The good and bad of tonight, aided of course by hindsight…
– Wayne Rooney’s fitness: He managed to run around and even after being kicked and looking as though he was fucked, managed to keep on playing. Hearing he was in the starting team on the radio on the way to the ground and listening to all those Ingerlernd pricks whinging about it was really a brilliant start to the evening.
– The first half: We played bloody brilliant football and created chance after chance. Following the disappointing result at the weekend I was so pleased with our attitude and performance.
– Team selection: With 11 men we were never going to get knocked out. Darron Gibson warranted his inclusion with the opening goal and the risk of playing Rooney paid off.
– The feeling when we scored: I surprised even myself with how happy I was when every single one of our goals went in. Maybe it was the man going bonkers behind me and throwing me all over the place or maybe it was because I really believed we were going to the final, but it really did feel better than it has done for a while when celebrating our goals.
– Nani: As well as his two goals and his loony celebration, he had a great game today. He worked as hard going forward as he did defensively, and even when fighting a losing battle when up front by himself, he chased down every ball. Whatever people want to say about the comparisons with Ronaldo, CR9 never worked as hard for our team as Nani did tonight and I take my hat off to him. All his recent talk about now understanding what it means to be a United player clearly isn’t just PR bollocks.
– Michael Carrick: Had we been 3-0 up when we went down to ten men, you would have to fancy us still. However, Carrick was at fault for Bayern Munich getting themselves back in to the game just before the end of the first half. He then contributed nothing positive to the game, selling Van der Sar short with a backpass, blew the opportunity to put us 4-1 up and lost the ball repeatedly. I’m not one of those fans who have been bashing Carrick for the past few years, but he has made it hard to do anything other than slag him off over pretty much the season as a whole. I personally wouldn’t have him anywhere near the starting XI for the remaining five games and give him the summer to think over whether he really fancies this whole United player lark or not.
– Keeping Rooney on: Wazza shouldn’t have appeared for the second half. He’d had a near miss in the first half and for him to come back out in the second half, with him largely ineffective, seemed pointless.
– The referee: Wow. Did our players miss the memo that said if you fall over, regardless of whether you are fouled or not, the referee will award a freekick? Sixteen times the referee blew for a foul on Bayern Munich players and I’d argue even half of those were generous decisions.
– Rafael da Silva: I hope the feeling of being at fault for Manchester United’s exit from the European Cup sticks with him for the rest of his career. We have put our Premiership title in jeopardy for the sake of the Champions League and this risk would have been justified had we progressed to the semi-finals tonight. Now we are second in the league and without the comfort of Europe to make it worth our while. Taking forever to get off the pitch, moping with self-pity, didn’t exactly endear him to me. I hope Gary Neville has a chat with him tomorrow morning at Carrington and I wouldn’t be averse to him giving a slap or two either.