Champion’s League Live: Man United vs. Schalke

Champion's League: Manchester United vs. Schalke 04

Update: Floodgates open, 2-0 Manchester United and Schalke has been broken at home. What a wild Champion’s League year as Schalke themselves are coming off destroying the champs, Inter Milan at home in the last stage.

Halftime: 0-0. Gave up the commentary, but basically it’s just Manuel Neuer and a firing squad of Man United players teeing off. 11 shots, seven of them on goal.

Neuer has been nothing short of fabulous, but–and maybe it’s a German stereotype–best of all he’s been unflinching and thus keeping his defenders in it (for what they’re worth).

6:25: Fabulous tactical battle here as both teams poking and prodding, but making sure there read end doesn’t get hung out.

6:25: Best series there from Schalke as Edu finds Farfan, but skids it wide. Patience a virtue.

2:50: The weight of Giggs’ passes is unparalleled. Continually marvelous. Great ball to Hernandez there, though nothing comes of it.

2:50: Schalke giving entirely too much space in their defensive third. United will punish them if that continues.

Update: Under way shortly here. Can Schalke switch the attack fast enough to open the flanks. Will Raul be dangerous enough to make the midfield collapse and aid in that effort?

I wonder what brats they serve at Veltins-Arena.

Update: Valencia over Nani, Fabio over O’Shea. MUFC: Van der Sar; Fabio Ferdinand Vidic Evra; Valencia Carrick Giggs Park; Rooney; Hernandez.

Fabio over O’Shea is surprising (or is really Rafael in disguise).

Update: The vet Sarpei over Escudero. Schalke: Neuer, Sarpei, Raul, Edu Buamjohann, Papadopolous, Farfan, Jurado, Metzelder, Uchida, Matip

——-

It’s go time again in Europe.

The undercard today to the premier Spanish match-up tomorrow.

Astuto for Schalke....

I don’t expect many surprises today out of either United or Schalke.

For United, Sir Alex will employ Ji Sung Park on one side effectively nullifying Schalke’s advancement through wing and overlapping defender player on that flank. I think that’ll be United left flank where Park and Evra will patrol and attempt to quash Schalke’s attack through the creative Jefferson Farfan and the speedy backer (who is getting a lot of pub today) Atsuto Uchida. On the right flank, the Red Devils will attempt to advance more with either Valencia (likely) or Nani continually busting into the corner backed up by Michael Carrick who can swing a pass and the industrious John O’Shea.

Elsewhere I think you’ll see Rooney in the roving false nine role with Chicharito making strategic runs ahead of him. Nothing new there.

For Schalke (and I’ve only seen a handful of their games this year. They’ll try to get both Astuto open on the right playing off Farfan and on the left through Sergio Escudero whose youth United will try and take advantage of.

But amazingly, it’s Raul again for the Germans as his ability to find the ball, hold it and pick out passes in the midfield will be vital to United’s defense collapsing inward and giving those flankers space.

On to the game….

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andy_4Lakes on 2011/04/26 at 11:51 AM

    So following a previous discussion here on The Shin, on those line-up cards, is that 4-2-2-2 vs 4-2-2-2 or 4-2-2-1-1 or is it simply 4-4-2 vs 4-4-2? [kidding around, no one go crazy on me!]

    Reply

  2. Posted by dth on 2011/04/26 at 12:05 PM

    Is it just me or has Chicharito become slightly less lethal as a finisher as time has gone on this season?*

    *obviously his movement remains superb and his finishing remains very good. But it seems like Chicharito was taking every chance and most of the half-chances too; today he’s had a couple of surprisingly tame efforts at half-chances and similar things could be said about his other performances recently.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/26 at 12:50 PM

      I think it’s just that he’s starting now. Used to come in when folks were tired and have more space. He’ll start finishing again.

      Movement has been superb.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/04/26 at 6:33 PM

        Chicken and egg. He’s starting because his form from the bench has been so good.

        Plus Ferguson said that they wanted to ease him in slowly, but he has exceeded all expectations regarding strengthening up to deal with the physical nature of the league.

        Got to love the way he pulls defenders all over the place too.

        Reply

  3. Posted by dth on 2011/04/26 at 12:22 PM

    WARNING WARNING: Manuel Neuer might just be having one of those days. (i.e. the ones that make him worth 20 million euros as a bargain).

    Reply

  4. Posted by John on 2011/04/26 at 12:25 PM

    Neuer hat TIER-MODUS eingegeben!

    Reply

  5. Posted by cj on 2011/04/26 at 5:09 PM

    Two cents – I prefer the summations and commenting from the narrator on a more grandiose, whole picture, level over the play-by-play. That mixed in with the line ups and the usual quick summation of what to expect that you guys do is an enjoyable read. Good job!

    Reply

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