09/04/2014 22:00, Report by Ben Hibbs
The Match: Reds bow out
Following our on-the-whistle report, we take a closer look at the game…
It was a cagey affair for almost an hour until the game burst into life thanks to Patrice Evra’s brilliant goal on 57 minutes. United had repelled all previous Bayern advances, with Chris Smalling typifying a resolute defensive performance. Wayne Rooney clearly wasn’t fully fit and, despite a pain-killing injection, looked like his toe injury affected him after spurning good chances in either half. It was a chance United had to take. The key for Bayern was in hitting back immediately after the restart following Evra’s goal through Mario Mandzukic. It not only loosened United’s temporary grip on the tie, it inspired Bayern to go on and win it. Within ten minutes they were in front through Thomas Muller and eight minutes later the tie was wrapped up by Arjen Robben.
The goals Evra’s strike was absolutely perfect, a thumping first-time left-foot shot from 20 yards that crashed in off the crossbar. It’s just such a shame that it came in a 3-1 defeat of this magnitude. More pertinent was the reaction to it – United’s and Bayern’s. The Reds had to see out that spell immediately following the goal and ride the wave of euphoria from such a spectacular strike; Bayern had to find a way back into the game. And did. Ruthlessly.
Star men Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both drew praise from boss David Moyes for their valiant defensive performances, while Shinji Kagawa caught the eye with his clever, agile play