Player Ratings: FC Schalke 04 vs. Manchester United

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By Mark Young.

FC Schalke 04 0 – 2 Manchester United

Two goals in three minutes from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney have given Manchester United the advantage going into the second leg at Old Trafford next Wednesday.

United have one foot in the Wembley final at the end of May but it could have been so much more. The Red Devils were brilliant and they had seven shots on target in the first half only to be foiled by the magnificent Manuel Neuer. The German number one was finally beaten after 67 minutes when Giggs was played through by the masterful Wayne Rooney. Rooney got on the score sheet two minutes later to virtually book Man United’s place in the final.

FC Schalke 04

1.Manuel Neuer

If it wasn’t for the Germany number one United could have been four or five goals up at half time. He kept his side in it and kept the score line respectable. His first save, from Rooney’s long range curling effort set the standard for what was to come. He made further saves from Hernandez, Park and Giggs. Top draw and maybe Fergie will be trying to persuade him to take the number one shirt at Old Trafford next season. 9 (out of 10) MAN OF THE MATCH

2. Hans Sarpei

Sarpei was given the run around by the hard working Valencia. He didn’t know whether to get in tight or to give the Ecuadorian some space but whatever he tried didn’t work. He also played Hernandez onside early on, but the chance was not converted. 5

21. Christoph Metzelder

The man in the mask had a game he would rather forget. Another defender that couldn’t deal with Hernandez and Rooney and was completely off the pace. HE received a booking and made several small fouls that could have cost his team further. He struggled and another one to thank his goalkeeper. 4

32. Joel Matip

The central midfielder was moved to centre back for this game with Howedes injured but he couldn’t deal with the front two either. He looked better than Metzelder, making one or two decent challenges, but that isn’t saying much. 5

22. Atsuto Uchida

The Japanese full back was isolated as he was not helped in defence by Farfan the way that Park and Valencia helped their full backs but when he got forward Schalke looked dangerous but those opportunities were few and far between. Struggled to defend against the tireless Park. 5

11. Alexander Baumjohann

Baumjohann only lasted 52 minutes with little impact. He helped give the United midfield too much time to express themselves but he did work hard, even if it is without the desired outcome. He was in the team to be creative, but creativity was unfortunately lacking. 5

18. Jose Manual Jurado

The £10 million former Atletico Madrid man was another one who had little or no impact on the midfield. He is supposed to be the play maker, the one that makes the killer pass but there was no killer pass. He had one effort in the second half that was a miss kicked volley that went wide. Better is expected of the Spaniard. 5

14. Kyriakos Papadopolous

After rave reviews in the two legs against Inter Milan, much was expected of the young Greek midfielder but he looked nervous and made too many mistakes. He would commit to challenges to easily and the game, along with United’s midfield just passed him by. 5

17. Jefferson Farfan

Farfan is very quick but he is also very wasteful and this was proved again. He didn’t help his full back at all and when Schalke were on the back foot he was needed. The Peruvian was supposed to be Schalke’s quick outlet but he was very poor. Valencia and Park proved how winger’s should play and Farfan should learn from them. 5

9. Edu

Vidic and Ferdinand mopped up everything the Brazilian did with the greatest of ease. Edu has never fully settled at a club and was very poor up front with the Spanish legend Raul. There was no movement by him, Schalke will be ruing the injury to Huntelaar who would have at least have been a presence. 4

7. Raul Gonzalez

The Real Madrid icon had absolutely no service and would never have been on the end of a performance like that in his days with Los Blancos. He had no impact on the game at the front end of a team which had no impact. The blame will definitely not be at Raul’s feet for this loss. 5

Subs

12. Peer Kluge

The defencive midfielder had just under 40 minutes to make an impact and played better than the other midfielders but United were on the up by then and could do nothing to stop them. 5

3. Sergio Escudero

Came on for Sarpei and looked to get forward when he could. Looked more confident than the man he replaced did. 5

31. Julian Daxler

The 17 year old replaced Jurado near the end and had no time to make any kind of impact. N/A

Manchester United

1.Edwin Van der Sar

The Dutchman had a relatively easy night in comparison to his opposite number and must have admired Neuer’s performance. He was extremely comfortable with his catching and smothered two long shots from the German’s. 6

20. Fabio da Silva

A very enthusiastic performance from the young Brazilian who was very positive, especially in the first half. He ran the whole length of the pitch after  a Schalke corner, getting away from the defence only to try and pass when it may have been better to shoot. He did have a shot later on from ten yards out and should have got it on target but the strike was narrowly off target. 7

5. Rio Ferdinand

It is such a massive boost for United to have the former England captain back in the centre of defence. Earlier in the week, Ferdinand claimed Raul was one of the toughest opponents he had faced, but he won everything against the Schalke striker. Edu gave him no headaches either and will be happy with another clean sheet. 7

15. Nemanja Vidic

Vidic is one performance away from leading United out in a Champions League final for the first time as captain. He was so quick to any hint of danger and almost broke the deadlock with a flick at the front post. Farfan could not get a cross in with Vidic bearing down on him. Solid as always. 8

3. Patrice Evra

Evra had the freedom of the left wing as Farfan rarely troubled and Uchida couldn’t stop him. He almost had two goals, a header tipped over by Neuer and a shot that went narrowly wide late on. The Frenchman was a constant attacking threat. 7

25. Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian winger had Sarpei beaten all hands up, throughout. Valencia played a brilliant ball to Hernandez early on and was always looking to get forward when he was on the ball. He also showed good defencive work helping out the young Fabio. His defencive qualities are why he was probably preferred to Nani. Valencia is always a great outlet for the Red Devils. 8

11. Ryan Giggs

The Welshman had five chances at Neuer and eventually got his goal. He was always running into the box when Rooney dropped deep and should have scored with a right foot shot in the first half but it was his weaker foot. He finished well and deserved the goal after having the freedom of the midfield along with Carrick. Giggs tore them apart again. 8

16. Michael Carrick

Nights like this make Carrick look like a brilliant midfielder. He had so much possession and ran more than any other United player. He picked out passes at will and sat very deep whilst the others attacked. The Champions League is bringing the best out of him this season. 8

13. Ji Sung Park

The South Korean work horse had a couple of chances in the first half that Neuer was equal too. He was buzzing around the park and was up and down that pitch with ease all night. Evra was helped out a lot by Park defensively and he is the man for the big occasion. Was replaced late on by Scholes. 8

14. Javier Hernandez

The Little Pea was buzzing around all night long and could have had a couple of goals. He sent through Rooney for United’s second and unsettled the Schalke defence all night long. 8

10. Wayne Rooney

Rooney was absolutely outstanding on a pitch where maybe his biggest error occurred. He got a goal and an assist with a superb finish for the goal and a brilliant pass for the assist. He could have had more but Rooney is looking back to his brilliant best and the two Spanish teams should be slightly unsettled at least. 9

Subs

8. Anderson

Anderson replaced Hernandez and passed the ball round the midfield with ease. 6

18. Paul Scholes

Scholes was brought on for Park and along with Anderson kept the play ticking over. 6

17. Nani

Replaced the magnificent Rooney and played through the middle. Set up Evra for a late chance. 6

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