11/03/2009 21:42, Report by James Tuck
United 2 Inter 0
United reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the third successive season – but the holders were made to work by a spirited Inter side.
After Nemanja Vidic had headed the Reds into an early lead, the Italian champions provided several nervy moments until Cristiano Ronaldo netted the all-important second goal five minutes after the restart.
It was a cushion United never looked like relinquishing and most of the 75,000 fans in attendance went home satisfied after another thrilling European night at Old Trafford.
So, the defence of the trophy continues and we’ll wait with baited breath to see who the Reds face next when the draw for the last eight is made on March 20.
As so often on the big occasions, Sir Alex Ferguson had looked to his experienced men to guide his side through, naming Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in midfield – the latter starting in his old-fashioned left-wing role.
There was the boost, too, of Rio Ferdinand in the starting XI; the defender was declared fit on Tuesday after recovering from the ankle knock he picked up against Fulham.
A deafening roar greeted the players as they took to the field, while Jose Mourinho received a cacophony of boos from the Stretford End as he made his way down the touchline. Thankfully, there was to be no repeat of the Portuguese dancing down it later.
Two early corners set the tone. From the second one, taken by Giggs, Vidic escaped Patrick Vieira to head home powerfully from eight yards.
It was the perfect way for United to dispel any early nerves and the holders set about inflicting further damage on the Serie A leaders.