There are a lot of reasons why Man Utd could not get anything out of the game against Milan last night.
The formation adopted was 4 3 3 which for an away semi final game proved to be courageous and arrogant.
It was courageous because Ferguson did not have the right sort of players to back up the attacking minded midfielders and forwards when they lost possession at the forward areas of the pitch. A midfield of Fletcher, Carrick and Scholes (who was more afraid to tackle than to play his normal game) was simply not strong enough to provide the necessary shield in front of the already weakened defence. Especially when the opposition was playing more of 4 5 1 with Kaka the drifting player between their attack and the midfield thus outnumbering the three of United’s.
It was also arrogant because to know beforehand that your team is missing key players in all areas of the field and to demand of the remaining to play in an attacking 4 3 3 formation is like saying my reserves are better than your first team! And they “aint”
Individual errors were to blame for the actual goals but errors of course are usually a result of being under pressure; and United were under pressure at crucial periods of the game. Heinze was outclassed for the first goal and made the errors for the second. And Van de Sar was in our opinion too slow to react for both the first two goals. Chech for example would have been in a forward position early enough to be able to do something about it.
But we think the most important reason underlying all the above is what Wenger once said. That it is extremely difficult for an English team to do well in the Champion’s League and to challenge for the Premiership in the same year. Look at where the two finalists are in their domestic leagues; third. As a result they were able to rest players avoid injuries and concentrate their minds on only one target. The same can be said of Arsenal last year and Liverpool before.
Yes at times it was exhibition football from Milan. But is it as good as Arsenal’s?