The Red Devils passed toward the final overpowering the Asian champion. It was an easy victory for them.
In this high scoring match, most of the goals were scored in the scond half. After the first half Gamba showed some fight and had beaten Van der Sar three times.
It was an expected result. Gamba was not organized in the defense but the approach of playing style must be appreciated, especially in the second half, after lagging behind by two goals.
United started the match without Dimitar Berbatov who was sick with a virus while Rooney was on the bench after a knock in training. It gave a rare start for Carlos Tevez.
From the very first moment of the match, the ball was mostly attracted by C. Ronaldo. He also tried to entertain the home crowd with some charismatic skills. But it was not his best day.
After 13th minute Van der Sar blocked a shot from the Asian side. But after that the red devils strated to dominate the home side. They were controlling the game as they were intended, but not that fast way as they play in the premier league.
In this 8 goal thriller match, 2 goals were scored in the first half. The sources of both the goals were same. They were produced by Ryan Giggs from the corner.
In the 27th minute, Man Utd took the deserved lead by Vidic, who put the ball into the net with a superb header. Giggs floated the ball nicely and Vidic headed it.
After this goal United seemed more aggressive. Throughout all these United attacks, Gamba were in a mess. They were struggling to keep the ball. Their main playmaker Yasuhita Endo only got a chance to take a free kick, which as their summary in the first half.
The home side’s attacking principles was leaving their back four opened, however, there can be few excuses as they conceded a second goal from a corner kick on the edge of half time as Ronaldo leapt imperiously to thump a header from Giggs’ corner low into the net.
Evra slipped Tevez clear of Gamba’s defence just after the break but referee Benito Archundia Tellez blew his whistle for offside before the Argentine slipped past the keeper and knocked the ball into an unguarded goal.
The first half had seen a steady flow of chances, however, the second would not be so incident packed. Gamba still probed for a breakthrough, nearly hauling themselves into the match as Endo showed his promised class was a dangerous free-kick that was well repelled by the lanky Dutchman in the United goal.
When the match drifting into exhibition mode, it took an explosive turn with the 73rd minute substitution of Tevez for Rooney. Man Utd looked more jubilant.
Gamba pulled one back through Masato Yamazaki in the 74th minute before Wayne Rooney pounced a minute later soon after coming on as a substitute.
Another substitute, Darren Fletcher, made it 4-1 on 78 minutes before Rooney bagged another seconds after the restart.
Adding some, Gamba won a penalty when Gary Neville handled the ball and Yasuhito Endo converted the spot kick with five minutes left. Hideo Hashimoto then made it 5-3 in injury time.
“It was a terrific match, an amazing game, the people got their money’s worth” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“The football from both teams was very good. For me Edwin Van der Sar was our best player, his saves helped secure the victory for us. We are in the final and I think we deserve to be there.”
For Gamba, it was one of the biggest games in their history and they could easily have been overawed, but they did themselves credit, although coach Akira Nishino wasn’t entirely happy.
“It was a very tough game but overall I’m not satisfied because we didn’t win,” he said.
“At Gamba, we always want to win and we gave away easy goals. But we never gave up or lost the spirit to challenge them. We were not intimidated. We made them take us seriously and it’s a pity we couldn’t play on an equal level.”
With 68,000 fans packed into the Yokohama International Stadium, the atmosphere was electric with as many cheering for United as the local hopes.
Both sides deserve great credit for making this such a wonderful spectacle, with Gamba’s insistence on attacking football particularly refreshing. Nevertheless, it is Manchester United that will progress to the final of the competition as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have taken another step towards becoming world champions.
28’ Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd)
45’ Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
74’ Masato Yamazati (Gamba)
75’ Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
78’ Darren Fletcher (Man Utd)
79’ Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
85’ Yasuhito Endo – penalty (Gamba)
90’ Hideo Hashimoto (Gamba)
Man Utd: Van der Sar; Neville, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic (Evans, 70’); Anderson, Scholes (Fletcher, 68’); Giggs, Nani, Ronaldo; Tevez (Rooney 74’)
Yellow Cards: Rooney 82’
Gamba Osaka: Fujigawa; Kaji, Nakazawa, Yamaguchi, Yasuda; Endo, Yamazaki, Hashimoto, Myojin; Bando (Terada, 85’), Lucas
Yellow Cards: Yamaguchi 90’
Ref: Benito Archundia Tellez (Mexico).
Click below to watch the highlights of the match