The UEFA Champions League: Semifinals, 2nd leg

The UEFA Champions League: Semifinals, 2nd leg

In a soccer scoreboards feature, I have reviewed the 2nd leg of the Champions league semi-final.

The finalists for the UEFA Champions League have been decided. Barcelona and Manchester United will be playing at Wembley on May 28th. Barcelona had a tough 2nd leg semi-final against their arch rivals, Real Madrid while Manchester United won quite comfortably against Schalke. Barcelona had the advantage of 2 goals from the 1st leg with Manchester United also having the same advantage. Barcelona won 3-1 on aggregate and the soccer scoreboards showed that Manchester United won 6-1 on aggregate.

The first 2nd leg semi-final was the most awaited match. Real Madrid was under immense pressure to pull something out of the bag. After all the drama and controversy regarding the referee’s decisions in the 1st leg, it was predictably another tough day for the referee. His decisions in the 2nd leg, however, should be applauded with the immense pressure that he had to deal with. The match started off well with all the players charged up. Casillas produced some of the best saves of his career, but the first half ended without either of sides scoring.

Both the sides were able to score 1 goal each in the second half of the match. The first came just nine minutes after half time when Pedro connected with a perfect pass from Iniesta and slotted it in the net. This goal made it a near certainty that Barcelona would win the tie. Just ten minutes after the 1st goal the guests got some kind of payback and salvaged some pride when Marcello scored.

In the 2nd semifinal of the second leg Manchester United were unstoppable. Schalke had to overcome the loss of 2 goals to make it to the finals but they were battered around for the majority of the 90 minutes, and 4 goals from Manchester United in the 2nd semi-final gave them one of the biggest two-leg winning margins ever at this stage of the competition. Goals from Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson in the first half gave Manchester United a 2-0 lead. Jose Manuel Jurado scored a goal in the first half but Anderson’s double in the second half gave a comprehensive victory to Manchester United.

Now is the time for Sir Alex Ferguson to devise a plan against Barcelona to avenge the 2009 Champions League final loss. 28th May 2011 is THE day everyone is looking forward and bets are being placed as to who will take the victory. Pep Guardiola’s and Sir Alex Ferguson’s chosen strategies will have a lot to do with it. The big question is: can Manchester United stop the Barcelona passing and possession machine – can they tame Iniesta, Xavi and Messi? Personally, I wouldn’t bet on it!


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