Football: Manchester United thrash Roma 7 - 1
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Manchester United advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League after a thumping of Italian club AS Roma Tuesday night. Holding a 2-1 advantage after the first leg, Roma travelled to Old Trafford in hopes of knocking Manchester United out of the competition, ruining their hopes of a treble. The winning goal scorer from the first leg, Marko Vucinic, had to replace the ill Rodrigo Taddei for Roma, and he was paired with Roma's talisman striker Francesco Totti. Louis Saha was still out through injury for United, so Alan Smith started his fourth match of the season with strike partner Wayne Rooney.
Roma started the match quite strongly with several attempts early. David Pizarro first blasted a long drive wide before Totti came close with a 25-yard shot. Michael Carrick then opened the scoring for United as he was supplied the ball by Ronaldo, and the Englishman's shot curled past Doni. Some quick counterattacking football then earned United their second goal as Brown, Rooney, Carrick, and Heinze all combined to get the ball out to Giggs. His pass into Smith left Doni exposed, and the striker scored his first goal since returning from injury. A third goal was scored only minutes later after play from Ronaldo and Smith released Giggs on the right, and his cross was turned in by Rooney off the post. Roma finally had a chance to respond through De Rossi, but his header from Pizarro's cross was sent over the bar. Ronaldo was then knocking on the door for Uniteds fourth, as he fizzled a shot just wide, and had a free kick blocked by a stretching Doni. The Portuguese winger would score just before the break however, as more good work by Giggs gave Ronaldo room to maneuver, and he sprinted in before firing a low shot into the corner. Van Der Sar was then called into action to bat away a hard free kick by Totti, but the scoreline stayed 4-0 into the break.
Totti started off the chances in the second half with a free kick that went just wide, but United would score again only four minutes in. Giggs was again the supplier as his low cross was knocked in by a lunging Ronaldo, his twentieth goal of the season. Roma looked for a consolation goal, but it looked as if United would not even conceed that as Darren Fletcher cleared Allesandro Mancini's header off the line. Carrick then earned himself a brace on the night, as he blasted home a 25 yard drive into the top corner. Giggs was then replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Norweigen nearly added another goal as he lofted the ball on to the top of the net. Roma finally got their goal in the 69th minute through Daniel De Rossi as his fine coushioned volley from Totti's cross was beyond Van Der Sar. Substitute Patrice Evra then rounded out the scoring in the 81'st minute after a nice interchange of play between himself, Solskjaer, and Rooney, the defender hit in a low shot off the post. Ronaldo, in search of a hat-trick, pushed forward near the end of the game, but his low drive was saved well by Doni.
Manchester United will now move on to face either AC Milan or Bayern Munich in the next round of the Champions League, and their next match is the FA Cup semi-final against Watford. Roma meanwhile take on Sampdoria next in the Serie A, though they no longer have a chance to catch leaders Internazionale.
|Goalscorers for Manchester United||Carrick (12', 60'), Smith (17'), Rooney (19'), Ronaldo (44', 49'), Evra (81')|
|Goalscorers for AS Roma||De Rossi (69')|
|Bookings (Manchester United)||Smith, Ferdinand (Yellow (2))|
|Bookings (AS Roma)||Cassetti, Mexes (Yellow (2))|
- Mark Buckingham. "Seventh heaven for United" — , April 10, 2007