Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United recovered from an early Ronaldinho to put Man United in the drivers seat of this Champions League tie.
But this was a game that Milan could easily have won. Between Ronaldinho’s goal and Rooney’s equalizer, Milan missed at least three really good chances that if they had taken could have ended this tie before half time.
“I think we could have lost a few goals tonight,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “The first 20 minutes was a bad period for us. It was a very unlucky goal for us to give away and we lost our composure. It took us a long time to get going and when we did get going I think we played well. I think that the bad start to the game gave encouragement to Milan and the fans were in great voice after that,” he said. “It was a bad period for us and we could have been three down.”
Milan took the lead in the third minute after Beckham whipped over a free kick and Ronaldinho’s first-time volley deflected off Carrick and past Van der Sar.
“In the first half we played a perfect game and didn’t get what we deserved,” Milan coach Leonardo lamented. “The only time they could attack and look like scoring was the 15 minutes when they scored two goals. But we were able to come back at the end and that is why I think we have a chance and I don’t think that 2-0 at Old Trafford is an impossible score for us.”
United got back into the game with a stroke of luck. Darren Fletcher’s cross was met by Paul Scholes’ standing foot, the ball going in off the far post.
Then it was time for Rooney to show why he is in the conversation with Ronaldo and Messi about being the best in the world. His first goal came on 66 minutes as he headed Antonio Valencia’s cross back across the goalkeeper. Eight minutes later Rooney scored again, beating the offside trap to glance in Fletcher’s cross.
“Wayne Rooney carried on the form he showed from before,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “He’s in absolutely devastating form and they couldn’t handle him in the second half. I thought he was marvelous tonight.”
A late Clarence Seedorf goal gives Milan hope in the return leg at Old Trafford. United’s back four was really sloppy and Milan has to feel that they can score goals at Old Trafford in the return leg.