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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Jan Molby's Euro verdict
Jan Molby
Jan Molby
Former Liverpool midfielder and Five Live summariser

Cristiano Ronaldo shows his frustration at the San Siro
It went from bad to worse for Ronaldo who never got into the game - he's a great entertainer, but tonight wasn't for him

An all-English Champions League final would have been exciting. We've had a Spanish one and an Italian one and I thought it would happen.

But Manchester United allowed AC Milan to find their stride and they paid the price.

United have started their last couple of games slowly, but I felt they would have been spot on from the first whistle at the San Siro. They weren't.

There was a lack of belief about United, which is not like them, and Cristiano Ronaldo set the tone early on.

The first time he had the ball he did 15 stepovers and then a backheel straight to an AC Milan player.

That got the home fans going which got their players going.

And it went from bad to worse for Ronaldo who never got into the game. He's a great entertainer, but tonight wasn't for him.

As a player, when you realise that things aren't going your way you have to do a job for your team-mates.

However, he kept forcing the issue and wanted to do something magic that people were going to remember him for and it just got worse and worse as the night went on and the AC Milan fans enjoyed taunting him.

Compare that to Kaka. It doesn't bother him if he's not on the ball because he drags defenders away and creates space for others.

If you look at the movement of the AC Milan players, the positions they take and their ball retention, it is all so clever.

And United didn't do enough to stop it. They knew Kaka was the key but went in with an arrogant attitude of 'listen, we'll deal with him and it's all about what we do'.

But it was about what he did. He took up those clever positions and kept moving the ball.

AC Milan played as well as any team I've seen in Europe this season - their dominance in the first-half was incredible

And even when United got going the likes of Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes weren't good enough to have an impact and they were already 2-0 down.

United's big players didn't perform. AC Milan's did.

They used all their experience and played really well, but United never got close enough to them which meant some wonderfully gifted players got the time and space to rip their visitors to pieces.

And Kaka destroyed them like he did Liverpool in the first-half of that final in 2005.

If this year's final is half as dramatic as two years ago it will be a wonderful game.

Liverpool like scrappy games and they will not allow the likes of Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo any time.

First and foremost it will be about stopping AC Milan from playing football and then hopefully Liverpool will have enough quality themselves.

Rafa Benitez will have already started working out how he's going to nullify Kaka and stop Pirlo dictating the pace of the game.

It will be intriguing and I'm sure he'll get it right on the night.

Manchester United didn't in the San Siro.

AC Milan have hit top form at the right time and played as well as any team I've seen in Europe this season. Their dominance in the first-half was incredible.


Jan Molby was speaking on BBC Radio Five Live.



SEE ALSO
AC Milan 3-0 Man Utd (Agg: 5-3)
02 May 07 |  Europe
Toothless or tired?
03 May 07 |  Sport Homepage
Champions League photos
02 May 07 |  Football
Man Utd 3-2 AC Milan
24 Apr 07 |  Europe
Lawro's Euro verdict
24 Apr 07 |  Man Utd


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