Bayern half, and he was forced to play out the remainder of the game on a proverbial tightrope. Little did he know then that he wouldn't make it through the rest of the content. That said, he still tracked back well and provided valuable support to the back four.
He squandered a great chance 10 minutes before half time when he dispossessed Ribery, exchanged passes with Rooney and darted through towards the Bayern goal. He had two men free to his left, including Rooney screaming for a pass near the penalty spot, but he flashed a shot across the goal and wide of the target.
But Rafael's night ended five minutes into the second half when he pulled Ribbery back for his second yellow card of the match, leaving Sir Alex's men with 10 men for 40 minutes.
Nani scored two but in truth he could have had three or four. He took his seventh-minute goal with aplomb, and showed coolness under pressure for his second.
He gave United a 2-0 lead after seven minutes, converting a low cross from the right wing, when he beat three defenders into the six yard box and flicked the ball behind him with his right foot as it came across his body.
He flashed a shot high and wide of the visitors' goal midway through the half after he cut inside from the left, and he scored his second of the game in the 40th minute when he kept his composure to side-foot home into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.
Nani sprung the offside trap 63 minutes in, but Butt got a strong right hand to it to force a corner.
Antonio Valencia: 6
Valencia crafted United's second goal, and he made a number of key contributions in the first half when he was the team's second best player. He controlled a diagonal ball from the left flank, twisted outside and back inside twice, and forged enough space to whip in a low delivery across the face of the goal.
He was highly active in the opening 10 minutes and he pressured Ribery at every opportunity. He also set up United third goal when he flicked the ball over Demichelis and slid it into the path of Nani.
Bayern couldn't cope with him, especially Badstuber, who was run ragged all night, but—like most of Sir Alex's men—was left with too much to do in the second half.
Michael Carrick: 5
Carrick gave Bayern an early let-off when the 'keeper failed to clear a back-pass. He hit the ball tamely to Carrick just outside the 18-yard box, but the United midfielder dragged his shot wide as Butt scampered across his goal line.
He had a clash of heads just before the half-hour mark, and he was at fault for the first Bayern goal two minutes before the break when he failed to deal with a flick-on inside the United box.
He was replaced with 10 minutes to go by Dimitar Berbatov.
Darren Fletcher: 5
Fletcher distributed the ball well from midfield, and he almost played Valencia in with a through ball from inside the centre circle between the left back and the centre back.
He also robbed Schweinstiger a number of times, but he too was largely ineffective in the second period. At the other end of the field he curled a shot wide of the far post and saw a volley deflected for a corner.
Darron Gibson: 6
Other than a vital early goal, Gibson didn't craft too many clear-cut chances. He did take his goal well though. He broke through the middle of the park, controlled Rooney's first-time lay-off, and lashed a fierce right-footed short past the 'keeper at the near post from 20 yards out.
He was largely quiet after that, mostly testing his luck from distance with limited success. He forced a save out of Butt with 20 minutes to play, but that was as close to a second goal as he came. He was isolated in the second half.
Wayne Rooney: 6
Rooney created the first goal with a neat one-touch lay-off to Gibson and he was active in the early stages. He was flying into challenges, and all doubts about his fitness were quickly dispelled.
But he came up limping just 20 minutes into the match when Van Buyten came through the back of his right leg. He stayed on the pitch, but his mobility was severely limited. He ran almost six kilometers and completed 14-of-16 passes, but he had to come off in the 55th minute, especially considering United were down to 10 men.
John O'Shea: (55 for Rooney) 5
Dimitar Berbatov: (79 for Carrick) 4
Ryan Giggs: (80 for Gibson) 4
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