As mentioned yesterday, I am not in a position to write a match report, so here is a collection of reports I found on the mainstream media as well as some from our comments yesterday.
Benzema’s goal was a blow to the pit of the stomach delivered from nowhere but it had been coming. United were too often on the back foot and when Benzema was presented with a beautifully-timed pull-back, the stadium held its breath. The shot went over the bar.
For a horrible couple of seconds there would have been only one man gulping down a sharp intake of air and it was Rio Ferdinand. He was presented with a straightforward clearance, sliced the ball off his shin, and saw it career off behind him with Van der Sar hopelessly stranded. [Tim Rich from the Telegraph]
It is also safe to assume that United will be more penetrative and attack-minded on their own ground. Ferguson had left out Tevez so he could squeeze in Owen Hargreaves and deny Lyon the space to work their slick, triangular passing moves. The tactic was one of conservatism but, perhaps as a consequence, it meant the English champions were not as cohesive as usual when going forward. [Daniel Taylor on the Guardian]
Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted to come away on level terms after an uncomfortable evening in France, and his team are favourites to progress from the return leg of this last-16 tie in a fortnight.
The United boss will be wary, however, of the cutting edge Lyon possess in Benzema, a man his club have been constantly linked with.
His 24th goal of the season appeared to have eased the pressure on their manager Alain Perrin after a dressing down from outspoken owner Jean-Michel Aulas earlier in the week. [Paresh Soni on the BBC]
Use EXPERIENCE to see out games not to win games in the first place.
I can understand Fergieâ€™s desire to use experience players like Giggs and Scholes in European games, however, when it comes at the expense of playing blossoming young talent like Nani and Tevez then questions need to be asked.
We looked alot more dangerous today when Tevez and Nani were on the pitch, no doubt about that. The pace and trickery puts opposition on the back foot when they have attacking players coming from every angle. Lyon were terrified of us in that last 20 minutes or so. This is the type of football we need to win games. Tevez has a goal every other game or something! And Nani is asist leader by a mile despite barely playing! His crossing is phenomenal and led to yet another goal tonight.
THEN, once ahead in games, it makes sense to bring on people like Giggs and Scholes. Experienced players, who know how to keep possession and see out games. Scholes is the master at slowing a game down and effortlessly keeping possession. Giggs too has the experience to know when to keep it simple and hold the ball.
Think this should be the CL team from now on:
Then if a game is won, bring on Scholes for Tevez, and Giggs for Nani. Carrick has a role to play as well. His passing game is well suited for European games, and he can be usd interchangably with Hargreaves.
I just wonder if after seeing what happened tonight, Fergie will start to show more faith in the younger players. Scholes and Giggs definitely still have an important role, but it should be from the bench, not from the start.[Red Addict on our Comments Section]
Laser thing sucks, typically UEFA will just turn a blind eye to all bad things that happen on the continent. United would be kicked out if it happened at OT. Then again I donâ€™t really know how to stop them, I mean the gizmos are tiny and could esaily get into the stadium, and then finding whoever has it would be really tough to, especially in real time.
Thought it was a professional if uninspired match last night. Lyon were tough to break down all night, and our goal had a least a little fortune around it. We didnâ€™t create much before or after the subs. The thing with Giggs is that he can play very clever balls and can be quite effective, but more often then not he doesnâ€™t seem to keep up with play. Itâ€™s either behind him when theyâ€™re attacking or in front of him when weâ€™re attacking.
Scholes was alright, nothing special. He really needs more options in front of him when he play so centrally. You could see so many times heâ€™d get hte ball in the circle, look up and just be like, oh, thereâ€™s rooney all alone with two giants marking him, hereâ€™s Giggs right next to me and Ronaldo is double teamed. So heâ€™d just keep interchanging with Anderson. Not sure Carrick woudl have done any better.
Hargo is invaluable, but does give away the odd crucial foul. I also couldnâ€™t believe he got booked after someone complained and asked hte ref to book him. Ref then booked the player for asking AND hargo. I donâ€™t get it. The thing about Owen is that we donâ€™t really need him against teams that play 4-5-1. Then again, with the amount of defending Ronaldo does, Hargo spends 90% of his time providing cover for Brown, cause Ronny is standing hands on hips on the halfway line looking back like, what me worry?
Have set ourselves up well, but if they score early could be a long night at OT![Beachryan on the Comments]
That game was very interesting indeed and United once again showed the patience and composure to fight back from a deficit to grab a very valuable draw and away goal. Didnâ€™t you just get the feeling Tevez was gonna knock in a late goal? He has become more clutch and dependable than our beloved Rooney. Rooney is slowly but surely playing himself out of the hearts of many of his loyal followers. There comes a point when all the effort, running, attitude means little when the substance is not there. Bottom line is he is a striker and strikers are paid to score goals. He was never prolific to begin with but ever since his last foot injury he has not been the same. Plus, I am getting tired of his temper tantrums after every obvious foul or offside call made against him. Shut up and play already. He also seems tentative at times and quite often he shoots so quickly he doesnâ€™t take the time to look and aim. He is really struggling to find his form. A perfect example was late in the game when Boumsong blocked a shot that Rooney just looked down and shot. There was a time he would look at a corner and aim a shot. Now he just rears back and fires. If Iâ€™m wrong about this thatâ€™s fine, itâ€™s just my observation as a supporter. Not to long ago he used to crack them in like Benzemaâ€™s goal. WOW! Face it folks, if you want Benzema in United red, he will cost over 30 million to get. Heâ€™s looks like a stud not just because of his shot but his pace and overall ball control and skill.
Congrats to the lads today they did well. Now lets take care of the Looney Toons on Saturday and move on. [Grognard on the comments]
And that’s about it. Head over to yesterday’s thread to read plenty more of the comments and rants on the game. There is this issue on Ronaldo being dazzled by a laser beam (picture here). I wonder how UEFA is going to tackle this. In a day of such security such gizmos are still quite easy to get into the stadium. It’s a shame, really.
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