By Chris Wright
So, advantage Manchester United it is then. Sir Alex’s side will now go into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Chelsea at Old Trafford with a one-(away)goal head start thanks to Ryan Giggs’ impeccable first-touch and Wayne Rooney’s smart finish at Stamford Bridge last night – a goal he celebrated by burying his head in the turf to presumably avoid any further FA charges.
Strange as it may sound, Chelsea definitely deserved a goal – Patrice Evra somehow managed to come up clean despite scissoring Ramires to the ground in the penalty area (and in full view of the assistant referee) as the game entered it’s death throes – but a draw would have probably flattered Carlo Ancelotti’s side considering United’s dominant first-half performance.
Oh, and Fernando Torres – despite his downright atrocious diving – actually looked like he may have had the wherewithal to finally break his duck, only for the post to intervene late in the first-half and for Edwin van der Sar to pull an outstanding, full-stretch, fingertip save out of the bag midway through the second.
The two captains, Nemanja Vidic and John Terry, lead out their teams
Rafael Da Silva battles for the ball with Didier Drogba
Yury Zhirkov makes an unorthodox attempt to beat Javier Hernandez in the air
Wayne Rooney latches on to Ryan Giggs’ pull-back to steer home the only goal of the game…
…then celebrates with his teammates in the corner
Michael Essien flies in on Michael Carrick
Didier Drogba flashes an overhead kick wide of the far post
Frank Lampard slashes a shot goalwards only to see it cleared off the line
Fernando Torres, after seeing his faint touch (we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt) glance back off the upright
Edwin Van Der Sar checks on Rafael Da Silva as he lies injured on the pitch following a collision with Didier Drogba – the Brazilian full-back was eventually stretchered off
Torres guides a header back across goal only for Edwin van der Sar (not pictured) to turn it to safety at full-stretch
Substitute Dimitar Berbatov and John Terry lock horns in an aerial battle
Patrice Evra brings Ramires down in the area late on, but miraculously survives Chelsea’s claims for a penalty
Fernando Torres hits the deck blatantly looking for a penalty…
…and is duly booked for his troubles
Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates after the final whistle
Photos courtesy of the PA.