Rooney on fire for United

2010-02-16 23:53

Milan - Wayne Rooney was the hero as Manchester United made AC Milan look old in a 3-2 win in the Champions League last 16 first leg clash here on Tuesday to record their first ever victory in the San Siro.

Rooney scored a brace as Milan's old legs finally caught up with them as United came from behind to win at a canter until some late drama that saw United's Michael Carrick dismissed in injury time for a second booking.

Ronaldinho gave Milan an early lead but after Paul Scholes's fortuitous equaliser Sir Alex Ferguson's side gradually took control and by the end they threatened to run up a cricket score.

Substitute Clarence Seedorf's clever backheel finish from Ronaldinho's cross five minutes from time was the only thing that gives the Italians hope for the second leg at Old Trafford.

Milan were off to a dream start, taking the lead after only three minutes and appropriately United old boy David Beckham was involved.

His free-kick into the box was only helped on by Patrice Evra and fell kindly to Ronaldinho at the back post who caught it on the volley and a wicked deflection off Carrick took it past a helpless Edwin van der Sar.

That seemed to unsettle United and give Milan wings and on seven minutes Pato broke through the middle and fed Ronaldinho to his left but Van der Sar saved his low shot.

AC Milan were bossing the early action and a surging run from the back from Thiago Silva saw him slip in Luca Antonini on the overlap but he shot wide of the near post.

Ronladinho then tried to win a penalty as he ran at Rio Ferdinand but the referee waved the appeals away.

Rooney finally created a half chance on the edge of the box for the visitors on 19 minutes when he made a yard of space but fired wide with his left foot.

United were rocking again on 34 minutes, though, after a sloppy pass from Jonny Evans allowed Massimo Ambrosini to play in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar but his rasping low drive fizzed just wide.

And then, out of nothing United were level on 36 minutes.

If Milan's opener owed something to luck, United's equaliser was no more lacking in that department.

Darren Fletcher crossed from the right for Scholes arriving in the box but he missed with his swinging right foot and the ball hit his standing left leg, spun beyond Dida and trickled in off the post.

Milan almost caught United napping again three minutes into the second period as Pato stole in unchecked onto Giuseppe Favalli's deep cross but the young Brazilian headed over.

United started to get a foothold in the game with Rooney coming to the fore, seeing one shot deflected for a corner and hitting a volley wide before Van der Sar had to tip away a curling Ronaldinho effort.

Nani was having one of his more erratic days and Ferguson replaced him with Anotnio Valencia halfway through the second period, a move that bore fruit within a minute as the Ecuador flyer got to the byline and crossed for Rooney at the back post to flick a floating header over Dida for his 25th goal of the season.

United were now content to hit Milan on the counter and Rooney flashed a shot just wide on 73 minutes but a minute later he ran onto Fletcher's dink into the box past a static defence to head easily past Dida.

United were cruising until a late lapse allowed in Seedorf, who had replaced Beckham, to lift the crowd and give the visitors a nervous last few minutes.


  • Andy United - 2010-02-17 07:01

    United help their nerve and didnt allow the early Milan goal to intimidate them. They pretty much enjoyed contorl of most of the match, and Rooney, what a player! with 2 months remaining this season, he is sure to supass his alltime scoring record in on season. It will be a tough ask for Milan to turn fortune around at the Theatre of Dreams. But I am not writing them off...

  • bra rezo - 2010-02-17 07:11

    man united-thats what legends are made of.People comment and say things negative about MAN but just look these guys are winning material . VIVA MAN VIVA

  • 8dee3 - 2010-02-17 07:57

    CLASS ACT! Milan had us worried and really should have taken the win or at least a draw! Rooney proves that he is CURRENTLY the best forward in world football! THE BEST! RIGHT NOW!

