"We looked very solid as a team and put in a good performance defensively. In a perfect world we would like to score, but it’s not to be. It’s not the end of the world, a draw’s not a bad result for us."

- Michael Carrick
25/06/2008 08:43, Report by Gemma Thompson
1 of 2 Next 

Euro Glory: Barca away

A surprising stalemate at half-time in the tie, but it could all have been so different had Cristiano Ronaldo accepted an early gift from the spot...

UEFA Champions League, Semi-final, first leg
23 April 2008, Nou Camp

Read the report

On the pitch: The pre-match talk was all about both sides' attacking riches with a glut of goals certainly a big possibility. The game itself was the antithesis of such a prediction with only a handful of half chances, as both teams looked to neutralise each other's attacking arsenals. Cristiano Ronaldo spurned the best opening of all, from the penalty spot, after Gabriel Milito had blocked the winger's header with his hands two minutes in. Ronaldo blasted horribly wide, but Barca failed to make United really pay thanks to some stout defending from Rio and Co. Advantage United, just.

Star man: Rio Ferdinand made subduing Samuel Eto'o before a baying Catalan crowd look simple, and he played a huge part in notching another vital clean sheet.

How United lined up: Van der Sar; Hargreaves, Brown, Ferdinand, Evra; Rooney (Nani 76), Carrick, Scholes; Park, Ronaldo, Tevez (Giggs 85)

Talking point: On one of United’s rare forays into enemy territory, just before the half-hour mark, referee Massimo Busacca could have pointed to the spot for a second time. Ronaldo seized on a slack pass from Andres Iniesta, before bursting through on goal, only to have his route cynically blocked by Rafael Marquez, who made no attempt to the play the ball. Busacca quickly waved away the claim, however, much to Ronaldo’s disbelief.

What the papers said: "These teams could give stalemates a good name. Barcelona, in particular, had much of their old panache and it is only their lack of a lethal touch that puts Manchester United in good heart for the return leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Having seen Cristiano Ronaldo waste a penalty at the very start the visitors will savour the durability shown on a night when, in the absence of Nemanja Vidic, the

1 of 2 Next 


Premier League