Not-so golden oldies
Manchester United were superb last night. Wayne Rooney in particular was a real handful and unquestionably will be at the centre of any would-be English World Cup success in the summer (fingers crossed he stays fit!). But surely a few questions must be asked of an ageing AC Milan? The seven-time champions of Europe looked everything that their critics have said: old, disinterested and over the hill.
The key players didn’t turn up at all. Ronaldinho, a shadow of the man who was twice named World Player of the Year, was given a rough ride in the first 20 minutes by the equally seasoned Gary Neville and did little to back suggestions of a resurgence.
Andrea Pirlo looked tired and completely bereft of any hunger. As much as Sir Alex Ferguson praised Ji-Sung Park for his tireless marshalling of the Italian playmaker, a man of Pirlo’s standard and stature must stand up and be counted on big European nights like last night.
At least Fillipo Inzaghi, who is surely now in his mid-forties, looked keen (if permanently offside) when introduced. But that only showed up the heavy leggedness and lack of confidence in relative youngsters like Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar.
The Milanese outfit must do some sombre self-assessment. Admittedly their bright young hope Alex Pato was missing through injury, but for how long will Silvio Berlusconi continue to fund the wages of a collection of disinterested has-beens? To be honest, you have to seriously question any team that makes G-Nev look like a spring chicken!