Hernandez inspires Utd to win

2011-03-16 06:59

Manchester - Manchester United edged into the Champions League quarter-finals as Javier Hernandez's double-strike clinched a 2-1 win over Marseille in the last 16 second leg on Tuesday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were far from convincing for long periods at Old Trafford, but the predatory finishing of Mexico striker Hernandez moved United into the last eight for the fifth successive year with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

This was Ferguson's 100th Champions League victory and few of the previous 99 would have caused him quite so much anxiety as this.

Marseille gave United's defence too many scares for the Scot's liking and Wes Brown's late own goal ensured a tense finish for the Premier League leaders.

Despite the latest in a long line of underwhelming displays, United are closing in on the final at Wembley and remain on course for a treble.

There had been good and bad news for Ferguson before kick-off as Portugal star Nani was cleared to return from injury ahead of schedule, while captain Nemanja Vidic missed out with a calf problem suffered against Arsenal on Saturday.

United, held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg, tore into Marseille at the start and it took only five minutes to open the scoring as a brilliantly constructed move pierced the French defence with surgical precision.

Wayne Rooney was the architect of Marseille's downfall as he played a sumptuous pass out to Ryan Giggs on the left wing and then surged into the penalty area to take the return ball.

Rooney's instant control gave him time to assess the situation and he drilled over a low cross towards Hernandez, who timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap and tap into the empty net.

That dream start lulled United into a false sense of security and their defence was dozing as Andre-Pierre Gignac ran onto Andre Ayew's flicked pass.

Gignac had time and space to pick his spot, yet with the goal at his mercy he tamely lofted a chip way over the crossbar.

Steve Mandanda almost gifted United a second goal as the goalkeeper's woeful clearance fell to Nani just outside the penalty area, but the winger strangely decided not to shoot and his delayed pass to Rooney allowed Marseille time to regroup and clear.

United's own frailties at the back kept Marseille in the game and Taye Taiwo was left unmarked to cross towards Souleymane Diawara, who was also unopposed as his mistimed header drifted wide.

It didn't help that right-back John O'Shea limped off with a hamstring problem and Marseille, growing in confidence, threatened again when Benoit Cheyrou tested Edwin van der Sar with a long-range effort.

Hernandez appealed in vain for a penalty when he collided with Taiwo while trying to reach Giggs's cross, but Didier Deschamps' side were quickly back on the attack and Loic Remy blasted over with a fierce strike.

Ferguson sent on Antonio Valencia in place of Nani after an hour and the Ecuador winger's volley immediately forced Mandanda into action.

Yet United continued to live dangerously and Brown's hashed clearance presented Marseille with a corner that Heinze headed wide.

Another injury, this time to substitute Rafael da Silva, forced further reorganisation in United's defence as the Brazilian was stretchered off.

Cheyrou had a golden opportunity to take advantage when he ghosted onto Remy's cross, only to shoot straight at van der Sar from close-range.

Ferguson's side made Marseille pay for their wayward finishing in the 75th minute.

Valencia played a clever reverse pass to Giggs and his low cross was met with a typically predatory finish by Hernandez.

That should have been the end of the French champions, but Brown briefly gave them hope when he headed Lucho's corner into his own net in the 81st minute.


  • Tombstone - 2011-03-16 08:14

    Not a good game by United standards - very average ! Great own goal too in a Cup again - Wow !Rooney mouthing off as usual `bring on Barcalona`` ?! - these comments always come back to haunt you and Rooneys in no position to talk because every single team going through to the last 8 can smack Unit.good . United cannot beat Barcalona on paper and on the field - maybe on a off day , only a great tactical coach/team can bring Barca down .

      Kubes - 2011-03-16 08:36

      "only a great tactical coach/team can bring Barca down" dam staright, Only Arsenal could do that and we were robbed by the fcken REF...

      Albo - 2011-03-16 08:56

      We`ll see what happens!!!! Wait till UTD actually start playing well!!

      Man U - 2011-03-16 09:00

      @Tombstone: Whether we get Barca or not in the Q final, we will have to meet them somewhere along the line if Utd want to win the CL. Besides, whoever we get next will be good enough to be there just like we are good enough to be there as well. As for Utd not being able to beat Barca, well, we did that in the past so i'm sure we can do it again! Barca are a great team but are not invincible! Arsenal showed us all that! Yes, not a good win by Utd standards but a win none the less and we are in the next round so what you on about?

      Patriot - 2011-03-16 09:28

      FYI - Arsenal didn't get a shot on target against Barcelona. Best part of the game last night was Nani. I thought he died against Liverpool? Can't believe that Conrad Jantjies missed a season with a broken leg but Nani dies and manages to miss only one game. Rugby players are sissies.

