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Milan Outclass United

AC Milan beat Manchester United 3-0 to reach the Champions League final.

Nemanja Vidic returned to the starting line-up after spending one month on the sidelines with a broken collarbone. The Serbian rose to the challenge magnificently, unlike his teammates.

From the very first minute, it looked like Milan would swamp us. They were first to every ball, wreaking havoc every time they went forward while we were pedestrian, looked way off the pace and intimidated by the San Siro.

We gifted two astonishingly similar goals to our opponents in the first half, the second was especially ridiculous. Poor Vidic slipped after Heinze passed the ball inside our own area (and where did he learn to do that???) and from the ensuing mayhem Seedorf fired home - let me mention that Vidic cleared the ball with his head, that fell to Seedorf and Nemanja was already there to block the shot. He was unsuccessful in his attempt but where was Wes Brown? Who know?

I felt that the break could not come soon enough and I was thoroughly relieved when Frank de Bleeckere put an end to my sufferings. I hoped against hope that Fergie might do something to prevent the inevitable.

Well, the second half was no better. Fergie did not send on Louis Saha until the 76th minute so I guess he's still not fully fit. Milan settled for holding their lead comfortably and for all our efforts, we could only show up a penalty claim when Rooney was upended in the air by Massimo Oddo.

Saha came in but it was Gilardino who had a hilariously and pathetically easy chance. He did not miss (though I thought he's the one who could miss even that) and it was really all over.

Milan were clearly superior as all their season led up to this game. For them, it was a vital game. We, on the other hand, had an excellent but exhausting season that took our toll. Unfortunately, we chose the worst possible day to reach rock bottom.

Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic did what could be expected of them. However, both of them were inefficient because football is ultimately a team sport and their teammates let them down. Cristiano Ronaldo was pathetic, it was his worst performance in the season, Gabriel Heinze was disastrous, Fletcher and Carrick were outplayed by their Italian counterparts while Scholesy could not be the intelligent force he usually is. I expected much more from Scholes and Giggs, I truly believed that their experience could take us through.

They were disappointing, just like everyone else, apart from Rooney and Vidic but the referee was almost as bad. Milan did not need his help as they were clearly superior but he insisted on offering them plenty of support. Gennaro Gattuso committed four such fouls that each of them would have warranted a yellow card if Scholes committed them (or if Herbert Fandel, ref of the Roma game were in charge). We should have been awarded a penalty, too and he could have done a lot more to sort out their play-acting.

Having said that, I firmly believe that even excellent officiating would not have saved us yesterday. We were just too bad. But there's a league title to win for us so I'd urge everyone to forget it and concentrate on Manchester City - they should be punished for our disappointing European night.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 3 2007

Time: 11:53AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Shame, i was looking forwards to seeing nev crying in the final with gerrard lifting the trophy again =) and im sorry, but i have to bring up the point about Ronaldo being "best in the world". If your three nil up, theres no one else id rather have, but when your three nil down, i think its easy to see stevies number one
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03/05/2007 12:30:00

stevie is nowhere near ronaldos league so he had a off game but you would no about off games as most off the liverpool squad have been having them in the premiership all season
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03/05/2007 12:38:00

wouldnt it be funny if man city the true club of manchester turn you over on saturday morning only two days recovery,and then you will be bricking it against the two chelsea games,it could be another year winning sweet fa......
fran merida
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03/05/2007 13:06:00

wouldnt it also be funny if you dont win nothing oh yeah its gonna happen ha ha time to start laughing
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03/05/2007 14:17:00

I like the way you think there Fran Merida, I'm with you. :))
Blue is the colour
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03/05/2007 14:32:00

well weve already won the womens european na na na na na..........:-)
fran merida
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03/05/2007 15:22:00

oi blue...i would hate your lot to buy the league again,im just tryin to wind up against both teams with equal passion...but i suppose im for the chavs to lift the fa cup if mancs take the league and visaversa
fran merida
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03/05/2007 15:25:00

Hardlines boys, I wanted you lot to win, make sure you win the bloody title and the FACup, the rest of football is relying on you.
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03/05/2007 15:49:00

Blue,, nothing your small trophy haul of two seasons is down to dodgy money. Your team, supporters and management have no class. I`m glad you lost, its funny to see Maureen moaning and groaning. Your stlye of football doesnt deserve to be anywhere near the top. With any luck your due to be relegated again soon.
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03/05/2007 15:52:00

bitc,F**k off back to the bridge knobhe@d and give our trophy a polish,we'll call round next week to pick it up!!!!
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03/05/2007 16:24:00

