• Germany's news in English

Schalke's prospects of Champs final dim

The Local · 27 Apr 2011, 07:38

Published: 27 Apr 2011 07:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, a reported United target, kept the three-time champions at bay almost single-handedly before quick-fire second-half goals from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney brought United a deserved victory.

The result puts Sir Alex Ferguson's side firmly in the driving seat ahead of next week's return leg at Old Trafford, when they will seek to book their place in the Champions League final for the third time in four seasons.

"It was a very professional performance tonight," said Ferguson. "The concentration, intensity and passing were all top class. They have all done fantastically well."

Rooney believes his team could have scored more.

"We're delighted but a bit disappointed in terms of not scoring more," he said. "We have done very well. We have to be professional for the second leg as Schalke can't be taken lightly. They went to Inter and won 5-2 (in the first leg of their quarter-final)."

Giggs was always confident of victory.

"I thought if we kept creating chances then they would go in," said the Welshman who, at 37, became the oldest player to score a Champions League goal.

"We could have been four or five up at half-time. Before the match we would have taken 2-0 but it's quite disappointing in terms of the final result now."

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder admitted his side were outplayed.

"We have to recognise that we were dominated by a team playing in a different dimension," he said. "We still have hope, anything is possible.

We'll try and do everything to win at Old Trafford."

Schalke upset defending champions Inter Milan in the previous round but the visitors' onslaught meant they were unable to cause Edwin van der Sar any real problems as the United goalkeeper kept his 50th clean sheet in the competition.

Neuer has been the subject of intense speculation since he announced he was not going to extend his contract but the Schalke captain demonstrated why he is so highly sought after with a string of world-class stops in the first half.

The first, on three minutes, saw him brilliantly palm away a Rooney curler, before he plunged to his right to keep out a low Park Ji-Sung drive two minutes later.

United's best early chance fell to Javier Hernandez but, having beaten the offside trap from Park's pass, the Mexican international found his route to goal blocked by the imposing frame of the Germany number one.

Hernandez ruffled the side netting and flashed a shot across the face of goal before a stunning one-handed stop from Neuer prevented Giggs heading United in front.

It seemed only a matter of time before semi-final debutantes Schalke buckled and Atsuto Uchida had to produce a tremendous block to deny Park after Neuer's save from Hernandez left the Korean with an open goal.

Neuer was at it again seconds from half-time, boldly racing from his line to deny Giggs, after Schalke had seen a penalty appeal rejected when Antonio Valencia nudged Alexander Baumjohann in the back beneath a high ball.

Story continues below…

A Rooney header from a Giggs free-kick prompted more acrobatics from Neuer early in the second half, while Giggs should have done better than blaze wide moments later after flummoxing three defenders with a cunning feint.

A rare sight of goal at the other end saw Jose Manuel Jurado slice a volley wide, before the breakthrough that United's first-half dominance merited finally materialised in the 67th minute.

Rooney bought himself space on the edge of the box by shaping to shoot and as the Schalke defence advanced to close him down, he slipped a pass through for Giggs to roll the ball between Neuer's legs.

The deadlock finally broken, United required just two minutes to stretch their lead. Hernandez drove infield from the right flank before stabbing the ball to Rooney, who beat the exposed Neuer with a first-time shot into the bottom-left corner.

Victory could even have been more handsome, had Patrice Evra's low shot two minutes from time not whistled narrowly wide of the right-hand upright.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:20 April 27, 2011 by steve_glienicke
Watched this game on sky last night, one of the commentators got it spot on when he said it was "Manuel Neuer 0 Man Utd 2" schalke were possibly the worst team i have ever seen in a semi final of the champions league, they had no answer to the power of Man U and if it was not for Neuer i'm convinced they would have won last night by 6-0 or 7-0, Dont understand Neuer wanting to stay in the Bundesleague when i'm sure that just about every one of the big clubs in europe would take him on, he looks the type of shot stopper that would fit well into the premier league.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd