Found March 03, 2013 on Fox Soccer:
Wayne-rooney-manchester
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney cannot wait for Tuesday night's game between "probably the two biggest clubs in the world". Only after Saturday's 4-0 Premier League win over Norwich did Manchester United's players allow their minds to drift towards the glamor Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford. "It hasn't been hard not thinking about Tuesday," said Rooney. "Norwich was a massive game for us and we wanted to extend the gap at the top of the league. The manager put a lot of experienced players out and made us aware it was more important." Shinji Kagawa's hat-trick, the first by an Asian player in the Premier League, and Rooney's last-minute piledriver, ensured there were no unexpected slips. So now United can train their thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo and company, who stand in the way of a quarter-final berth. "It is going to be a special night," said Rooney. "It is probably the two biggest clubs in the world and something we are all looking forward to." Ferguson certainly is. And judging by his team selection yesterday had decided to remove Kagawa from his Madrid starting line-up. Whether the Japan midfielder's outstanding contribution has changed his mind is open to question. However, after a difficult few months when he has struggled to regain the form he showed prior to suffering a knee injury in October, Kagawa has underlined why Ferguson bought him from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. "Shinji was fantastic," said Rooney. "He keeps putting himself in positions where he can get a shot at goal or play someone in. He is great with his runs too. If you can pick him out he is cruel with his finishes. Goals-wise it was his best performance but he has played other games well as well without scoring." That Kagawa responded to a question of how his hat-trick will go down in Japan by saying "it will probably be huge news in Japan but in Japan they are looking forward to the Real game" merely shows what expectation surrounds that eagerly-anticipated duel between Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. Real's use of Manchester City's Etihad Stadium for their pre-match training session tomorrow merely adds another twist in a tie filled with them. Yet the sense remains that Ferguson is confident. "I felt we looked very comfortable (in the first leg) and gave a good account of ourselves," he said. "We could have scored five or six goals. Robin van Persie missed two great opportunities and their goalkeeper made a couple of good saves. And although we expected Madrid to have a lot of possession there was nothing that worried me unduly so perhaps we should have won the game." Much may depend upon whether Phil Jones recovers from the ankle injury that kept him out of yesterday's game because without him, Ferguson does not have an obvious alternative to screen his defense. It might be a job for Ryan Giggs, hence his omission from the squad to face Norwich, denying the Welshman his 1,000th senior appearance. Neither Tom Cleverley nor Anderson seem disciplined enough defensively, which does create something of a headache. However, Ferguson is acutely aware that, after losing both the 2009 and 2011 finals, victory would represent a significant milestone for his reshaped team. "To beat Real Madrid on our own ground would be a great step forward for this particular team," said Ferguson."It would give us a chance of going all the way in this tournament."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rooney and Kaka talk about the big game, their managers and their opponents

Rooney and Kaka talk about the big game, their managers and their opponents - originally posted on Soccerlens.comFinally, the day is here when the world will stand still for 90 minutes to watch Real Madrid take on Manchester United at the Old Trafford. At the moment, Madrid are behind in the tie as United came have a crucial away goal advantage from Bernabeu. This Round of 16 return...

Kagawa hat trick gives United 4-0 win over Norwich

Shinji Kagawa scored a hat trick Saturday as Manchester United kept its firm grip on the Premier League title with a 4-0 win over Norwich at Old Trafford. The Japan international put United ahead right before halftime and then added two more in the second half to make sure United extended its lead over Manchester City to 15 points ahead of its crosstown rival's game against...

Is it advantage for United in Champions League clash with Real?

When the draw for the last 16 of the Champions league was made last December, there was one tie that left the world in anticipation for the round to begin. As soon as Real Madrid and Manchester United were drawn against each other, it was decided that one of these European giants would not be making it as far as the quarter final stage. After a 1-1 draw in Madrid on Wednesday evening...
Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.