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Holders United head through to quarter-finals

Published: Thursday 12 March 2009, 0.55CET
Manchester United FC 2-0 FC Internazionale Milano (agg: 2-0)
Headed goals in either half from Nemanja Vidić and Cristiano Ronaldo helped the English champions to eliminate their Italian counterparts.
by Simon Hart
from Old Trafford
Holders United head through to quarter-finals
Wayne Rooney (right) congratulates Cristiano Ronaldo ©Getty Images

Match statistics

Man. UnitedInternazionale

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target8
 
5
Attempts off target7
 
9
Corners3
 
3
Offsides3
 
1
Fouls committed13
 
16
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 12 March 2009, 0.55CET

Holders United head through to quarter-finals

Manchester United FC 2-0 FC Internazionale Milano (agg: 2-0)
Headed goals in either half from Nemanja Vidić and Cristiano Ronaldo helped the English champions to eliminate their Italian counterparts.

Manchester United FC progressed to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after headed goals from Nemanja Vidić and Cristiano Ronaldo earned them a 2-0 victory over FC Internazionale Milano.

Nervy night
The champions of England, Europe and the world remain on course for an unprecendented quintuple of trophies this term after surviving an uncomfortable encounter with the Serie A leaders, who could easily have scored at least one goal. Inter's coach José Mourinho arrived here with a reputation for getting results against United – most famously with FC Porto five years ago – but while he left with a chorus of "You're not special any more" ringing in his ears, his side certainly ensured a nervy night for their hosts.

Urgent start
Rather than energise United, Vidić's fourth-minute opening goal seemed to send Sir Alex Ferguson's men into their shells in a stuttering first-half display. Vidić had rewarded an urgent start when he got clear of Patrick Vieira and met Ryan Giggs's corner with a powerful header which flew inside an unguarded far post. Yet United, apparently unsure whether to defend their advantage or push on, did neither.

Carelessness
Inter's attempts to find a way back into the tie initially foundered on Zlatan Ibrahimović's isolated status up front, but United's uncharacteristic carelessness soon encouraged the five-man Nerazzurri midfield to venture forward in support, and chances came. After Giggs had surrendered possession – not the first United player to do so – Inter won a free-kick 35 metres from goal and from Maicon's delivery, Ibrahimović directed a header down into the ground and up on to the crossbar.

Inter on offensive
Stanković then tried his luck with a long-range strike that Edwin van der Sar touched wide and the Serbian missed a better opening soon after when Ibrahimović's superb curling pass left him clear at the far post. As the ball bounced in front of him, however, he failed to keep his effort down and it flew over. Although Giggs and Wayne Rooney combined to put John O'Shea clear, Júlio César saving at his feet, the half ended with Inter on the offensive as Ibrahimović broke on to Mario Balotelli's through ball and drove a low shot past the far post.

Switch rewarded
Sulley Muntari, scorer of an FA Cup winner here for Portsmouth FC, replaced Vieira at the break but more telling was Sir Alex's decision to switch Giggs to a central attacking role with Rooney moving out left. The dividend was immediate, Rooney crossing for Ronaldo to head his first UEFA Champions League goal since last year's final in Moscow. Dimitar Berbatov then brought a close-range stop from Júlio César but Inter had one last throw of the dice.

Winning machine
Adriano came on in the 58th minute and within 60 seconds the Brazilian had volleyed an Esteban Cambiasso cross against the inside of the far post, the ball running back across the line with Van der Sar beaten. Inter's chance of a fightback was gone and their quest for a first European crown since 1965 is over for another year. No such worries for Sir Alex as his winning machine rolls on to the last eight – and a tenth UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 13 seasons.

Last updated: 12/03/09 8.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15277/match=302796/postmatch/report/index.html#holders+united+head+through+quarter+finals

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

internazionale

Internazionale

1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK)
12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
3
EvraPatrice Evra
2
CórdobaIván Córdoba
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti (C)
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Goal49
5
StankovićDejan Stanković
Substitution58
9
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
8
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
Yellow Card71
Substitution84
13
MaiconMaicon
11
GiggsRyan Giggs (C)
14
VieiraPatrick Vieira
Substitution46
15
VidićNemanja Vidić
Goal4
19
CambiassoEsteban Cambiasso
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
25
SamuelWalter Samuel
Yellow Card53
18
ScholesPaul Scholes
Substitution70
39
SantonDavide Santon
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
45
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Substitution70

Substitutes

12
FosterBen Foster (GK)
1
ToldoFrancesco Toldo (GK)
8
AndersonAnderson
Substitution70
6
MaxwellMaxwell
13
Park Ji-SungPark Ji-Sung
Substitution84
7
Luís FigoLuís Figo
Substitution70
23
J. EvansJonny Evans
9
CruzJulio Cruz
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
10
AdrianoAdriano
Substitution58
28
GibsonDarron Gibson
20
MuntariSulley Muntari
Substitution46
Yellow Card77
32
TévezCarlos Tévez
24
RivasNelson Rivas

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) José Mourinho (POR)

Referee

Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Assistant referees

Carsten Kadach (GER), Volker Wezel (GER)

Fourth official

Günter Perl (GER)

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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