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[UEFA Champions League] Man Utd Advances to Semifinals

Posted April. 11, 2008 03:06,   


Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson surely has nerves of iron. On Thursday, Ferguson left Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney on the bench, when his team had its home game against AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

These two players have scored 38 goals out of a total of the team’s 53 goals in the English Premiere League this season. It is no exaggeration to say that they have played a leading role in making their team lead in the league.

Although Ronaldo and Rooney could rest ahead of the weekend’s battle against third-placed Arsenal, how could the manager do this without trusting his substitutes?

Park Ji-sung, 27, who played in the quarter-final game against Roma clearly showed that the manager’s choice was not a risky one. The Korean midfielder, who played as a striker on the right side, contributed to his team’s victory of 1-0, running for 90 minutes. Carlos Tevez`s goal in the 70th minute gave United a home victory in the Champions League. Ryan Giggs also played his part well on the left side.

On April 23, Barcelona will host the first semifinal against United, which reached a semifinal for two consecutive years with a score of 3-0.

It was forecasted that Park would be recalled to the starting line-up, when Ferguson was accompanied by him at the press conference. Although he failed to score, Park kept troubling players of Roma. He also contributed to Simone Perrotta’s yellow card for his foul, which was the only warning in the game. Park`s movement was that aggressive. The energetic midfielder also showed his powerful shooting ability near the penalty box at five minutes in the fist half and 43 minutes in the second half.

Asked why he had left key players on the bench, Ferguson wrote on the team Web site, “I keep saying it’s the best squad I’ve ever had, so if that’s the case then why shouldn’t I play them?¡° He added that Park, Tevez and Owen Hargreaves were the best players of the game. Sky Sports, a British sports channel, praised Park’s play, giving him seven points.

United won all nine games in which Park was in the starting line-up.