      Harold - 2011-03-16 09:48

      "every single team going through to the last 8 can smack Unit.good" and United can smack any team in the last 8 on their day. That line suggests to me that you are a United-hater and like almost all of them your judgement is impaired and biased. This team may not be as strong as the class of '99 but this squad has greater depth than the treble winners.

      Kubes - 2011-03-16 09:56

      @ patriot, I am ver aware of the stats against Arsenal, but stats count for shite, look at Loserpool, won everything but where are they now? I know its old news now but if VAN the MAN was not sent off, I am confident the Gunners would have progressed.

      Patriot - 2011-03-16 10:45

      I'm just saying that you can't score without shooting. And if you don't score you don't win. I don't doubt that they are a good side though and exciting to watch at times. But I was more commenting on Nani that died a week ago and now he's fine. It was a bad tackle but not bad enough to cry and then die and then come back to life. I'm sure an under 7 team player would have carried on playing.

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-16 10:48

      Ok Patriot, so Barca had 68% possession, completed 799 passess, wow thats really great. 68% ball possession, 799 passess completed, 19 shots (10 on target), so in other words Barca had to complete 80 passess before they could manage a shot on target; 68% possession means 61.2 minutes with the ball = 10 shots on target; And the fact remains that when it was 11 vs 11 the score was 1-1 and Arsenal was starting to push foward and caused some discomfort towards Barca. Fact: before red card : score 1 - 1; still anyones for the taking after red card: Barca no longer have to worry about the quik counter attack from Arsenal as there is no van Persie upfront so defenders can push further foward and put Arsenal under more pressure; result of red card: Barca dominates, gets 2 goals (1 dubious penalty included) Thats just my opinion...

      Deon - 2011-03-16 11:46

      @Gunner Nash, Valid points but irrelevant. Barcelona pass the ball more than is actually required so working out time with ball and 80 passes to get a shot is inaccurate. But if you looking to make that stat, Arsenal made 280 odd passes in the game and had 0 shots on goal. Almunia kept Arsenla in the game plain and simple. The red card was a harsh decision but according to the laws the red card was deserved, but if VAN the MAN wasn't stupid he wouldn't of got yellow carded for his first infrigment. i have no doubt that Barcelona would of won the game even with 11 vs 11. Counter Attacking strategy or not you can't allow a team of Barca's quality that much time and space on the ball when you are defending a 1 goal lead (aggregate). under Pep Gaurdiloa barcelona haven't won an away tie in the champions league knock out stage.

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-16 12:08

      Its actually difficult to have shots on target with no striker on the field, don't you think?

      Patriot - 2011-03-16 12:21

      @ Gunner Nash - Arsenal vs Sunderland - Score 0 - 0. Arsenal had 63% possession (57min), 14 shots (7 on target), 85% pass completion, 518 completed passes. So using your logic, Arsenal took 74 passes (compared to Barca's 80) to get a shot on target and they took 518 passes to get 0 goals. Lol.

      Man U - 2011-03-16 12:41

      @Deon: Do you know what else is irrelevant? The fact that Kubes and Gunner Nash going on like two old ladies as if they can force a re-match! Arsenil are out of the competition, move on Kubes and Nash! If Van "flash in the Pan" the Man did not recieve his 1st yellow then maybe he would have stayed on the field and tried to get that 1 shot on goal for the entire team! But being the HOTHEADED moron that he is, he let your Arsenil team down!

      Kubes - 2011-03-16 13:51

      Man U, you cant complain cos the REFS are always on MOFFY UTD side. And dude , becareful , all Manu can really win in the FA cup. The league is ours, no chance MANURE UTD gonna win champs league. So has this season really been a good one for MANU? Keep paying Rooney 250K a week for doing jack shit. Focus on that !!!! And I bet you thought you gonna go the whole season undefeated. Only one team can ever do that, guess who?

      Man U - 2011-03-16 14:29

      @Kubes: W@nk W@nk! The last time i checked, we still had 3 trophies to go at! You lot have f-all! Oh wait, you do have something! Go reminisce about the Barca game with all the @rsehole supporters and talk about how you "could" have been in the Q Final! That's all you have to for the rest of the season Arse nil boy! As for the ref being on our side? Suggest you watch some games before you open that big mouth of yours!

  • ANWAR - 2011-03-16 10:22

    Kubes, How long are you going to dwell on Gunners misfortunes, When last did Arsenal take any trophies? If they are such a good team why havent they won Champs League or European Cup yet? even in the glory days with Bergkamp and Henry they couldnt win the Champs League,

  • Gunner Nash - 2011-03-16 12:42

    Sunderland currently 8th on the log, very physical and difficult to break down. Here are some of their results against the top teams this season Sunderland 1 – 0 Man City Sunderland 1 – 1 Arsenal Liverpool 2 – 2 Sunderland Sunderland 0 – 0 Man Utd Sunderland 1 – 1 Tottenham Chelsea 0 – 3 Sunderland Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland

      Patriot - 2011-03-16 13:24

      You forgot Newcastle 5 - 1 Sunderland. Lol. @Kaz, i'm quite amused at the excuses that the Arsenal fans have. They sound like Arsene Wenger.

