MANCHESTER - Wayne Rooney
scored twice again as Manchester United cruised into the
quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 4-0 win over a
feeble AC Milan sent them through 7-2 on aggregate on Wednesday.
Rooney, who scored twice in the 3-2 San Siro win, was on
target with a 13th-minute header that broke the hearts of the
He added his second at the start of the second half and in a
virtual exhibition match, Park Ji-sung after an hour and a late
Darren Fletcher header completed the crushing victory.
NEWS: Rooney and Park take post-Milan plaudits
"We got the break with the early goal in the second half and
after that we played very well. When we play at that tempo we
are difficult to play against. With the team I've got it dosn't
matter who we play next," said United manager Alex Ferguson.
Milan, without injured centre back Alessandro Nesta, striker
Alexandre Pato and midfielder Luca Antonini looked off the pace
from the start but few could have predicted their total
SERIE AAAARGH!: Humiliated Milan can't even save face
Milan should have scored from their first real attack though
as an Andrea Pirlo free kick reached Ronaldinho but the
Brazilian's header went just wide after eight minutes.
If Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had managed to control Thiago Silva's
through ball with the goal gaping things might have turned out
With Daniele Bonera forced to operate at centre back Rooney
was wandering free and when Neville found him on the penalty
spot there was never any doubt that he would thunder his header
beyond Christian Abbiati.
That left Milan needing three goals to progress and it
appeared that nobody in their lineup had the confidence to find
Within a minute of the restart they needed four as more
slack defending allowed Nani to charge forward down the left. He
then sent in an inviting low cross with the outside of his right
boot and Rooney made sure he reached it first to score his 30th
club goal of the season.
Paul Scholes sent Park through to slide in the third as
Milan just about went through the motions.
The introduction of David Beckham as a 65th-minute
replacement for Ignazio Abate raised the biggest cheer of the
night as the midfielder, who left United for Real Madrid in
2003, was given a standing ovation and even tested Edwin van der
Sar with a sharp shot.
With not much of a contest to keep them occupied United's
fans spent most of the last 20 minutes chanting anti-Glazer
songs and displaying their green and gold protest scarves
against the American owners of the club - Beckham left the
pitch wearing one at full time.
They were brought back to the action two minutes from time
when Fletcher stretched well at the far post to head home the
fourth goal and complete Milan's humiliation.
With Arsenal moving though against Porto on Tuesday, Chelsea
can make it a hat-trick of English sides into the last eight if
they can turn round their 2-1 deficit against Inter Milan at
Stamford Bridge next week.
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