Inter Hold Off ManU
Posted by hiphopmama on February 24, 2009
Inter 0-0 Manchester Utd
Pretty good for a goalless encounter, and just about the best I could have hoped for in this match-up of detested teams. I was still a game-time decision regarding who I would root for (or root against less, which may be more accurate), but in the end my hatred of CRon and Fergie won out over Ibra and The Special One. It was still hard to pull for Inter after wishing them ill for so long, but Cristiano’s glistening head kept me in line.
Let’s be clear: this result is a bigger disappointment for Manchester United. They were the better team today by a long shot, although Inter did eventually get their chances, and ManU really should have scored a few different times. Only some mediocre finishing and an incredible Julio Cesar prevented them from walking out of the San Siro up 1-0, 2-0, or even 3-0. Ronaldo put a couple of blazing free kicks on goal, but Cesar stopped them, including the one in the final seconds of stoppage time. He made a number of good saves in the regular course of play too and was easily Inter’s man of the match.
The home team had a few chances of its own, but Adriano was typically disappointing and Ibrahimovic once again disappeared in an important match. Inter looked completely unprepared for ManU’s intensity in the first half, but Mourinho obviously gave them the business because they were a different team in the second, attacking more often and keeping possession for longer periods. They still struggled against ManU’s passing game, but they were exposed for brief flourishes rather than for the full 45.
All in all, I’d say it’s a small moral victory for Inter to have held ManU scoreless and prevented them from getting the all-important away goal. That means that even if the teams tie at 1-1 (or anything higher), Inter would be the victors on away goals. I thought this tie was pretty close to begin with, with things tilting a smidgen in the direction of ManU because of their history of performing in the UCL, but after this scoreless draw I think expectations shift toward Inter a bit. Then again, that could end up being their downfall, since they haven’t always proven able to shoulder the weight of favorites anywhere else but in Serie A, so we will have to wait and see. Until then, at least I won’t have to choose between these two anymore. That only one of them will make it to the next round will be my only comfort for the second leg.