Only one word can describe this match, “disappointing”, as Manchester United failed to nab the precious away-goal against Marseille. There wasn’t much to say about the first-half, other than it was really dull. The best goal-scoring opportunity came in the 8th minute, when Nani’s free-kick was deflected into the path of Darren Fletcher, who then fired a shot wide. Every time the Red Devils strung up an attack, it was always given away in the final third. United had too many careless giveaways due to poor execution. Defensively, Marseille did their job by not making the critical mistake. They pressured United’s midfield and defense, which forced them to play quicker and out of sync. Marseille had excellent spacing, making life difficult for the Red Devils. In the second-half, both teams finally loosened up, as more space began to develop in the midfield. Marseille began making runs into those spaces, exploiting United’s defensive. They did an excellent job switching the field on numerous of occasions, but like United, Marseille lacked the final execution. They were unable to make the final pass to come away with the opening goal. Even when the French champions had shots, none of them really threatened Manchester United’s goal. United didn’t turn it on until late in the second-half, once Paul Scholes was inserted onto the pitch. Why didn’t he start? I have no idea. Sir Alex Ferguson surprised us all by starting Darron Gibson. Summarized short; it was a frustrating night for Manchester United.
This draw will go as a win in Marseille’s book, giving them a shot to advance in the 2nd leg. Their tough play inspired the chaotic crowd. Most importantly, Marseille didn’t give up the away-goal. They looked like the better squad tonight, creating better chances. Personally, I think they caught United in an off-night. Things will be a lot different at Old Trafford.
Final: Marseille 0-0 Manchester United
Note: If you hadn’t, please don’t waste your time by watching this match. I just wasted 90 minutes of my long day with this uninspiring performance. Trust me, you aren’t missing a thing. Only if I would have recorded the Inter Milan v. Bayern Munich match…….