Not even goalkeeping star Manuel Neuer could contain the attack of Manchester United as the Premier League giant prevailed, 2-0, over underdog Schalke 04 at Veltins-Arena in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs, who had struggled with chances throughout the match, got the Red Devils on the board in the 67th minute when he received a fine pass from Wayne Rooney, and then slid it past Neuer to give Manchester United the lead.
Moments later, Giggs got another chance, but couldn't convert in the box, in a sign that Schalke was unraveling.
In the 69th minute, Rooney found the back of the net, as Javier Hernandez weaved into an attacking spot to slip the ball to Rooney who routinely got it by Neuer.
The German goalkeeper was having a strong performance, and couldn't be blamed for the goals. Neuer was particularly strong in the first half, blocking a ball by Rooney in the opening minutes.
The Schalke offense never got the chance to put real pressure on Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar.
Down two goals going into the second leg at Old Trafford, the prospects for Schalke to advance to the Final look bleak.
Raul was never able to get a legitimate opportunity to score, and Edu, despite some descent looks, wasn't able to execute on his few chances.
For Manchester United, this is a satisfying victory. Only Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher are sidelined, and coming off this victory, Sir Alex Ferguson's squad can turn their focus to closing out the Premier League with upcoming matches against Arsenal and Chelsea.
The second leg is May 4th in Manchester.
Should the Red Devils hold on to the two-goal aggregate lead, they will face the winner of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Final, at Wembley Stadium in London.