Random musings after a second viewing of Manchester United's victory over Schalke

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - APRIL 26: The video screen shows the result of the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Manchester United at Veltins Arena on April 26, 2011 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In a valiant attempt to avoid the final stages of moving, I decided to sit down for a second viewing of Manchester United's UEFA Champions League semi-final first-legged 0-2 victory over Schalke 04; it can be intriguing what you notice sometimes on an encore viewing. Without further ado, here are some random musings that I may or may not have covered in our match review:

* When Paul Scholes came on, it was an absolute treat to watch. I pray that he doesn't retire. If he's willing, he still has so much to offer tactically as a late-match substitute, at the very least. I don't even know if this is fathomable, but Scholesy is one of the most underrated footballers of all-time... and probably one of the top 3-5 favorites of mine.

* The Michael Carrick/Ryan Giggs combination... ride this for the run-in. It's a perfect tandem for the moment. Carrick is criminally underrated as a defender; whilst Giggs' imaginative and direct passing is a great complement to Carrick's sured and tidy distribution. And then you have the industrious work-rate of Wayne Rooney; plus his genius instinct in attack. This is our best combination through the center of the pitch at the current moment.

* Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is a foundation piece for the club going forward. He's already world-class with his finishing and movement, yet he can still improve with his first-touch and link-up play. The sky is the limit for the seemingly humble striker. 

* Antonio Valencia; the Ecuadorian winger has traits of both David Beckham and Giggs in their heyday... the crossing ability combined with an electric burst of pace down the touchline. 

* Park Ji-sung: quite possibly the tactical key of the entire match. The South Korean completely erased Atsuto Uchida from the match. This is a story line not covered much in Western media, but one that was huge in far the east; the Korea vs Japan battle is immensely fierce. 

* Fabio: the young lad has never had a bigger night in his professional life. On a night where the stage looked much too big for Schalke's youngsters, our young Brazilian shined. I can't wait to see what the da Silva twins provide for us in the future.

* the Nemanja Vidic/Rio Ferdinand tandem... simply the best in the world; either for club or country. 

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