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Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 21:36 UK

Schalke 04   0 - 2   Man Utd

Ryan Giggs scores Man United's opener
Giggs's finally got the opener, after 67 minutes, United's dominance deserved

By Jonathan Stevenson

Manchester United took a giant step towards the Champions League final as they outplayed Schalke in Germany.

United could have been well ahead in the semi-final first leg by half-time, denied only by a series of incredible saves from Germany keeper Manuel Neuer.

They broke the deadlock when Wayne Rooney slipped in Ryan Giggs to slot home and Rooney doubled the advantage by firing in a Javier Hernandez pass.

Edwin van der Sar saved from Sergio Escudero, but Schalke were awful.

United will welcome Schalke to Old Trafford on Wednesday 4 May for the second leg and they now know, barring a complete catastrophe, that they will once again represent English football in the showpiece of the European game.

Sir Alex Ferguson had warned his side not to underestimate Schalke prior to the match, with United the hot favourites to progress to the Wembley final on 28 May and face either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Schalke, 10th in the Bundesliga, had destroyed holders Inter Milan 7-3 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, but they were completely overrun from the first whistle by a United side better in every area of the pitch.

Until they got as far as Neuer, that is. The 25-year-old Schalke captain and Germany number one, who announced last week he would be leaving his hometown club in the summer after a 20-year association, produced a goalkeeping performance of the very highest order for more than an hour.

Manuel Neuer saves from Javier Hernandez
Neuer pulled off a succession of stunning saves for Schalke

He was a one-man barrier who prevented United wrapping up the tie in the first 45 minutes, thwarting the visitors as they carved the Schalke defence open almost at will.

After Alexander Baumjohann sent a first-minute shot into the arms of Van der Sar as Schalke produced the first attempt of any note, it was all United, as they produced a display of fluent, attacking football their opponents could not live with.

Rooney's deflected shot was wonderfully clawed away by Neuer, who then denied Park Ji-Sung low down to his right and Hernandez too - and that was all inside the opening 10 minutes.

Schalke were without key defender Benedikt Hoewedes because of injury and the gaping holes at the back suggested they badly missed him.

Neuer continued to deny United, superbly sticking out a hand to deny Hernandez again, with the Mexican wasting two more golden openings shortly after.

It seemed a matter of time before United would score but Neuer made another breathtaking one-handed save from Giggs' downward header, denied Hernandez once more from the right-hand side of the box and then stood his ground to thwart Giggs from a cute Rooney pass.

Although it defied belief that the score was 0-0 at the break, in the second half United picked up where they had left off as Patrice Evra's glancing header forced Neuer to tip over his crossbar.

After Giggs shot wide, Schalke had a five-minute period in which they at least competed. A dangerous Raul cross to the far post was headed away by Rio Ferdinand and Edu forced Van der Sar to save low down to his left.

But United were gearing themselves up for another wave of attacks and they eventually scored the goal their extraordinary dominance deserved.

Schalke's generosity meant Rooney could have driven a bus through their defence, but he settled for slipping in Giggs, the Welsh veteran keeping his cool to slot between Neuer's legs and send the travelling support into ecstasy.

In the process, at 37 years and 148 days old, Giggs became the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history, overtaking AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi when he scored against Real Madrid in November.

It got even better for the United fans two minutes later as Hernandez was given what seemed an eternity to run on to a loose ball and find Rooney in the area, his strike partner giving Neuer no chance by dispatching the ball into the bottom corner.

Schalke, bereft of ideas and the ability to hit back at United, were restricted to pot shots from distance and substitute Escudero brought a good save from Van der Sar, but they were never likely to get back into it.

A jubilant United, also six points clear at the top of the Premier League, will now pay close attention to the first leg of the Real Madrid v Barcelona semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Schalke 04 0-2 Man Utd FT
(HT 0-0)
    • Giggs 67
    • Rooney 69

    Schalke 04

    • 01 Neuer
    • 02 Sarpei yellow card (Escudero 72)
    • 14 Papadopoulos
    • 21 Metzelder yellow card
    • 22 Uchida
    • 32 Matip
    • 11 Baumjohann (Kluge 53)
    • 18 Jurado (Draxler 82)
    • 07 Raul
    • 09 Goncalves Edu
    • 17 Farfan

    Substitutes

    • 33 Schober,
    • 03 Escudero,
    • 05 Plestan,
    • 12 Kluge,
    • 31 Draxler,
    • 15 Charisteas,
    • 16 Ali Karimi

    Man Utd

    Substitutes

    Ref: Velasco CarballoAtt: 54,000
    SCHALKE 04
    MAN UTD

    Possession

    • Schalke 04 45%
    • Man Utd 55%

    Attempts on target

    • Schalke 04 7
    • Man Utd 11

    Attempts off target

    • Schalke 04 3
    • Man Utd 6

    Corners

    • Schalke 04 3
    • Man Utd 6

    Fouls

    • Schalke 04 10
    • Man Utd 13
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:56 The referee brings the game to a close.
    • 90:00+1:49 Goncalves Edu takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 90:00+0:56 Atsuto Uchida crosses the ball, clearance by Fabio Da Silva.
    • 89:07 The ball is sent over by Peer Kluge, Fabio Da Silva makes a clearance.
    • 87:32 Patrice Evra has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 86:27 Luis Nani challenges Jefferson Farfan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Atsuto Uchida takes the free kick.
    • 82:09 Substitution Wayne Rooney leaves the field to be replaced by Luis Nani.
    • 81:53 Substitution Julian Draxler replaces Jose Manuel Jurado.
    • 81:03 Shot by Sergio Escudero. Edwin Van der Sar makes a fantastic save.
    • 78:17 Peer Kluge sends in a cross, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 75:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fabio Da Silva on Goncalves Edu. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Jefferson Farfan.
    • 73:25 A cross is delivered by Michael Carrick.
    • 72:26 Substitution Oliveira Anderson is brought on as a substitute for Javier Hernandez.
    • 72:26 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Paul Scholes coming on for Ji-Sung Park.
    • 71:46 Substitution Sergio Escudero joins the action as a substitute, replacing Hans Sarpei.
    • 70:13 Direct free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.
    • 70:13 Booking The referee shows Hans Sarpei a yellow card.
    • 70:10 Hans Sarpei gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez.
    • 68:58 The assist for the goal came from Javier Hernandez.
    • 68:58 GOAL - Wayne RooneySchalke 04 0 - 2 Man Utd Wayne Rooney fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Schalke 04 0-2 Man Utd.
    • 67:38 Antonio Valencia produces a cross, Ryan Giggs has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 66:22 Assist on the goal came from Wayne Rooney.
    • 66:22 GOAL - Ryan GiggsSchalke 04 0 - 1 Man Utd Ryan Giggs finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Schalke 04 0-1 Man Utd.
    • 64:21 Goncalves Edu takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 63:18 Jefferson Farfan decides to take a short corner.
    • 63:12 Gonzalez Raul delivers the ball, Rio Ferdinand makes a clearance.
    • 62:58 Peer Kluge takes a shot. Blocked by Rio Ferdinand.
    • 62:14 Gonzalez Raul takes a short corner.
    • 62:07 The ball is swung over by Atsuto Uchida, blocked by Nemanja Vidic.
    • 61:11 Atsuto Uchida fouled by Javier Hernandez, the ref awards a free kick. Atsuto Uchida restarts play with the free kick.
    • 60:40 Nemanja Vidic concedes a free kick for a foul on Gonzalez Raul. Jefferson Farfan takes the free kick.
    • 60:15 Unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Jefferson Farfan results in a free kick. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.
    • 58:44 The official flags Antonio Valencia offside. Indirect free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
    • 57:48 Jose Manuel Jurado crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance made by Nemanja Vidic.
    • 57:48 Booking Booking for Fabio Da Silva for unsporting behaviour.
    • 57:41 Fabio Da Silva concedes a free kick for a foul on Jose Manuel Jurado.
    • 54:15 A cross is delivered by Nemanja Vidic.
    • 54:02 Short corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line.
    • 52:26 Substitution Peer Kluge comes on in place of Alexander Baumjohann.
    • 51:42 Effort from deep inside the area by Jose Manuel Jurado misses to the right of the goal.
    • 51:33 Jefferson Farfan crosses the ball, Nemanja Vidic makes a clearance.
    • 50:25 Javier Hernandez is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
    • 49:13 Christoph Metzelder gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez. Ryan Giggs restarts play with the free kick.
    • 48:16 Hans Sarpei concedes a free kick for a foul on Fabio Da Silva. Wayne Rooney takes the free kick.
    • 47:23 Antonio Valencia delivers the ball, Effort on goal by Ryan Giggs from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
    • 46:47 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs played to the near post, Joel Matip makes a clearance.
    • 45:35 Joel Matip challenges Javier Hernandez unfairly and gives away a free kick. A cross is delivered by Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra takes a shot. Save by Manuel Neuer.
    • 45:15 Centre by Jefferson Farfan.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:11 The ref blows to signal half-time.
    • 44:19 Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Fantastic save by Manuel Neuer.
    • 44:01 Fabio Da Silva crosses the ball, Atsuto Uchida makes a clearance.
    • 43:28 Ryan Giggs decides to take the corner short.
    • Correction - 43:22 A cross is delivered by Ryan Giggs, clearance made by Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
    • 43:22 The ball is sent over by Wayne Rooney, clearance made by Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
    • 40:58 Ji-Sung Park gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joel Matip. Manuel Neuer restarts play with the free kick.
    • 39:44 Alexander Baumjohann takes a shot. Comfortable save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 37:21 Shot on goal by Fabio Da Silva from just inside the area goes over the target.
    • 35:23 Javier Hernandez has an effort at goal. Save made by Manuel Neuer. Shot by Ji-Sung Park from 12 yards. Atsuto Uchida gets a block in.
    • 34:04 Fabio Da Silva is caught offside. Free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
    • 33:07 Fabio Da Silva takes the direct free kick.
    • 33:07 Booking The referee shows Christoph Metzelder a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 33:04 Free kick awarded for a foul by Christoph Metzelder on Wayne Rooney.
    • 29:42 The ball is delivered by Javier Hernandez, clearance by Joel Matip.
    • 27:02 A cross is delivered by Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Save by Manuel Neuer.
    • 26:29 Short corner taken by Antonio Valencia from the right by-line.
    • 25:43 Rio Ferdinand fouled by Goncalves Edu, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.
    • 25:12 Javier Hernandez has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 24:09 Foul by Patrice Evra on Atsuto Uchida, free kick awarded. Atsuto Uchida takes the direct free kick.
    • 22:17 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line, Nemanja Vidic challenges Christoph Metzelder unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
    • 20:40 Javier Hernandez has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
    • 19:38 Ji-Sung Park crosses the ball, Manuel Neuer makes a save.
    • 19:21 Jefferson Farfan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabio Da Silva. Fabio Da Silva takes the free kick.
    • 18:42 The ball is swung over by Ji-Sung Park, Joel Matip manages to make a clearance.
    • 17:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ji-Sung Park on Atsuto Uchida. Jose Manuel Jurado delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.
    • 15:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Manuel Neuer by Javier Hernandez. Free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
    • 15:25 Centre by Wayne Rooney, Manuel Neuer makes a save.
    • 13:26 Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Save by Manuel Neuer.
    • 12:28 Wayne Rooney fouled by Christoph Metzelder, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
    • 11:34 Gonzalez Raul decides to take the corner short.
    • 9:30 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabio Da Silva by Goncalves Edu. Nemanja Vidic takes the direct free kick.
    • 8:15 Jefferson Farfan produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
    • 7:29 Fabio Da Silva challenges Gonzalez Raul unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joel Matip takes the direct free kick.
    • 7:17 The ball is delivered by Antonio Valencia, clearance by Joel Matip.
    • 6:23 Goncalves Edu has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 5:51 Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Save by Manuel Neuer.
    • 5:01 Effort on goal by Ji-Sung Park from 18 yards. Fantastic save by Manuel Neuer. The assistant referee flags for offside against Javier Hernandez. Free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
    • 3:57 Jefferson Farfan crosses the ball, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 3:34 Foul by Fabio Da Silva on Goncalves Edu, free kick awarded. Goncalves Edu restarts play with the free kick.
    • 2:53 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Giggs, save made by Manuel Neuer.
    • 2:29 Effort on goal by Wayne Rooney from 18 yards. Brilliant save by Manuel Neuer.
    • 1:42 The referee penalises Jefferson Farfan for handball. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
    • 0:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ji-Sung Park on Jefferson Farfan. Direct free kick taken by Jefferson Farfan.
    • 0:28 Joel Matip takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 0:00 The game gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Champions League results

    26 Apr 2011 23:59 UK



    see also
    Majestic Man Utd delight Ferguson
    27 Apr 11 |  Europe
    Tuesday football as it happened
    26 Apr 11 |  Football
    Tuesday football photos
    26 Apr 11 |  Football


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