It will be interesting to see manchetser winkers , without any trophy this year .
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03/05/2007 16:28:00

Atleast yu didnt go out on penalties, you were well beaten, outclassed & outfought...Kaka showed whys he's better than ronaldo, once again the diver goes missing in an important game for ya, take away his goal against Fuhlam n he's not really done much cept a few tricks here n there.
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03/05/2007 16:52:00

i think you have manc clappers on rooney, where was ronaldo against us? I didnt know Riise's pocket was a tactical position =)
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03/05/2007 18:09:00

but you forgot about john o'shea... and where were you at old trafford? some yellow losers were stumbling on the pitch but surely they could not be mighty liverpool?
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03/05/2007 20:34:00

Those yellow losers are the only ones left to bring the champions league back to england after you lot bottled it. I wish neville was playing, seeing him cry after going out would have been the best thing iv seen this year lol. Good luck in the third place play off (the fa cup)
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04/05/2007 12:55:00

its gonna be better seeing gerrard cry when you lose it in the final.
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04/05/2007 14:54:00

Lets be honest the real candidate for worlds best player, Kaka, showed that you can have hundreds of tricks up your sleeve but if you cant do the basics you are *****ed, as for Gerrard being better than Ronaldo i begrudgingly agree that for all Ronaldos skills you cant beat a leader who has the respect of all his team mates. I think the real winner is Benitez because as a continental coach he can see through Milan, he knows their tactics, strengths and weakness' and i'm sure Liverpool will match Milan no problem for example Liverpool can match Milan in a passing game unlike Utd, (have you ever seen a Utd team give the ball away with sloppy passing as much as that) and they have the edge in terms of mental and physical strength. As for our own performance can someone explain the tactics I just cant understand why Smudger was not up front with Rooney, I said from the start that if we want to go through we have to score 2 away goals because we were always going to concede, why let one of the worlds best passing sides just stroll around and pick out their passes, lets be honest Carrick (what a waste) and Fletcher ( wouldnt get a game for City) were never going to stop Pirlo, Kaka, and Gattuso. We have a lot of rebuilding to do, we need creative players like a Kaka not Carrick, a 30 goal a season striker like Van Nistelrooy and a strong defensive midfielder and thats without replacing our ageing players, I'll some up our situation when McClaren picks an England starting eleven who do you think he's going to pick as his midfield pairing from Carrick, Gerrard, Lampard, Hargreaves. In 1999 we were two down to Juve and needed something special and luckily we had someone very special in Keano now who do we have? the vastly overrated Carrick, Fletcher, showboat Ronaldo wheres our leadership our aggression our never say die spirit, our heartbeat, Milan had it in Gattuso, Liverpool have Gerrard, Chelsea have Terry even Bolton have Nolan As for Ronaldo he is not the best in the world, far from it if your not the best in your own team how can you be the worlds best maybe one day if he cuts out all the showboating and puts his foot in he could be, real quality players dont just play well against the likes of Fulham or in lovely modern stadia on a sunny day, Liverpool deserve to be in the final, they beat Barca and Chelsea, apart from one freak match against Roma we have been pretty poor and as against Milan as soon as we came up against a decent side we were *****ed, this current squad need to stop living off Utds reputation built up by real quality players like Keane, Cantona, Schmeichel, Hughes players who had talent but also the hunger for success not just a big pay cheque. As much as it hurts to say this good luck to Liverpool.
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04/05/2007 17:49:00

Kanchelskis, you're surely a bit strict here: we were poor away from home, that's an old disease that should be solved but at home we were very good in all of our games. Maybe with the exception of Lille. Who McClaren will pick bear no relevance to the actual values and strengths of those players so leave that. If we sign a goalscorer and a Kaká, we'll still bottle it next season if we'll be involved in such an exhausting title race AND an FA Cup run. That's life, you can't win the lot in 2007 without at least 25 players who can always be relied upon. And please stop this nonsense about Carrick and Fletcher being *****e. For pretty much of the season, they performed much better than Pirlo or Seedorf though the latter two's experience and FRESHNESS shone through in Milan. It was only one bad night and this team thrilled us all the way to May this season so don't forget it, be a bit more forgiving. Gerrard went missing for the biggest part of the season, all Liverpool fans were disappointed with his contribution so it's high time he produces something valuable.
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04/05/2007 21:18:00

And what about Rooney? He's definitely got the potential to be a charismatic leader in the future. At the age of 21, Gerrard had showed a lot less maturity than Rooney did at the San Siro and at the Stadio Olimpico.
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04/05/2007 21:20:00


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