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Manchester United Edge Arsenal in Champions League Semifinal First Leg


The game was not a typical Manchester United – Arsenal game that we have come to expect from the both teams. It was a rather quiet game with Manchester United edging out the win thanks to a goal from the unsung hero John O Shea. Before the game, Sir Alex has said that he will take a 1 – 0, but after this performance, he would be rather disappointed that they couldn’t score more goal. Arsenal will be a bit pleased as they rarely threatened but the defended properly and some good goal keeping from Almunia made sure that the score was 1 – 0 and not worse.

O Shea scoring

Sir Alex preferred Berbatov over Tevez this time, probably to show Tevez that he can also start important games and make him stay at Old Trafford. United nearly found the goal in opening minute when a looping header from Rooney was well saved by Almunia. Then Tevez was guilty of missing a sitter but thankfully O Shea scored from the resulting corner. In the midfield, the young duo Fletcher and Anderson did well and showed fantastic energy. Another good chance fell to Ronaldo but he shot straight at the keeper. Arsenal finally got a bit settled late on in the first half but they hardly threatened and were mostly on the backfoot.

Arsenal started with only Adebayor as a lone forward and he hardly looked convincing as he was not getting any service from the midfield. Arsenal did but up some good passes but they lacked in the final third of the pitch. Late in the second half, Manchester United brought on Giggs for Anderson and Berbatov for Tevez. The argentine was shaking his head as he was substituted but he got a standing ovation from the crowd who were shouting his name and asking Ferguson to sign him. This might be a much talked about thing whether Tevez will stay or not. Giggs came on for his 800th appearance but he was unable to make much of an impact.

Ronaldo showed his skill when he unleashed a dipping shot from 30 yards. Almunia was helpless but the ball crashed against the crossbar and went out. United did carry forward there attack but they couldn’t find the break through. Credit must be given to O Shea who celebrates his 28th birthday tomorrow. He has been such a loyal player to Manchester United. He has not been a regular but he has always played his part when he gets his chance due to any injury problems. His versatility is excellent, he can play as right back, left back, central defender or even in midfield. He may have scored only the 15th goal of his career but such an important goal this is. The game is not decided right now but Arsenal know that they have to score 2 goals past Manchester United to win and that is not easy. And if Man Utd manage to get an away goal, things will be much difficult.

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