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Champions League Live Blog: Man U v. Inter

Welcome to my Champions League live blog of the Man U v. Inter monumental match up. This game has it all. Two of the three best teams in the world (Barcelona being the third), the two best managers in the world and two of the most successful teams in this tournament’s history. Sit back, relax, and follow along with me as I live blog today’s match. 

First Half

  • 1:40 – Cristiano Ronaldo touches the ball for the first time and the whistles rain down on him immediately. He draws a foul. His free kick is hit firmly, but easily handled by Inter’s Cesar.
  • 4:57 – After Evra’s corner, Ronaldo nails a header on goal from close range, but Cesar makes a brilliant save. I think it’s fair to say that would have been a goal against 99% of the keepers in the world.
  • 7:15 – Ronaldo takes another free kick and narrowly misses the mark. The ball was probably only about a foot from hitting the post. It’s been all Man U so far. Inter looks jittery and has mishit several balls.
  • 9:57 – Ronaldo shows some fancy footwork, but some clever defense makes him force a shot from a poor angle and he misses. Inter has been playing very poorly. Their offense has been deplorable. 
  • 12:35 – Yet another free kick for Man U after Carrick puts in an Academy Award winning performance on his dive. Giggs takes this one (Ronaldo’s already taken two), and he drives it straight into the wall.
  • 16:15 – The announcers on ESPN2 just decided to bring up the fact that Man U will break the all-time record for unbeaten Champions League matches if they win or tie today. I smell a possible jinx.
  • 18:33 – Berbatov wastes a one on one after Ronaldo and Park set him up perfectly. Inter is quick on the counter-attack, but Zanetti wastes the run on a pitiful shot that is way off target.
  • 20:41 – Both teams are playing pretty sloppy. Man U came out looking great, but Giggs and Ronaldo have recently given the ball away for no reason. These teams don’t look like they should be #1.
  • 21:30 – Giggity Giggity! Ryan Giggs just blew a great chance to score. Man U gets a corner anyways, but Giggs hits it poorly. One minute later, Berbatov throws in a nice header that just misses the goal.
  • 24:15 – The game is bogged down in midfield. Neither team can get much going. I wonder why Ferguson would decide to sit both Rooney and Tevez to start the game. I think he needs more on the attack.
  • 25:48 – Giggs has a great opportunity due to some deplorable defense by Inter. Cesar again is equal to the task though and saves Giggs’ point blank shot. Man U has earned a corner, but Giggs blew that one.
  • 27:11 – Yet another Man U free kick when Ronaldo is taken down outside the box. The Golden Boy will take this one, and it’s a beauty, but Cesar makes an amazing save. How long can he keep this up though?
  • 28:21 – Ronaldo sends a fantastic header toward goal, but it is off the mark. Man U is completely dominating this first half. Inter’s defense is terrible today. They don’t look like they can play with Man U. 
  • 30:31 – Berbatov goes down outside the box and draws a foul. Yet another free kick. If this were a drinking game where you had to do a shot for every Man U free kick, we’d all be wasted by now.
  • 31:00 – Ronaldo’s free kick goes straight into the wall. Inter can’t keep giving them these types of opportunities though. Eventually, the Red Devils will notch one if Inter doesn’t start to wake up soon.
  • 36:54 – Inter is doing better on offense, but they still have not challenged Van der Sar. The only bad thing about this for Man U is their goalie could get complacent. This could be a one goal game.
  • 37:56 – Ronaldo is wide open and Carrick finds him, but his shot is taken from a poor angle and saved by Cesar. Man U has probably had a dozen shots in this game already, and Cesar probably has 6 saves.
  • 39:14 – Man U earns another corner due to Giggs’ craftiness. He will take it himself, but Cesar fists it out of the box. Another opportunity wasted by Man U. Adriano for Inter still looks fat and tired already.
  • 40:54 – Park throws a nice cross into Berbatov, whose header misses the goal. They are firing at will, but they just cannot seem to find the net. Mourinho is going to scream his head off during halftime.
  • 42:31 – Well, Man U has another free kick. But, again, it’s wasted. Somehow, Toldo, the Inter substitute keeper, just got a yellow card from the bench for complaining about the foul to the official.
  • 44:01 – It looks like this one is going to half scoreless. Inter will need a goal in the second half, or they will be in deep trouble when this series heads back to Old Trafford for the all-important second leg.

