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First, it was Arsenal... than it was Winning Ugly... and now, they will try to eliminate the third English team in a row, a very tough task for Leverkusen :undecide:

It will be a totally different match in comparison to the ones with Pool... this time, the opponent knows to attack... but has weaknesses in the backline and between the posts. Therefore, it might be a very interestnig match with a lot of scoring chances on both sides :) An away goal for Leverkusen would be important, a draw should be very good anyway... cause I think Leverkusen should be able to win the home encounter.

Man Utds midfield, however, will suffer from the loss of both Beckham and Keane. And especially the missing of Beckham gives me some hope (though I hope to see him fit again for the WC cause I hate to see big players miss this important tournament :) I have no idea how serious his injury is). His crosses, his passes would give Leverkusen a lot of headache. But even without him, Man Utd midfield is impressing and will be tough to stop. Though, the same goes for Leverkusen, with Bastürk, Ze and Ballack :)

The probable lineup should be, according to kicker.de:

Butt - Sebescen, Lucio, Nowotny, Placente - Schneider, Ramelow, Bastürk, Ballack, Zé Roberto - Berbatov

It seems no important player is missing... Bastürk and ze will probably try to supply the single striker Berbatov and play a kind of attacking winger while Ballacks task will be to lead the game of Leverkusen. I am a bit nervous about Berbatov. I love this guy and I am convinced of his talent, but he looked a bit shaky lately and missed some easy chances. I am not sure whether he is the one Lev should employ and rely on in such an important match at Old Trafford.
 

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Psycho said:
And especially the missing of Beckham gives me some hope (though I hope to see him fit again for the WC cause I hate to see big players miss this important tournament :) I have no idea how serious his injury is).
Today they said he doesn't even sleep in the same bed as Victoria anymore :D but in an oxygen tent ;). Don't know if that is just a funny rumour or the truth though :undecide:.
 

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Tigerheart, I take you loss a bet to Kiyan.

what would have been his siggy if Bayern had won??

:)
 

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Sweet, I'm actually gonna be able to watch the game. I'm sure my boy Vranjes won't play except as a possible 89th minute substitute, but it'll still be good to watch.

It'll be a hard game because even with the injuries, ManU is still a formidable squad but Leverkusen was good enough to get this far and victory is certainly possible.

However, I would predict a 2-1 win for ManU but the away goal would obviously be important.
 

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good luck, leverkusen....beat Man Utd... :)

Champions League Semi-Final Preview: Manchester United V Bayer Leverkusen
Manchester United - Bayer Leverkusen | News Archive

With Keane and Beckham injured, Juan Veron is a vital cog for Man United (Allsport)
04/23/2002. AT STAKE

The Champions League could be the last chance saloon for the Old Trafford gunfighters of Manchester United. Out of both domestic cups in England, they currently lie third in the Premiership and are in need of Arsenal and Liverpool slipping up in the handful of games which remain, leaving them in the very real situation of collecting no silverware for the first time since 1998 and only the second time in ten seasons.

The Champions League has been their saviour this season as they stuttered through the league campaign. They eased through the two group phases without ever looking as though they were comfortable, and then went into overdrive against Deportivo in the quarterfinals to win home and away – a feat which had worked against them when the clubs met in the earlier group phases.

The feeling is now that United have more or less resigned themselves to a domestic disaster as far as trophies are concerned, and that they are concentrating primarily on the Champions League. Victory at Hampden on May 15th would make their fans forget about home defeats against Bolton, West Ham and Middlesbrough, not to mention the Teesiders knocking them out of the FA Cup. However, before the dream of Champions League success becomes reality, the matter of the Bundesliga Champions elect awaits them – and it will not be easy.

Anyone who believes that Bayer Leverkusen have made it to the penultimate round of the world' s most challenging club competition by virtue of luck is guilty of doing Klaus Toppmoeller's side a severe injustice. The German league-leaders will be the first to admit that they are going into the semifinal showdown against mighty Manchester United as heavy underdogs, but the up-and-coming club from the industrial Rhineland are anything but flukes.

