No Magic Date with Destiny for David Beckham

david beckham

Such is the way of Champions League football, that it had taken seven years for David Beckham to face his old club Manchester Utd, but let's not forget that former world player of the year Ronaldinho had waited equally long to face the Red Devils. It was his deflected shot, courtesy of the poor clearance of Beckham's free kick, that put AC Milan in front in the third minute.

Wayne Rooney headed two second half goals, excellently taken - but poorly defended by a tiring AC Milan side. These to add to Scholes' first half goal. AC picked up a late 'consolation' with a great build up and goal by Clarence Seedorf but they never looked like winning this tie despite the opportunities that came their way to level things up late in the second half.

AC Milan passed the ball well but it was noticeable how their work rate in tracking back and retrieving balls lost to the opposition was poor when compared to Premiership players. It may be that their coach prefers to keep his front players up front but it put pressure on Milan's 'shape' as other defensive players moved to fulfil these obligations.

The only player on the pitch to have played with Beckham at Manchester Utd, for what now seems like aeons ago, was Paul Scholes and it was he who made the vital contribution pulling this Champions League tie level with a missed strike and a ball rolling into the back of the net off his standing leg. Comical.

But if it was 'Old Utd' in the form of Paul Scholes who shoddily got the ball to trickle into the back of the goal for Utd's first, then it was 'New Utd' who stole the show in the second half. Valencia provided a deep cross for Rooney to loop a header into the inside side-netting for the first before Fletcher dinked a ball up for Rooney to head home from close range for his second - for which the charitable AC Milan defence had given him an acre of space and far too much time.

The final goal for AC Milan was well worked and beautifully executed but it was typical of their night that many AC fans had already left the stadium.

David Beckham was substituted late in the game having really hit his peak in the third minute.

Manchester Utd. now have a one goal advantage and three away goals to take to Old Trafford and although everyone has a chance in football you have to believe that this tie is now very much over.

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