After four minutes of injury time, Manchester United have closed out a 2-1 lead against Marseille to see the Premier League leaders through to the Champions League quarter finals. It was far from easy for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who'll be looking at the butchers bill after losing two right backs to hamstring injuries and being unable to coax Nemanja Vidic into full fitness following a calf problem. The hosts were handed a 1-0 lead very early on after marvelous work by Wayne Rooney, who had an inspired evening and was the centre of almost everything created by his side. The striker played a long-range one-two with Ryan Giggs before spotting the run of Javier Hernandez, who slipped free in the six yard box for an easy tap in just a few minutes into the match.
Marseille responded slowly, although they had several chances to level the score in the first half, most notably through Souleymane Diawara being given a free header in the centre of the area from a corner only to completely mishit it and Andre-Pierre Gignac spooning well over when put one on one with the goalkeeper. United right back John O'Shea limped off the pitch towards the end of the first half to be replaced with Rafael da Silva (who would later pick up hamstring trouble of his own), which led to a spell of pressure from the visitors as the first period came to a close.
In the second, Edwin van der Sar was called into action more often, and although he made some fine saves there was an element of poor finishing as well - Benoit Cheyrou, for example really ought to have done better when he looked to flick home a Loic Remy cross only for the goalkeeper to push wide. When they finally got their goal thanks to Wes Brown nodding into his own net, it was too little too late: Hernandez had made it two with yet another close range finish.
So, United are through to the Champions League quarter finals, joining Tottenham Hotspur as the English sides who've qualified so far, with Chelsea a good bet to follow them in as the Blues defend a 2-0 away lead against FC Copenhagen tomorrow. The draw for the quarter finals will be held on Friday.