Schalke 04 Vs. Manchester United, 2011 UEFA Champions League: United Coast To 2-0 Win

When Manchester United were drawn against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, the smart money was on whoever emerged knocking the stuffing out of one of Schalke and Inter Milan in the semifinals and heading to Wembley for the final. It's not surprising, then, to see United emerge from their trip to Germany with a seemingly insurmountable lead, but what perhaps is a little weird is the consummate ease with which they dispatched their opponents.

If not for a combination of poor finishing and brilliant goalkeeping by Manuel Neuer, United could easily have won four or five nil in the Veltins Arena - and that's in the away leg of a Champions League semifinal! Instead, they had to settle for two, scored in quick succession by Ryan Giggs (who had been denied several times in the first and early parts of the second half) and Wayne Rooney. The hosts, meanwhile, never looked like they were going to come anywhere near scoring, and after their goals United were able to simply play a little bit of keep-ball, knowing that in all probability the tie was over and they could start planning for Arsenal and Chelsea in the league.

Yes, Schalke did beat defending champions Inter Milan 5-2 at the San Siro, but giving them any hope of repeating that is silly - Inter Milan are a shadow of themselves this year, and United are a much stronger side. On the back of this performance today, there is absolutely no way the Champions League final won't have Manchester United in it.

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