Thursday, May 22, 2008

Manchester United Wins 2008 UEFA Champions League

Defeats Chelsea in Final played Moscow after penalty shootout

May 21, Moscow Olympic Stadium.
Referee: Lubos Michel (Eslovakia)
Starting Lineups:
Chelsea: P.Cech,J.Terry,M.Ballack,F.Lampard,M.Essien,R.Carvalho.A.Cole,J.Cole,C.Makelele,F.Malouda, D.Drogba. Coach: Avram Grant

Manchester United:
E.Van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand, P.Scholes, W.Rooney, O.Hargreaves, W.Brown, P.Evra, N.Vidic, M.Carrick,C.Tevez, C.Ronaldo.

Manchester United won its third European club championship in front of 85,000 spectators after defeating Chelsea in a thrilling match that could also have been won by the London club. Man Utd. came onto the pitch as the favorite after winning the English Premier League two weeks ago and immediately took control of play. It was Cristiano Ronaldo, considered to be the world’s best footballer of the moment that scored for Man.Utd in the 26th minute. Ronaldo headed in an excellent cross from the right by Wes Brown. Ronaldo´s Argentine teammate Carlos Estevez could have increased the scoreboard twice in the next ten minutes.
However, Chelsea equalized in the 44th minute after Frank Lampard finished off a fast counterattack with close range shot.
If Man.Utd had been in control during the first half, it was Chelsea that took over in the second half and could have won the match in the 77th minute after Didier Drogba´s shot hit the right post of Erwin van der Sar´s goal. As the action progressed the fans sensed that an extra thirty minutes would have to be played and also many players began to fall on the pitch with cramps. In the 86th minute Ryan Giggs replaced Paul Scholes and as extra time began Nicholas Anelka and Juliano Belletti came on for Chelsea.
Extra Time :
In the third minute Frank Lampard could have scored yet again but his shot hit the crossbar.
With only five minutes of play left an argument began between all the players that ended with Didier Drogba being sent off after the Chelsea striker slapped a Manchester United player.
Then came the dramatic penalty shootout that would decide which team would become this years champion.
First to score was Carlos Tevez for Man. Utd as did Michael Ballack, Michael Carrick and Juliano Belletti. Then came the first surprise of the evening as Cristiano Ronaldo´s penalty was blocked by Peter Cech, the Chelsea goalkeeper. Frank Lampard, Owen Hargreaves, Ashley Cole and Nani scored alternatively and the last to take a penalty would have to be John Terry, the Chelsea Captain. If Terry had scored, Chelsea would have been the first London club to win the Champions League, but due to the slippery surface caused by the rain, Terry slipped in the precise moment as he kicked the ball sending it wide of Van Der Sar´s left post. The penalty shootout continued with Anderson and Ryan Giggs scoring for United, but Nicholas Anelka missed the last penalty for Chelsea and so the 2008 champion is the team coached by Sir Alex Ferguson.

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