UEFA Champions League: April 1, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Two first legs in the UEFA Champions League took place on Tuesday. Spanish giants Barcelona traveled to Germany to take on Schalke 04, while Roma welcomed Manchester United to the Stadio Olympico. Both visiting teams came away with crucial away wins, giving them fine chances at proceeding to the semi-final stage.


17 year old striker Bojan Krkic scored the only goal of the match for Barcelona in the 12th minute. Thierry Henry rolled his own rebound across the face of the goal and Krkic slotted the ball into the open net. After the opening goal, Barcelona closed down the game looking to hold onto their advantage. Barcelona played much of the second period defending from their half, with their forward play coming on the counter-attack. Schalke pressed hard as the game wore on and had chances through Fabian Ernst, Halil Altintop, and Christian Pander. Substitute Soren Larsen wasted Schalke's best chance to draw level when he failed to react to a cross, and it bounced off his head instead of him heading into the net. Barcelona held for the full 90 minutes and now have the advantage in the two game series.

Manchester United won the first leg of their quarter-final matches against AS Roma. The game passed with much less incident than last years, when violent crowd riots broke out. Roma started the game out strongly with Mancini and Vucinic both having attempts on goal. United's defensive line took a blow when Nemanja Vidic twisted his knee, and was replaced by John O'Shea in the 34th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo then scored his 7th Champions League goal as he sprinted into the box and headed Paul Schole's cross into the net. Roma had a chance to equalize soon after but Vucinic dragged his powerful shot just wide. Just as the home side looked to be coming close to a goal, United doubled their lead through Wayne Rooney. Roma keeper Doni made an error by missing Ji-Sung Park's headed cross, and Rooney took full advantage when the ball dropped at his feet. Ronaldo nearly made it three only minutes later, but Doni deflected his low drive onto the post. Michael Carrick then had a chance to score but scuffed his half- volley wide. United kept the pressure up and cruised to the crucial away victory.

Second legs will take place on Wednesday, April 9th.