Shalke v. Man. Utd: All For Pride

When Shalke managed to defy all odds and advance to the Champions League semi-finals, it was most certainly the shock of the season.

Especially for a team that had started the domestic season so poorly.

When they were paired against English heavy weights Manchester United, many were thinking that another upset might possibly be in the works.

Well the Red Devils made quick work of dispeling those rumors.

Sitting on a comfortable 2-0 lead after the first leg and both goals coming away from home, it seems all Manchester United has left to play for is pride.

Given the final is being played at Wembly in England, Manchester United find themselves fighting for the chance to play at home for Europe’s title.

For goalkeeper Edwin Van der sar, it is the chance to close out an illustrious career with yet another champions league medal (he already has two: one with Ajax and one with Manchester United).

The forty-year-old has been a formidable force for the Red Devils despite his age and next year his presence will be sorely missed.

However Manchester United will surely be looking at young Shalke stopper Manuel Neuer as a possible solution to fill Van der sar’s rather enormous gloves.

Despite finding himself on the receiving end of that first leg loss, Neuer was without a doubt Shalke’s brightest star on that night.

Were it not for him, the German side would have found themselves with a lot larger deficit than just two goals.

Now Shalke have it all to do and at Old Trafford no less.

Hopefully Raul can find the scoring form that he procured against Inter Milan in the quarters while Metzelder and the backline anchored by Neuer can keep Manchester United from adding to their tally and then maybe they will have a chance of sneaking into Wembley.

For Manchester United, that spot in the final is theirs to lose which could only happen if they play how they did against Arsenal this past weekend.

Expect Sir Alex though to heavily remind his players that nothing is certain even with a 2-0 away lead.

Manchester will be hungrier than ever to ensure that their place is booked solid in the final. Especially when a league title seems so uncertain at the moment.

 

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