Though the Leverkuseners have never even been crowned kings of Germany in their 98-year history, they are currently poised to grant their long-suffering fans an overdose of ecstasy. Bayer theoretically have a one-in-four chance of conquering Europe, are odds-on favourites to beat Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga title, and are slated to lock horns with Schalke 04 in the German Cup final on May 11. Nothing is in the proverbial bag yet, however, and there is a genuine fear felt by the Bayer community that a campaign that promises to flood the streets of Leverkusen with champagne, could instead see the bubbly replaced by tears.

Pessimism aside, what exactly has been the secret of success for Bayer this season? To answer that, one need look no further than coach Klaus Toppmoeller, who has had no less than a Midas-effect at the club since arriving from the relative wilderness of second division Saarbruecken during the off-season. Under Toppi's expert guidance, Bayer have developed a style similar to that which the Argentinean national team are so widely admired for – the optimum marriage between South American flair and European discipline. "The perfect balance between silk and steel," as Sven Goran Eriksson would put it.

Toppmoeller, himself, is cautiously optimistic of his side's chances of progressing to Glasgow at the expense of the Red Devils. "If we manage to survive at Old Trafford, then we'll have a good chance to book our place in final," he said. "After we beat Liverpool, United must be on alert with us. Besides, Beckham and Keane are missing. I think United's weakest point is their defense and we'll try to take advantage of that."

CURRENT FORM

Man United (all comps – oldest results first): LWWWWW: Since losing at home to Middlesbrough a month ago, a result which could well have hammered the final nail into their Premiership coffin, United have been unbeatable, if not unstoppable. The two QF victories against Deportivo have been intertwined with league successes at Leeds, Leicester and Chelsea and it's worth noting that in the calendar year of 2002, they have lost just three of 23 games in all competitions.

Leverkusen last 6 matches (all competitions): WLWWTL

Bayer were a shade of their true self during their loss at home to Werder Bremen on the weekend. The recent glitches against Werder and Hamburg, however, can be attributed to the exhaustive demands of their jam-packed schedule. Toppmoeller characteristically put a positive spin on the disappointment of Saturday, by philosophizing: "The relentless nature of our schedule has never permitted us time to relish our successes and thankfully now it won't give us time to dwell on the slipup against Bremen."

TEAM NEWS:

United are missing arguably their two most influential midfield stars, with Roy Keane ruled out for the season, although there is talk that he'll play in the final should they get there, and David Beckham's highly publicised foot injury which dominated the front pages last week, keeping him sidelined for up to eight weeks. On the plus side, Juan Sebastian Veron will return after missing the Chelsea game on Saturday, whilst Paul Scholes is also available after missing the second leg of the quarter final through suspension. Ronny Johnsen is missing from the heart of the defence, however Wes Brown made a welcome return at Stamford Bridge at the weekend and is likely to replace the Norwegian.

As has happily been the case for the overwhelming majority of Bayer's season, Toppmoeller has few injury concerns going in to Wednesday's match. Fringe Germany striker Thomas Brdaric is the only confirmed absence, while diminutive speed-demon Oliver Neuville will have to sweat on the results of a late fitness test. Bayer are expected to lineup in a cautious yet flexible 4-5-1 formation in Manchester, with Bulgarian star Dimitar Berbatov being deployed as the lone striker. Ze Roberto, Schneider, and Basturk will be focused on lending Berbatov support in attack, Ballack will operate as a pure centre midfielder, while Ramelow especially will be obsessed with disrupting United's mesmeric midfield rhythm.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Man United: Ruud Van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman's first season in England has been a roaring success with 30 goals for United, including eight in Europe. This fearsome record makes him one of the most potent strikers in the game at present and it's all the more remarkable that he won't be at the World Cup this summer.

Ryan Giggs: When we hear of the all great stars who have never played in a WC Finals tournament, Giggs' name will always be in the list (unless Wales surprise us all in the next decade). The left-winger has once again been in stunning form this season and has shown a new side of his game when asked to play upfront as a partner for Van Nistelrooy.

Bayer: Please see our in depth Leverkusen player-by-player guide at:
http://www.soccerage.com/en/13/d7472.html

POSSIBLE STARTING XI's

Man United (4-4-2): Barthez, Neville (G), Blanc, Brown, Silvestre; Scholes, Butt, Veron, Giggs; Solskjaer, Van Nistelrooy
Bayer Leverkusen (4-5-1): Butt - Sebescen, Lucio, Nowotny, Placente - Schneider, Ramelow, Bastürk, Ballack, Zé Roberto - Berbatov

soccerage
 

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Bayer heavy underdogs? I doubt it.

