alright well i still cant find my post of united arsenal in 99
but this is something i submitted to a competition. its all by me
Manchester United in seventh heaven as Ronaldo inspires rout
Carrick 11,60---------------------DeRossi 69
It took centuries to build the roman empires, but Manchester United destroyed it in 90 minutes. After what Rio Ferdinand had hailed as the most satisfying loss of his career, 10 man United had returned from Rome outplayed and bruised, yet with the vital away goal from the determination of Wayne Rooney. It was up to United now to make their home advantage count as Roma step foot on the Old Trafford pitch.
Mind games were played, Roma captain Francesco Totti said Fergie would rue the day he stepped on the Old Trafford pitch and their chairman laughed off the threats of Ronaldo, identifying the world will remember the name Totti.
The night before the game and my mates asked me for my two cents, I had that strange feeling we would destroy them, but to avoid any controversy I said we would win 1-0 with an early goal. The Game started, and with injuries to Gary Neville, Louis Saha, Nemanja Vidic and a half fit Patrice Evra adding to the suspension of Paul Scholes and the end of Henrik Larssons spell at United caused concerns, but a shift in the line up of O’Shea at LB, Heinze in the centre with Fletcher partnering Michael Carrick. That was a move that allowed Carrick to push forward in a deeper role we hadn’t seen in a while Fletch sat back and comfortably took care of Totti, which allowed Giggs Ronaldo and Rooney to sit in behind Alan Smith, who returned for just his second game since his horrific injury 12 months earlier. There was reason for concern amongst fans and pundits alike.
The game kicked off. 5 times had united trailed going into a second leg in Europe, 5 times they had failed. After just 30 seconds united fans had seen what they were craving. Ronaldo picked up the ball and got passed about 4 defenders with step overs, and Alan Smith had already put in a crunching challenge. After just 4 minutes though there were warning signs. Totti picked up the ball outside the area and Van Der Sar struggled to get to his long shot that trickled wide. But the crowd had something to say and when Ronaldo responded to their cries of “he plays on the left” , he picked up the ball, cut inside and layed off a neat pass for Michael Carrick to put united infront. It was the midfielders first goal in any European competition. What followed was dream stuff. A lose ball out of defence from O’Shea was clipped up into the air by Rooney. One touch football followed and Carricks first time ball opened up space for Heinze , whos first time ball found Giggs, and in turn he picked out Smith to fire his first goal of the season. What was at first disbelief turned into ecstasy. Fletchers interception found Ronaldo, and after he rode a few tackles, Smith picked up the ball to release Giggs, who dissected 3 defenders for Rooney to score. United were up 3-0 in 20 minutes and everyone was cheering. Lovely play from Heinze and Giggs eventually set up Ronaldo to pick the ball up on the wing and fire United into a 4-0 lead, his first Champions League goal coming on the stroke of half time.
United started the second half much like they finished the first. After Rooneys shot was well saved, the resulting corner eventually fell to Giggs whose low cross was missed by Smith but Ronaldo was at the back post to secure his second of the night. And after an hour the rout got worse, after Ronaldo cross missed everybody, Heinze picked out Carrick, and with crowd roaring on the Englishmen to have a go from 20 yards, he delivered to perfection. Doni could only stand and watch. A shot even better than his first effort.
Roma found consolation after DeRossi beautifully found the net with his back to goal, finishing off Tottis low cross. It was a superb goal by the Italian World Cup winner, but merely a spark around several classics.
Substitute Patrice Evra, who had just returned from injury completed the nights, his low shot beating Doni and finding the net to round off a perfect evening. From there it was exhibition football. The crowd were in arms, witnessing one of the best nights in European Football, just one of those European nights at Old Trafford.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Heinze, O'Shea (Evra 52), Ronaldo, Fletcher, Carrick (Richardson 73), Giggs (Solskjaer 61), Rooney, Smith
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Dong, Cathcart, Eagles
Booked: Smith, Ferdinand
ROMA: Doni, Panucci, Mexes, Chivu, Cassetti, Wilhelmsson (Rosi 88), De Rossi (Faty 86), Vucinic, Pizarro, Mancini (Okaka Chuka 90), Totti
Subs Not Used: Curci, Defendi, Ferrari, Taddei
Booked: Cassetti, Mexes
Ref: Lubos Michel (Slovakia)
Man of match: Darren Fletcher. while it was Ronaldo and Carrick who bagged a brace, the influence of Fletcher handling Totti and breaking down many Roma attacks
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