  • Kaz - 2011-03-16 12:50

    You are all a bunch of idiots........ooooh lets all fight amongst ourselves as to who is the best. Each team has strong and weak points and the winner is the strongest team on the day. Yes we all have our favourites and we are all bias but for goodness sake give credit where it is due!!!!!!!Why don't you all shut up and just enjoy the game.

      Kubes - 2011-03-16 14:34

      Calm Down dude.... Why so EMO? You must be an idiot

  • Kaz - 2011-03-16 13:34

    @Patriot: Yea a right bunch of AHoles and W@#kers

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-16 14:27

      Why are the Man Utd fans filled with so much anger and hate? Always cursing and atacking everyone when they have an oponion? They are like the ANCYL of football and also thinks Man Utd will hold the premiership until Jesus comes...

  • Man U - 2011-03-16 14:25

    @Kubes: W@nk W@nk! The last time i checked, we still had 3 trophies to go at! You lot have f-all! Oh wait, you do have something! Go reminis about the Barca game with all the @rsehole supporters and talk about how you "could" have been in the Q Final! That's all you have to for the rest of the season Arse nil boy! As for the ref being on our side? Suggest to watch some games before you open that big mouth of yours!

      Kubes - 2011-03-16 14:35

      You need to get a dish mate. SABC has fcked you up cos you know jack shite. Stick to PSL buddy.

      Man U - 2011-03-16 14:43

      Speaking of PSL, Arsenil will fare much better there! Looks like you got the raw end of the deal with DSTV! You got 1 football channel that shows only Arsenil games! That's why you have this perception of Utd being favoured! Even though you lot are 2nd you will flop as usual hence you lot will have f-all to look forward to!

  • seeps.mazi - 2011-03-16 15:18

    Kubes and Gunner Nash are real entertainment value....... let it Go man. Arsehole Whinger and Arse-anal have won jack,zero,noughto,Vokollie in 6 years. Fact. and counting. Fact. Whether winning the FA Cup alone is a good enough season for United is NOT your problem plus it would mean that United Won more trophy's than you no? The League is yours? really? Wow....... ok well tell you what then when we collect the League and the FA Cup then come claim the league is yours ok Kubes? We have a damn good shot at Europe eventhough it seems we have played this season half asleep we in with three shots at titles. GGMU!!!

      Kubes - 2011-03-16 15:52


      Man U - 2011-03-16 15:54

      @Kubes: Speaking of Chop, do you still believe that Bale can captain England?

      seeps.mazi - 2011-03-16 16:22

      You really want to witness another footballing lesson Pubes? sorry man Kubes.........

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-16 16:27

      Yes Man U: Bale can become captain if he receives citizinship

      Kubes - 2011-03-17 12:44

      Bale should change citizenship, sure he aint as dumb as Giggsy who could have accomplished so much if he changed.

      Man U - 2011-03-17 12:58

      @Gunner Nash and Pubes: I am beggining to think that all Arsenil fans are a few bobs shy! Bale cannot represent England even if he has English citizinship. He has already represented Wales at International level and has 27 caps to his name. If he did not represent the senior side then maybe but as usual, you two think you know everything like you knew that Arsenil was going to win 4 trophies!

  • Kaz - 2011-03-16 16:08

    @Kubes: ooooh who's getting "EMO" now raising your capital letters all over the place. Anyway like Seep says good entertainemnt value just a pity you and Nash don't have a brain cell between the two of you.

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-16 16:25

      Why Kaz? would u like 1?

  • A(N)ON - 2011-03-17 10:13

    @Gunner Nash your comments on anger and hate must surely be directed at the non-United supporter comments on this site - just browse through the comments on this thread and you can be the judge. Anyways you should add the word "sour grapes" to your descriptives above. That would best categorise you and Kube! We were not the ones shooting off our mouths for 4 titles this year and watched as these dreams wittled away over the past few weeks. On statistics and style of football and possession and and....I have always said it and I will repeat myself - the end result is what counts. Success is determined by how many titles you win NOT by how attractive football you play. At this very moment, the comments on Arsenal's report card reads: "Shows lots of potential BUT needs to start converting that potential into something tangible" Now please don't translate my message into me mouthing off that United is going to win everything this year - we have a fantastic opportunity to add 3 more titles to the one we've bagged already BUT its knock-out stages in all 3 competitions (including the EPL) where anything can happen - so let the games begin!

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