Manchester United moved a step closer to a Champions League final at Wembley with a convincing 2-0 semi-final first leg win over Schalke.The English powerhouse dominated possession at Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, and their superior skills were put on show in a fine two-minute period midway through the second half which saw Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney score in quick succession.
United will take their two-goal lead to the second leg next Wednesday at Old Trafford, where they have not lost in all competitions since April last year.
Rooney was infamously sent off at the Veltins Arena when playing for England against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but the 25-year-old put that horror memory to bed when he put through Giggs for the first goal, before scoring himself.
Giggs snuck in behind the Schalke defence to fire a left-foot shot under Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the 67th minute, and less than two minutes later, Rooney received the ball from strike partner Javier Hernandez to deliver a body blow to the Germans at Neuer’s near post.
In the opening 45 minutes, Neuer was a one-man band in keeping out United’s forward attempts, with each of Hernandez, Giggs, Rooney and Park Ji-Sung having chances kept out by the German shot-stopper and Schalke captain.