A magical finish. The indefatigable Ivica Olic steals the ball away from Patrice Evra in stoppage time and then outruns Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, looks up, and slots the ball coolly past Van Der Saar. He then takes his shirt of in celebration and is booked by referee De Bleekere. On the other end, a worrying sight for Man Utd as Rooney is hobbles off the pitch with an ankle injury.
A summation of the match. Man Utd went ahead after a series of Martin Demichelis blunders in the first minute of play. The Argentinian made a boneheaded tackle on Nani. On the ensuing free kick Demichelis was unable to challenge a surging Wayne Rooney as he lost his footing, leaving the Man Utd striker in perfect position for a stunning volley past Hans Joerg Butt.
Man Utd had gone ahead before the fans had time to settle down. The Allianz Arena quietens down in a flash.
Bayern responded in heartening fashion as Ribery, Pranjic, and Altintop exerted control over the midfield. Gary Neville looked every bit of his 35 years trying to stop a Ribery who slithered his way around the left testing and probing the Utd defense. Nani and Rooney provided Man Utd with their chances as the first half ended quite evenly contested.
The second half began with the Bayern trio energized in the same fashion. Altintop in particular looked very good with his crosses and mazy runs. He was a surprise choice as Louis Van Gaal so far has started him very occasionally. With their choke hold Butt was rarely tested till Vidic’s bullet header fortuitously clanged off the crossbar.
However, for all of their possession and initiative it took a shocking handball from Gary Neville who needs to retire for Bayern to set up their equalizer. Ribery’s low slung free kick took a deflection of a jumping Rooney and the ball nestled in the net without Van De Saar moving a muscle. Quite stunning.
But not as stunning as Olic’s winner about eight minutes later.
A note about Martin Demichelis. He turned things around quite nicely in the second half and was instrumental in nullifying Rooney and Park Ji Sung.
The teams meet again April 7th on OId Trafford with Man Utd with the all important away goal advantage. However, Bayern will visit at full strength getting back Arjen Robben as well as Bastian Schweinsteiger. From what one saw at the Allianz Arena, Bayern was able to successfully stretch the Utd defense going wide. The fullbacks especially Neville looked quite vulnerable. Sir Alex might want to think about a change.