In the second leg of their battle gainst AC Milan of Italy, Manchester United showed their continuity and dominance at home, taking a 3-2 aggregate lead from Italy and making it a 7-2 aggregate victory after a dominating 4-0 victory. In David Beckham’s return to “Old Trafford”, Manchester United, a British club, got off to a positive start after elite striker drove a low header home off a Gary Neville cross. This goal marked the nail in the coffin for Milan, as they would need three goals to win the tie. At the start of the second half, midfielder Nani squeezed up the sideline and delivered a picture perfect ball, putting it just out of reach of Milan goalkeeper Abbiati. Rooney remained composed and touched his second goal of the game into the back of the net. Just before the hour mark, Park Ji-Sung scored a rare goal. Paul Scholes sent a clever through ball between the Milan defenders, which Park ran on to. Park took one touch, and fired a shot past Abbiati into the back of the net. Too add to the humiliation, the “Reds” added one last goal. Substitute Rafael sent a deep cross to the back post, where a rushing Darren Fletcher sent a header screaming past Abbiati. With this victory, Manchester United moves into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The man of the match was Wayne Rooney.
The other round of 16 game was a game full of blown opportunities and dreams cut short. With Lyon taking a 1-0 aggregate lead into Real Madrid’s home stadium, Lyon needed to keep the spread 1 while scoring at least 1 away goal to claim a berth in the quarterfinals. Real Madrid looked poised to run away with the tie after Christiano Ronaldo received a long crossing ball from Guti. Ronaldo let a low shot loose, and it skidded under goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who should have done better. Madrid kept their momentum up, and they were presented with a golden chance. Madrid was already imagining themselves steamrolling Lyon when Gonzalo Huguain skipped past Lloris and found himself with an open net. In one of the most embarrassing moments of his career, Higuain pulled the ball to the left post, missing an open net and an obvious 2-0 lead. Higuain was denied again by a terrific reflex save by Lloris. The second half was a completely different game. Lyon’s Cesar Delgado became a pest, and Lyon got some quality chances. Their prayers were answered in the 75th minute when Miralem Pjanic fired a half volley from the pass by Lisandro Lopez into the back of Madrid’s net. This meant that Madrid needed 2 goals to win the tie, and could not tie due to the away goal format. Lyon packed the defense tightly and held off the Madrid onslaught. Lisandro and Delgado both blew 1v1 chances with the keeper, but they were inconsequential in the end. Lyon held on for a 2-1 aggregate victory to knock Real Madrid out for the sixth straight year in the preliminary knockout stages.