Champions League: Man U 4 – Real Madrid 3

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
April 24th, 2003 • 5:28 am

You’ve got to hand it to Manchester United: they can turn these big games INTO spectacular confrontations. A flurry of goals on both sides that kept you glued to the set until the very end.

The reality, though, is that, apart from the Beckham free-kick, the Man U goals were far from spectacular, and rather fortunate. And their defense was quite poor.

Real Madrid was not as brilliant as they were in the first leg — but their keeper had several outstanding saves from point-blank shots and, well, Man U’s less-than-optimal defense gave Ronaldo the opportunity to score a hat-trick.

The game would have been really amazing if Figo’s flick hadn’t skidded on the cross bar and had gone INTO the net instead. That would have been pure class.

Instead, things were quite scruffy at times — but the drama was there.

It’s a game that reminded me of the UEFA Cup final between Liverpool and Alaves a couple of years ago — but the difference, of course, is that Real had a significant advantage acquired in the first leg. Ultimately that is what sealed their qualifying for the semi-finals.

Now we just have to hope that the extra physical effort and mental blow of defeat will spill over and make Man U slip in the EPL… Another dramatic finish in the making?

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