Champions League – Parker urges United to attack


Former England defender Paul Parker says his former club Manchester United must lay down the attacking gauntlet to defeat Chelsea in Moscow.

FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Champions League Man United-Barcelona Scholes - 0

“If Man Utd play the way they do week in week out in the Premier League they will win the Champions League final. They must attack, play their game and go for the win. If they try to match Chelsea like for like, they’ll lose out. That’s what happened in last year’s FA Cup final. Both sides cancelled each other out and Chelsea won it.

I expect United to go 4-4-1-1, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney up front, but Carlos Tevez is going to be hard to leave out. He was phenomenal on Tuesday and he’s scored some really vital goals this year – so maybe the option is to play Rooney on the left of the midfield. The problem with that is he’ll run all over the place and could tire easily.

Chelsea have been one of the most unadventurous sides in Europe, but the way they play suits the Champions League. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a fairly dour match in Moscow. Both sides will not want to lose, and it’s a long way home if you’re beaten. So it’s bound to be cagey.

Chelsea’s biggest threats are Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. United won’t want to man-mark Lampard, but if they can stop his link-up play with Drogba, and leave the striker isolated they can stop Chelsea’s attacking threat.

United haven’t been good away from home in Europe this season, and you have to wonder if they’d have made it through the group stages if they’d faced more testing opposition.

It’s going to be a big night for Paul Scholes, who I know well from my days at Old Trafford. I can’t imagine how he felt missing the ’99 final through suspension, but this will go some way to making up for it. I remember in my United days missing much of the 94/95 season through injury and it was really tough, but it doesn’t compare to missing a big final.

I’m pleased Ronaldo won the PFA Player of the Year award, he really deserved it. What I can’t understand is how he missed out on the Young Player of the Year prize. Cesc Fabregas has gone off the boil recently and nobody has come close to Ronaldo.”


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