After winning 2-1 at Old Trafford versus Chelsea FC (3-1 agg), Manchester United have earned passage to the UEFA Champions League semi-final, where they most likely will be facing Schalke. United went ahead in the first half after Ryan Giggs slid a precise ball across goal that found Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez for the finish. After Chelsea went down to ten men, substitute Didier Drogba pulled one back. However, just seconds later, the outstanding Park Ji-Sung killed off the tie with a clinical left-footed strike.
I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to get up my usual tactical review, but I will get it up at some point before I head to bed tonight (PST). I may or may not have to do some celebrating first! Here are a few quick thoughts though:
* After Chelsea, with their narrow 4-3-2-1 shape, began to overrun United in the center of the pitch, United adjusted well and weathered the storm. The decision to start Fernando Torres over Drogba proved to be a costly mistake... I'm scared to think what might have been for Chelsea had Drogba started.
* Wayne Rooney was simply outstanding. His movement in attack continued to cause Chelsea problems. His touch, range of passing, and instinct put him into a class above anyone else on that pitch tonight. There is no question what so ever anymore... Wazza is back in top form for the run-in.
* Park was so huge tactically. When an opposing side plays in a 4-3-2-1 shape, they need to get their width from attacking full-backs. Park completely erased Ashley Cole from the match. This is why Park plays in these games. Branislav Ivanovic was poor with his service from the opposite side as well.
* Giggs... what can I really say that hasn't already been said about him. He was superb. He was brilliant in the center of the pitch again. His distribution was world-class.
* It's certainly far from a guarantee, but we'll be a strong favorite to reach the final at Wembley. Barring a miracle from Inter Milan, we'll be playing Schalke in the semi-final. Hopefully Barcelona and Real Madrid wear each other out when they play each other 4 times over the coming weeks.
* GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!