Back off to better blow up. Eliminated from the Champions League at the start of the winter, Manchester United managed to get their heads right. 2nd in the Premier League, the English club can even experience an exciting end to the season with a semi-final of the Europa League, the first leg of which will be played on Thursday at Old Trafford, to be followed live on our site. La Louve will have the opportunity to save a dying exercise. Never in the game in Serie A where they currently occupy 7th place, the Italians can still lift the first European Cup in their history (Fair Cities Cup excepted).
Often unhappy in the past on the European scene, Roma will have to put another bad memory aside before facing the Red Devils. Two years in a row, they had eliminated Roma in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. If the second time, the double confrontation had been rather balanced if not tight (success 2-0 and 1-0 for the future winner of the competition), in 2007, the episode had turned to the correction. A 7-1 villain inflicted by Sir Alex Ferguson’s troops which represents the club’s heaviest defeat in modern history on the continental stage.
The MU tornado
This memory is also painful for French clubs. To reach the quarter-finals, Roma had to dispose of OL in a Gerland still dumbfounded by Mancini’s passing of legs on Reveillère. MU had offered him the scalp of LOSC, which still has not digested the Giggs free kick shot without the referee’s whistle, but with his consent. On the way to Rome, with Solskjaer holder, the English suffered and lost 2-1 after having played more than one half at ten against eleven after the expulsion of Scholes. The return promises to be undecided and, yet, the suspense lasted twenty minutes.
The hinge Chivu-Mexès, De Rossi or Totti can do nothing against a Manchester United of the very big evenings. Carrick (11th), the returning Smith (17th) and Rooney (19th) already give a large lead. The young but already essential Ronaldo makes the addition before the break (44th) before going for his double (49th). In total success, Carrick sends a missile into the skylight of poor Doni (60th), who collapses in spite on his knees. The magnificent reduction of the gap by De Rossi on a cross from Totti (69th) goes almost unnoticed since Evra takes part in the party by scoring his first European goal (81st). Final score (7-1).
Totti: “It was the saddest night of my career …”
“I have never seen such a performance. It’s not that Roma played badly, we were just very good, ” Edwin van der Sar, the Mancunian goalkeeper, reported after the match. “It was a fantastic performance from each of our players. The speed of our play and our build was absolutely superb … it’s the best night of European football we’ve had here, ” Ferguson even dared. The legendary Scottish coach has much to be happy about. For the first time since 1984, Manchester United turned a situation in the European Cup.
In the next round, the English club will fall against AC Milan, the future winner, the irresistible Kaka, winner of the Ballon d’Or this year. Painfully out of C1, Roma will recover even if Totti will later confide having lived that evening “The saddest night of her [ma] career.” Under the orders of Luciano Spalletti, it asserts itself as the third flagship club in Italy behind the two Milanese tenors. She also finished three times in a row in 2nd place in Serie A in 2006, 2007 and 2008. La Louve especially lifted the Italian Cup a month later. Like what, a great defeat can also be born success.