On this day: Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney sink Roma

Six years ago today, goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney see Manchester United overcome Roma in the Champions League.

When Roma learned that they had been paired with Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the 2007-08 Champions League, there would have been a collective groan around the Stadio Olimpico.

After all, during the previous season the Red Devils had ran riot courtesy of a 7-1 win over their Roman counterparts, while the 2007 group encounters between the two sides ended with United collecting four points from a possible six.

However, the hosts appeared to be determined to break that negative sequence of results during the first leg six years ago today as they made all the early running in the Italian capital.

Christian Panucci and Mirko Vucinic both had opportunities to break the deadlock during the opening exchanges, but neither were able to test Edwin van der Sar with their efforts.

Cristiano Ronaldo heads Manchester United in front against Roma on April 1, 2008.© Getty Images

Their failure to convert those chances was duly punished six before the break. Paul Scholes stood a cross up towards the back post and despite appearing to be the second favourite to win the ball, Cristiano Ronaldo rose highest to power a downward header beyond the reach of Doni for his 36th goal of a prolific campaign.

The response was positive from Roma, but once again Vucinic was guilty of wasting an opening from close range, before he saw a second-half flicked header acrobatically turned to safety by United's veteran Dutch keeper.

Then, just as they had done during the first 45 minutes, the Premier League visitors made the most of their opportunity. Wes Brown's long pass forward was kept alive by Park Ji-Sung, who managed to head to ball across the face of the Roma goal. Wayne Rooney reacted quicker to the loose ball than Doni to prod his shot in from inside the six-yard box.

It was a goal that seemingly knocked the stuffing out of the Serie A outfit and it was United that went closest to scoring the game's third goal. First Ronaldo struck the post with an effort from distance, then central midfielder Michael Carrick sent a shot inches wide of the target from 20 yards out.

Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Roma on April 1, 2008.© Getty Images

"We can't take anything for granted, but we definitely feel like we can reach the semi-finals," said winning manager Sir Alex Ferguson. "It was a marvellous result. We showed discipline and composure on the ball.

"Ronaldo's goal changed the game for us. It was a fantastic header. His spring and courage to go in front of the defender surprised the Roma player. It was a centre forward's header - it reminded me of myself."

Meanwhile, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti added: "They were lucky on their scoring chances. They have players of very high quality, but we've got to react after what happened and reverse the situation. We've scored twice away before in the Champions League."

ROMA: Doni; Cassetti, Mexes, Panucci, Tonetto (Cicinho); De Rossi, Aquilani (Esposito), Taddei (Giuly), Pizarro, Mancini; Vucinic

MAN UNITED: Van der Sar; Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic (O'Shea), Evra; Carrick, Scholes, Anderson (Hargreaves), Ronaldo, Park; Rooney (Tevez)

Liverpool's Andrea Dossena celebrates with teammate Ryan Babel after scoring his team's fourth goal against Manchester United during their Premier League match on March 14, 2009
Read Next:
On this day: Liverpool run riot at Old Trafford
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Cup
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Australian A-League
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Indian I-League
Liga MX
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton2349102334-1121
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand