Football: Ronaldo penalty sends United to FA Cup semifinals
Monday, March 19, 2007
|Goalscorers for Manchester United||Ronaldo (76'(pen))|
|Goalscorers for Middlesbrough||None|
|Bookings (Manchester United)||Smith, Rooney (Yellow (2))|
|Bookings (Middlesbrough)||Xavier, Woodgate, Pogatetz, Boateng, Rochemback (Yellow (5)), Morrison (Red (1))|
A penalty by Cristiano Ronaldo in the 76th minute was all that separated Manchester United and Middlesbrough earlier today at Old Trafford. The FA Cup 6th round replay was forced after a Ronaldo penalty a week ago which tied the last match at 2-2, sending the second game to Old Trafford. Middlesbrough started with the deadly strike pair of Mark Viduka and Yakubu up front, while Manchester had Alan Smith and Wayne Rooney as paired strikers.
United came out with the first good chances of the game as Wayne Rooney had an attempt on net, but saw his shot blocked by defender Jonathan Woodgate. Nemanja Vidic then had a chance for United off a Giggs corner, but his powerful header was held by keeper Mark Schwarzer. Ronaldo then had a shot on net after the ball fortuitously fell to his feet, but the Portuguese midfielders strike flew just wide. Middlesbrough survived through the first onslaught and had their first real chance on 16 minutes when a deflected pass by Xavier found its way to Mark Viduka, but his shot flew wide of Tomasz Kuszczak's goal. Woodgate soon saved Middlesbrough again as he blocked a cross net pass from Ronaldo which was aimed for a wide open Alan Smith. Wayne Rooney was then given a clear run in on goal after he was found by a well time through ball from Giggs, but Mark Schwarzer spread wide to snatch the ball from Rooney's feet. Mark Viduka then made space in the United penalty box and dropped off a pass for Stuart Downing, but his right footed shot flew wide yet again.
Ronaldo again threatened 'Boro, but he saw his wide angled shot bang off the post after rounding Schwarzer. Rooney again was given a break away on net, but he was again stopped by the Australian Schwarzer. Soon after, Jonathan Woodgate brought Ronaldo down in the box, and United were awarded a penalty. Ronaldo sent the ball high and to the left of Schwarzer as the keeper went the wrong way, and United took the lead. Middlesbrough had little more in the way of attacking threat, with a wide shot by Morrison being all they could muster. The game did end on a sour note, however, after a few scuffles and a cynical challenge on Ronaldo by James Morrison saw several yellow cards handed out and Morrison was shown red.
United will take on Watford in the semifinals of the cup while Middlesbrough have only the Premier League to focus on now, with their next match being played at West Ham.
- Alex Livie. "Ronaldo sees United through" — , March 19, 2007
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