Second Half

  • 45:00 – And we’re back. Final first half tally was 10 shots for Man U with four on target. Inter, meanwhile, has five shots with zero on target. Could Ferguson finally break the hex Mourinho put on him?
  • 46:13 – Ibrahimovic puts a nice ball in for Adriano, who badly misfires. Inter is attacking now though. It seems Mourniho may have put a fire under their asses during the break. They look ready to go now.
  • 48:01 – Adriano collapses in the box and tries to draw a penalty, but he won’t get it. Inter wastes a corner. At least they are putting some pressure on Man U’s backline in the second half, unlike the first.
  • 49:44 – Evra gets tangled up trying to make a tackle and has his leg stomped on. He looks pretty injured, so Sir Alex may have to make a change soon, even though he definitely doesn’t want to.  
  • 52:03 – The game has settled down and is now looking like many thought it would. When will Wayne Rooney or Carlos Tevez get in the game though? Ferguson will be heavily criticized if they lose this one.
  • 54:40 – Ibrahimovic draws a corner. Adriano knocks into Van der Sar and the whistle blows. So far, Cesar has to be the Man of the Match, and Adriano has to be the biggest bust. He looks frustrated.
  • 56:26 – Chivu of Inter gets a yellow card for coming in late on a tackle against Berbatov. Another free kick for Man U, but they decide to play it safe. Berbatov makes a terrible pass to give the ball back.
  • 58:29 – Maicon draws a yellow for making a late attempt to take the ball from Carrick. It seems the ref has gotten a little card happy during the half and Inter is bearing the brunt of his new tendency.
  • 60:09 – Park makes a dangerous play on a ball by coming in with his spikes raised near his opponent’s face, but he doesn’t get a card. Ronaldo makes a questionable tackle, no card for him either. Hmm….
  • 62:03 – Ronaldo looks like he has given up. He was playing great in the first half, but it seems his inability to score may have frustrated him. He gets taken down and pouts like the childish star he is.
  • 64:14 – If I am Ferguson, I am switching Rooney in for Giggs soon, and maybe Tevez for Park. Inter is starting to take control of the game and Man U needs to get their momentum back, and fast.
  • 66:02 – Ronaldo plays it inside the six yard box, but Park just misses it. Man U gets a corner though. Giggs’ kick is very low, and basically another waste of an opportunity. I love him, but he looks fatigued.
  • 67:16 – Ronaldo jumps on a defender’s back and knocks him down. No card though. If I am Mourinho, I am starting to wonder how Maicon’s play earlier was anywhere nearly as bad as Ronaldo’s there.
  • 68:14 – Inter has their best chance to score all game as they are awarded a free kick just outside the box. Maicon’s shot is waaaaaaay off. That has to be very disappointing for Inter’s supporters.
  • 70:52 – Fletcher gets a yellow card for Man U, the team’s first. It was a stupid tackle, so it was deserving, but I think we are seeing a little favoritism from the refs toward the Red Devils so far this match.
  • 73:01 – Ronaldo dives on the ground looking for a foul, but he doesn’t get it. He is playing like a petulant – for lack of a better word – crybaby in the second half. He needs to get his composure in check.
  • 75:18 – Giggs has a very nice chance, but his shot is blocked. He is playing with more pep as the game nears its end. Adriano is being taken out by Inter, which can only help their chances of winning.
  • 76:26 – Berbatov takes a shot from a poor angle and it ends up in the side netting. Man U has taken momentum back, but can they notch one to prevent this match from ending in a scoreless draw?
  • 77:34 – Rooney is warming up for the first time. Substituting him for Giggs seems plausible. Ferguson doesn’t want a draw, he wants a win, so I think we may actually get to see Wayne before 90 minutes is up.
  • 79:03 – Park may not be the most talented player on the Red Devils, but he is the most tenacious. That guy plays hard the whole game. You can question his skill, but not his desire, that’s for sure.
  • 81:24 – Evra doesn’t get called for a pretty obvious intentional handball. Inter gets a corner, but Van der Sar saves the close range shot. Inter is suddenly playing “balls to the wall” for the win.
  • 82:52 – Rooney is coming on for Park. He’s got ten minutes at the most to make something happen. Wayne’s legs are fresher than Park’s though, as Park has been sprinting all over the pitch all day.
  • 85:01 – Um, Inter gets screwed by the refs again. A free kick clearly hits off of Evans and goes out for a corner, but the official says its a goal kick. Ibrahimovic is abhorred at the clearly incorrect call.
  • 88:09 – Rooney gets a yellow for an audacious move. It wasn’t a terrible foul, but his reputation proceeds him apparently. He is a dirty player, but I am not so sure that play was all that dangerous.
  • 90:00 – Regular time has expired. There will be three minutes of extra time, but it doesn’t look like anybody will be scoring. It’s been a battle, and it looks like it will be going back to Old Trafford all even.
  • 92:07 – Ronaldo has drawn one final free kick. They will get the last chance to score it appears. Cesar stops the well-struck shot, and the whistle blows. Final Score 0-0.

Well gents, just like the game, this live blog is finished. It was a battle, and Man U looked like the better side. But, at the end of the day, the result was all even. The second leg at Old Trafford will decide the winner, which bodes well for the Red Devils. Can Mourinho produce enough magic to get Inter through to the next round?

We shall have to wait and see.