Despite a heroic performance from Schalke’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, goals from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney meant Manchester United cruised by Schalke, to just about book their place in this years’ Champions League final.
Manchester United will not play many easier games in such a deep phase of a big competition, their German opponents simply didn’t show up, and looked over awed by their superior opposition.
After knocking on the door unsuccessfully for the first half, the teams went in even but the gulf in class was obvious, and Hernandez was extremely unfortunate not to have added more goals to his impressive rookie season in European football.
Manuel Neuer looked as though he could be the reason Schalke might get a result from the game. He pushed out everything that was thrown in his direction, including a great save from a curled Wayne Rooney shot, and a header from Ryan Giggs.
After the hour mark, it was still 0-0 and Sir Alex Ferguson may have felt some pressure. But after sixty seven minutes Giggs was played through by Rooney and put the ball through Neuer legs. Two minutes later Manchester United scored again, this time Rooney was given an opportunity to try to beat Neuer one-on-one, and he put the ball to the right of the goalkeeper.
The second-leg at Old Trafford is almost academic, and could perhaps be another opportunity to test the goalkeeper who they’ll be keenly bidding for the in the summer.