Well then. That last minute of stoppage time has to be one of the worst minutes of football I can remember. The combination of bad luck and sloppy defending that led to Olic's winner was terrible, but the injury to Rooney is the type of thing that can ruin an entire season (yes, I am also an England fan.) The prognosis seems to be 2-3 weeks, but with games against Chelsea, Bayern, Spurs and City in that time this will be a true test of the entire squad.
More analysis and ratings after the jump. To tide you over here is a look at Andrey Arshavin's blog. It's quite...eccentric. I thought it was appropriate following the Gunners thrilling 2-2 draw with Barcelona today. The Special One led Inter Milan to a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in the other Champions league matchup.
Well all of the speculation is over, Wayne Rooney has had his scan and will be out for "two to three weeks". I'm not surprised that it's only a few weeks, basketball players suffer from this sort of injury all the time and usually only miss a few days. I suppose the difference is in the protection--or lack of it--that soccer boots offer. Anyway, this puts him in contention to play in the derby against City on April 17th, but there are several matches between now and then that are much more important. When Sir Alex released the diagnosis he said "The nation can stop praying." I found it interesting that he too focused on Rooney's potential absence for England over United. England really have no chance of winning in South Africa without Rooney leading the line, whereas at United we have a strong squad and able replacements such as Macheda and Berbatov. Now Berbatov is not the goalscorer that Rooney is, but has not been nearly as bad as the some of the media seem to think. He has a decent goalscorer record and his vision and creativity may even be better than Rooney. Having just spent a paragraph convincing myself that everything is going to be alright, Rooney's injury was still a much bigger blow than Olic's late winner. If we can't beat Bayern at Old Trafford--no matter who is returning from injury--, we don't deserve to advance to the next round.
Van der Sar-6.5
Made a few good saves and had no chance on the goals. Was nearly embarrassed when he went to ground too early on Gomez's effort.
Dealt with Ribery in the air and in tight spaces, but when in came to pace was no match for "scarface." The handball was also a bit foolish for such an experienced player.
Played well for the first 70 minutes--when our defense had to cover for the midfielder's inadequacies, but was partly at fault (along with several others) for Olic's winner. I don't usually believe in scoring too early but this match showed how it can sometimes hurt you.
Strangely anonymous apart from his header that smashed into the crossbar.
Failed to get close enough to Altintop, allowing the Turk to go on several dangerous runs. Got the ball stuck under his feet in the "93rd minute of doom".
Won the free-kick that led to Rooney's goal and had a solid all around game.
Played in an excellent left-footed cross for Rooney that should have been converted, but has to be partly at fault for our failure to keep possession.
Carrick didn't have a very good game, and was replaced by Valencia. I know Sir Alex wanted to get Berbatov and Valencia on, but taking off Park and Carrick--although he wasn't in top form--instead of Rooney and perhaps Nani didn't really make sense to me, especially on the road with a lead.
Had a decent game, and got away with some shocking tackles.
Not the Korean's best effort, sometimes he looked confused as to what his role was.
Was opportunistic to score the early goal, but missed a few half chances. He was also the man that deflected in Ribery's free-kick. Get well soon Wayne.
Subs- None of the subs had a very big impact on the match, but these next few weeks are a chance for Berbatov to prove his worth to all the doubters. I have friends who support United and think we should sell Dimitar, but I totally disagree. I think he brings something different to the side and is a fantastic player.
Chelsea tomorrow morning. Over and out.