  • Amos Lence - 2010-02-17 08:17

    Great game - AC Milan could've won the game yet the coach decided to put the ever green Clarence Seedorf on the bench. I always thought he blended well with the Dinho. The Dinho was great. I guess, last night's game shown that Discipline and simplicity really wins games. Man U worked as a team and Rooney netting 2 headers was just priceless. Seedorf had the cheesiest of goals and yeah it was a great game. Rooney you legend you!

  • 4EvaManUtd - 2010-02-17 08:45

    Rooney for President. Nani, you can do better. Vidic, please come back and replace J Evans. Well done on your spectacular win at San Siro!

  • Never Walk alone - 2010-02-17 08:51

    The ref had a big hand in ensuring that AC don't win the game last night. A clear foul on Ronaldhino by the overrated and under-perfoming Ferdinand was not blown for,even Stevie Wonder would have seen that infringement. The ref on many occassions sought to temper and frustrate AC's forward movements. At one stage when AC had a free kick,just after Bekham took it he blew against AC in the box when there was no off-side,no foul,nada!. The less i say about the biased English commentators the better,the one guy tells us about Gary Neville's conversation with someone at training,F.F.S who cares what Neville said? The oke is not even in the game,Bleddy poms.

  • dennis33 - 2010-02-17 08:54

    Can these guys just lose already!!!!!!!!

  • Big K - 2010-02-17 08:57

    I think the 1st 25 minutes would like to be forgotten by everybody even the Milan players for missing their chances. I thought after that we played excellent mature football. Credit to Raphael, did well to contain Ronaldinho in the 2nd half. Rooney - Priceless. Valencia u beauty!!! Scholes, Carrick and Fletch were legendary in midfield. Ask any team, they'd love to take 3 away goals from The Siro to Old Trafford and i think Becks will probably be on the bench at the Theatre of Dreams. He didnt have a good game!! Nonetheless, Job excellently done Boys, GGMU!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ryan - 2010-02-17 09:23

    I know my fellow United brethren are gonna be up in arms about this one but , guys , what exactly does Michael Carrick bring to United ? He is an okay passer of the ball - certainly not in the league of Beckham or Scholes or XAVI or Iniesta - he does not get stuck in and control the midfield like a Roy Keane ,or Viera or Fabregas or dare I say it -like a Gerrard , he does not defend the midfield very well and gives the ball away far too often with inaccurate crosses and passes and often has the ball taken off him and then is not able or willing to win it back . He does not exhibit the energy or talent required of a world-class midfielder in a team like United and he can hardly be termed prolific in front of goal - he regularly misses some real sitters . He is not a deadball specialist - can't take free kicks or penalties. He is very similar in character to another former Spurs player that United have on their books . Can't we sell him and his fellow Spurs cohort and get a decent midfielder ?

  • Kube$ - 2010-02-17 09:39

    Simply amazing, I am a Gunner but how does Fergi put a side that does not have world class players and always win, I am not putting you okes down but Evans, Carrick, Raphael, Fletcher, Valencia are not the creme de la creme but you UTD okes seem to win and win. And repsect to Becks, what a crosser, he had an awesome game, imagine how tough it must have been for him to play against the team that made hime and he performed with distinction and pride, well done. Hope you score a free kick at Old Trafs bro

  • Newton Heath - 2010-02-17 09:40

    A team performance. J Evans needs to know how to read a game cos he was at times lost in defence.

  • TRUE Red - 2010-02-17 09:50

    Well done to Utd for beating 1 of my Italian teams (the other is Juve). Although Rooney get's the headlines, i think Van Der Sar was Utd's man of the match - he made some amazing saves - if it wasn't for him, Utd would have easily been 2/3 nil down before scholes' fluke. And by the time the scouser netted that brilliant header for their 2nd, the score would have been like 4-1 to Milan if it wasn't for the superb Van der Sar ! I told my Man Utd supporter wife at 1/2 time that you guy's could win if Fergie replaced Nani with Valencia - Valencia wasn't even on 5 minutes when he changed the game ! Amos, agree 110% - Beckham wasn't effective & Seedorf is a much better player who should have come on earlier. That mistake has cost Milan big time as I can't see them winning by 2 clear goals at OT. Leonardo is still young & will learn from this I think. Remember, Utd up to last night, have never scored at the San Siro IIRC, so to score 3 on one night, respect ! Make no mistake, Rooney was clinical, and has most probably seen Roonited through to the next round. Again, congrats - only thing i would worry about for you guy's is right back - Dinho made Rafael his b!tch all night long !

