of boos reverberated around Old Trafford. That quickly turned to hysterical cheers as the Italian blasted over. De Rossi’s immediate reaction was to pull his jersey over his head as he attempted to hide from the now raucous United fans. Had De Rossi's miss put an end to the Italians' chances of getting back into the tie?
United tightened things up towards the end of the first period, apparently content with maintaining the advantage. The added protection in front of the back four also coincided with an injury to Rio Ferdinand. Thankfully, the defender reappeared after the break despite having three stitches at the interval.
With the quarter-final tie entering its last stage, Roma had the clock to worry about too. The visitors enjoyed the lion's share of possession for the first 15 minutes of the second period and Mikael Silvestre was forced to make a vital block on 57 minutes when the ball dropped to Taddei in the area. Juan’s strong header from the subsequent corner was well held by van der Sar by the back post.
The Reds' passage to the semi-final was put beyond doubt on 70 minutes when United found the net for the third time in the tie. Tevez collected the ball in midfield before slotting it into Hargreaves’ path on the right wing. The midfielder sent in a peach of a cross, which the Argentine dived to meet and send into the far corner.
United strolled through the remainder of the game and went close to a second two minutes from time when Doni saved well from Ji-sung Park. Aside from the goal, the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the return of skipper Gary Neville, who was given a 10-minute run-out… in the centre of midfield!
In truth, United had done the hard work in Rome, but a professional performance at Old Trafford ensured a place in the last four. The Reds fell short last season against AC Milan, but this time Sir Alex's men mean business.