There one of those teams people continue to doubt for some obscure reason don't know why.

Logically I can't see how Man utd can do without there 2 midfield supremos Beckham and Keane. Although they have Veron, Giggs and Scholes it just dosen't give the same substance. A lot of people were criticising Veron's signing but I bet they shut up now since if he wasn't there tonight I wouldn't give united a chance in hell.

Anyway I hope Bayer win the tournament and not that they don't deserve it either. Im sure they will.
 

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Every team playing at Old Trafford are underdogs, Bayer are heavy underdogs because they haven't that all important consistency yet. Man U are very strong also without Keane and Beckham, did you see the Chelsea match:dazed:?

I hope Leverkusen get a draw, a victory would be nearly impossible. However, loss remains the most likely result for the Germans tonight, for me.

Go, Bayer;)
 

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it is 1-0 man utd end of 1st half after a joke goal (zvikovic own goal):depress: ....and how did Berbatov manage to miss that header?:confused: ........hope we can level in 2nd half.
 

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Goal for Bayer!
1-1 Michael Ballack :)
 

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Oops,
2-1 Ruud van Nistelrooy
just five minutes later...
 

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FORZA OLLIVVEEERRRR NEUVILLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE :D


GO BAYER!
 

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A great result for Leverkusen and they could've even gotten more. They played better than ManU despite being the away team. They really carried possession and won the midfield battle.

The first goal conceded was unlucky, bouncing off of Zivkovic's chest. The tying goal by Ballack was a good finish which was a lot more difficult than it looked.

A silly foul by Ze Roberto got ManU the lead again and some scrappy play got Neuville a goal!

Overall great performance by Leverkusen, better than I expected from them. It was good to see Vranjes get some time.

I wouldn't count ManU out just yet but it looks good for Leverkusen, maybe a treble for them:D
 

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INCREDIBLE!!!

I've never seen Leverkusen play before, and I had to say, I was amazed! I've never been a fan of the Bundesliga or any German teams but watching Leverkusen was like a breath of fresh air. They seem to attack more than even Real Madrid, they don't dive at all, and they play with an enthusiasm that's missing in many teams these days. Ballack of course is a brilliant player, but they don't depend entirely on him, everyone attacks including the central defenders!

Leverkusen played like the home team today, I think Man Utd was totally shocked by the way they were outplayed at their precious "Theatre of Dreams". I was too, seeing that 4-5-1 formation I was expecting to see Man Utd passing the ball around a lot, but instead it was the other way around. At the end you could see that they were completely demoralized, even Roy Keane's late appearance couldn't lift their spirits. They were literally giving the ball to Leverkusen players over and over again... And when it was at 1-1 I was expecting Bayer to start sitting back to defend the draw but they didn't change their style whatsoever. Even at 2-2, an excellent result, they were pushing forward looking for the winning goal. In a word, amazing.

Real Madrid v Leverkusen would be a great final, in my opinion.

Forza Bayer Leverkusen!
 

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It was very simple for Bayer ...so to say;)

In the second half, Giggs managed no passes from the left, and Ole was an invisible man. Without those two, Van Nistelrooy is harmless.

Great game for Bayer.
 

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Congratulations Bayer Leverkusen...........really superb game by the team ,and god dmn it the 2 goals we conceeded were unnecessarry ,the joke own goal and the stupid foul by Ze Roberto............anyway its a good result.:)
 

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aca said:


Great game for Bayer.
I agree,Bayer were unlucky with the Zivkovic deflection - Solskjaer was actually trying to pass to Giggs! - and so i thought perhaps MU would make the most of their lead.However,looking around at the whole Bayer team(even when Nowotny's injury prevented him from playing the 2nd half),all the players seemed pressure-free,almost relaxed you could say.They just kept playing and playing until they made the territorial advantage count.Normally,i am very calm when watching a game - but i must admit i cheered both goals:D:D.Hopefully you can repeat the same level of performance in the 2nd leg.After you played so well against my team(LFC)in Leverkusen,i'd hate to see you go out to the 3rd best team in England;):D.Again congratulations - don't lose your focus next week - and good luck.:)
 
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