  • Amos Lence - 2010-02-17 09:57

    @Ryan - M. Carrick is a great player. The names you mentioned were talented in their own way. He wins balls in the midfield and we all need Central Midfielders for their passing abilities rather than skillful and fancy footworks that amounts to nothing. Your question is more like asking why does Bafana Bafana need MacBeth Sibaya. We need him for the same reason that Sir Fergie need Carrick for Man U...

  • rico - 2010-02-17 10:06

    lamps comment?????????? never walk alone....pls dont comment..u play on the europa league remember nd fight for fourth place.....i c they are desperate to have you in champions league ..even wanting a play off for fourth spot.....they must know you are not goinfg to end fourth...bye bye torres and gerard

  • Big K - 2010-02-17 10:09

    @ NWA,some decisions were poor, i think both ways, so ya you win some and you loose some, get over it! @ Dennis 33, Ha ha, sorry to disappoint you!!@ Ryan, Carrick is a defensive midfield player, he may have had a quite game last night but when he has a good game you can see him making an effort. Last night he had to play very defensively so Scholesy and Fletcher could move abit more forward and support Rooney and need i remind you Fletch setup a goal & Scholesy (the Legend) scored one. Carrick also played a hand in United 1st goal, so i think you being abit unfair!! Im not the biggest Carrick fan and to be honest he started the season like K@K, rem Burnley?? But he is a great holding midfielder and also very low profile, give the guy some credit as he is definately playing better than some midfielders in the league, like LUCAS etc. He intercepted some crucial passes last night when Milan were on the Counter attack, im surprised you missed that!

  • MANUTD TILL I DIE - 2010-02-17 10:14

    @never walk alone - are Liverpool in the quarter finals of the champions league. NOPE. I also think you clicked on the wrong articles. Let me help you when click on soccer articles on the sports 24 page you must english premiership that is the only realistic competition you are in and that you are fighting for fourth place. i hope you also get familiar with the europa league becaus eit is going to b a long time before you liverpool scum will be in the champions league.

  • United Fan - 2010-02-17 10:29

    @never walk alone - You really need to start learning a new song to sing. Jealousy is a real bitter emotion - usually the advice is accept the negative and move on. The United world is a proud and excited one, each game is nerveracking, but at least weare still there. On the other hand,, with Liverpool you no there is 95% dissapointment. GGMU

  • United Fan - 2010-02-17 10:31

    @never walk alone - You really need to start learning a new song to sing. Jealousy is a real bitter emotion - usually the advice is accept the negative and move on. The United world is a proud and excited one, each game is nerveracking, but at least weare still there. On the other hand,, with Liverpool you no there is 95% dissapointment. GGMU

  • United Fan - 2010-02-17 10:32

    @never walk alone - You really need to start learning a new song to sing. Jealousy is a real bitter emotion - usually the advice is accept the negative and move on. The United world is a proud and excited one, each game is nerveracking, but at least weare still there. On the other hand,, with Liverpool you no there is 95% dissapointment. GGMU

  • Shaheen - 2010-02-17 10:53

    Good away performance from United. And unlike the Champions League Final last season, their heads didn't drop after going 1-0 behind. I felt that United were composed enough and played the ball surprisingly with ease (no Seedorf and Gatuso for Milan), and that the goal would come from the right hand side. Pity Nani was wasteful, and the first ball played in from a player other than Nani, resulted in the first goal. Same with Valencia coming, his first cross from the right resulted in a brilliant header from Rooney. Jonny Evans is better than last nights performance, as is Nani. Rafeal, did okay considering that Ronaldinho showed flashes of his former brilliance. Carrick held the midfield quite well, allowing Fletcher and Scholes to pull the strings. Van der Sar was excellent in goal, and did superbly well the keep it down to 1 goal conceded until Seedorf cheekily slipped in a flick for Milan's second. A good advantage to take to Old Trafford, but this is the Champions League, and anything can happen. Nothing should be taken for granted. It's United in pole position, with the second leg to come, now to focus on domestic matters against Everton. UNITED! UNITED!! UNITED!!!

  • TRUE Red - 2010-02-17 11:23

    shessh, why the attack on LFC okes ?! Remember we have ol' big ears PERMANENTLY on display in the Anfield trophy hall because we won it FIVE times ! So we are having a terrible season but guess what, we are still in the Uefa Cup for now at least - we've been in the CL for 5 years straight & plan to be back real soon. I gave you guy's your props but you still feel the need to attack my team - Utd fans preach about "class", but look at the comment's here ! Yet another reason i'm a scouser for life, thanks !

  • MANUTD TILL I DIE - 2010-02-17 11:46


  • JustinD - 2010-02-17 11:59

    @Never Walk are such a miserable little cry baby.... Like it's MU or it's supporters fault that your team is so kuk this season. United were VERY lucky to only be one behind after 20 min but that's AC's fault not United.....and we just blew them away from 30 min onwards. GREAT WIN against a GREAT side

  • alan - 2010-02-17 12:14

    @rico Its wednesday lamps-8 go for treatment on wednesday

  • Lamps_8 - 2010-02-17 13:12

    So you Won the away league...and in specatcular fashion might I add.Scholes goal was a complete fluke but thats football,the keeper just couldn't get there.So Congrats United.Shouldn't be as difficult for the home leg.Secondly,The Chels will have to play Inter who look a lot more devastating than AC.Its gonna be way more tough for the blues.We also played Inter and AC in the pre-season warm ups(with all their best players) and we beat both teams 2-0,not to say its gonna be easy but we have the Ability to beat Inter home & away.I'm just praying they don't slip up.Well played again to United,kept me on the edge of my seat.Rico,I'm here my son,don't worry I'm not going anywhere :)

  • junaid - 2010-02-17 13:38

    united were outstanding again thanks to our boy Rooney what a player he has turned out to be one day a bad boy of soccer where everyone shouted @him to get off the pitch now everyone is loving the way he is playing the ultimate striker he is really turning out to be a legend and still getting better.weel done UNITED well done

  • Seeps - 2010-02-17 13:46

    True Red your Idiot mate Never Walk Alone( Cos only United win the League) started with his rubbish. Give credit where it's due Fergie understands that there is more to football than a player. We have managed very well without R 7 and I feel we in a better position than people give credit for a proper push for the League Cup, Premiership and another crack at Barca in Milan? Looking like we can win atleast 2 outta 3 if NOT all 3... Valencia grows as a player, Vidic almost back, Giggs couple of weeks and that man Owen Hargreaves will be back soon so we in good shape at the moment for a real crack at all 3 trophies

  • Ryan - 2010-02-17 13:52

    Like I said , some of my fellow supporters would take issue ; @Amos and @ Big K ; guys with all due respect , Carrick might have a good day at the office from time to time and may have intercepted some crucial passes against Milan but we are United , our players are expected to be the best at what they do and outplay the oppostion , all the time . This is how we win trophies . Macbeth who ? Sorry Amos , the comparison between United and Bafana does not bear thinking about . Horses for courses dude , Bafana are like the red half of Merseyside , used to being the laughing stock and perpetual losers . BigK , Lucas is not even a footballer let alone a midfielder .. he is Rafa's girlfriend .

  • rico - 2010-02-17 15:10

    thank goodness...lamps my boy was worried you did yourself a mischief...last night was nerve wracking......

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