The stars on show in this round of 16 tie were unbelievable, with both sides starting an insane amount of riches. United had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy among their ranks, while Milan fielded Andrea Pirlo, Kaka and Paulo Maldini, to name just a few.
It was former Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo who made the headlines, as he scored a goal in each leg, handing the Italians a 2-0 win on aggregate, ironically, whilst he was on loan from the Blues. During a cagey encounter at Old Trafford in the first leg, Carlo Ancelotti’s side had more of the ball and more chances, but couldn’t find a way to unlock a resilient United defence.
However, after goalkeeper Roy Carroll spilled an effort from Clarence Seedorf, Crespo was on hand to tap in the rebound, handing the Rossoneri a 1-0 lead to take back to the San Siro. Much like the first leg, Milan were able to limit United’s attacking prospects, despite Sir Alex Ferguson naming van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs in the same XI for only the second time. Once again it was Crespo who was the thorn in Fergie’s side, as United were condemned to an early Champions League exit.