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Brilliant César keeps United at bay

Published: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 0.55CET
FC Internazionale Milano 0-0 Manchester United FC
Goalkeeper Júlio César was in sparkling form for the Italian champions to frustrate Cristiano Ronaldo in particular and thwart the holders in Milan.
by Richard Aikman
from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Brilliant César keeps United at bay
Júlio César pulls off a stunning stop ©Getty Images

Match statistics

InternazionaleMan. United

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target2
 
5
Attempts off target6
 
7
Corners3
 
6
Offsides2
 
2
Fouls committed20
 
18
Yellow cards4
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 0.55CET

Brilliant César keeps United at bay

FC Internazionale Milano 0-0 Manchester United FC
Goalkeeper Júlio César was in sparkling form for the Italian champions to frustrate Cristiano Ronaldo in particular and thwart the holders in Milan.

FC Internazionale Milano and Manchester United FC will resume acquaintances at Old Trafford on 11 March with their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie in the balance following an eventful but goalless draw in Milan.

César saves
The visitors will feel more aggrieved having not produced the away goal their dominance deserved but the rare profligacy of Cristiano Ronaldo combined with the exceptional goalkeeping of Júlio César prevented the European champions from taking a commanding first-leg lead away from the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The draw, however, was enough for United to set a new record of 20 games unbeaten in the competition.

Ronaldo chances
Inter's fans unveiled a banner of a snake, their club symbol, as the players took to the field, but it was United, and Ronaldo in particular, who showed more bite during a one-sided first half in which the Portugal international had no fewer than seven goalscoring chances. Ronaldo drew Cristian Chivu into a foul inside 60 seconds and fired the subsequent free-kick straight at César. Four minutes later the goalkeeper was again forced into action, repelling Ronaldo's powerful header from Ryan Giggs' corner. Ronaldo did beat the Brazilian custodian soon afterwards, but his long-range effort, from another free-kick, fizzed just wide.

Frenetic half-hour
In a frenetic opening half-hour the hosts had trouble containing their vibrant visitors whose quick, attacking football contrasted vastly with Inter, who were far less fluid. Both Dejan Stanković and Zlatan Ibrahimović tried their luck from range but neither came close to troubling Edwin van der Sar. Most of the action was at the other end where Ronaldo twice went close again, on each occasion heading narrowly past the post.

César heroics
Inter were being overrun by the relentless waves of United attacks, which brought a chance for Giggs on 26 minutes. The Welshman span past Nelson Rivas's diving challenge and hared through, but César narrowed the angle and made a superb block. Moments later the hosts gave away another free-kick and Ronaldo's shot looked goalbound until the excellent Nerazzurri keeper somehow got a hand to the searing low shot.

Adriano chance
Quite how Inter managed to survive until half-time was anybody's guess, but they looked a completely different team after the break. The hosts took to the front foot from the whistle, coming close in their first attack as Esteban Cambiasso surged down the left and crossed for Ibrahimović. The Sweden striker let the ball run for Adriano, who miscued his shot with the goal at his mercy. At the other end Ronaldo remained a threat, crossing low from the right only for Park Ji-Sung to narrowly failed to turn in at full stretch. Giggs then weaved his way to the edge of the area to unleash a shot that Iván Córdoba blocked.

Balotelli impact
With 12 minutes left José Mourinho threw on Mario Balotelli and Julio Cruz in a bid to snatch a late goal and the former soon picked out Cambiasso who somehow failed to turn the ball over the line with his chest from a metre out. Inter had rallied, but there was to be no sting in the tail for the Serie A side.

Last updated: 25/02/09 10.19CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15277/match=302792/postmatch/report/index.html#brilliant+cesar+keeps+united

Lineups

internazionale

Internazionale

man. united

Man. United

12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK)
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti (C)
3
EvraPatrice Evra
5
StankovićDejan Stanković
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
8
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
10
AdrianoAdriano
Substitution76
9
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
13
MaiconMaicon
Yellow Card59
11
GiggsRyan Giggs (C)
19
CambiassoEsteban Cambiasso
13
Park Ji-SungPark Ji-Sung
Substitution84
20
MuntariSulley Muntari
Substitution76
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
24
RivasNelson Rivas
Substitution46
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
26
ChivuCristian Chivu
Yellow Card57
23
J. EvansJonny Evans
39
SantonDavide Santon
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
Yellow Card72

Substitutes

1
ToldoFrancesco Toldo (GK)
Yellow Card44
12
FosterBen Foster (GK)
2
CórdobaIván Córdoba
Substitution46
Yellow Card90+3
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
Substitution84
Yellow Card88
6
MaxwellMaxwell
17
NaniNani
7
Luís FigoLuís Figo
18
ScholesPaul Scholes
9
CruzJulio Cruz
Substitution76
20
FabioFabio
16
N. BurdissoNicolás Burdisso
28
GibsonDarron Gibson
45
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Substitution76
32
TévezCarlos Tévez

Coach

José Mourinho (POR) Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO)

Referee

Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

Assistant referees

Jesús Calvo Guadamuro (ESP), José Miranda (ESP)

Fourth official

Alfonso Peréz Burrull (ESP)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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