Schmeichel talks up Hernandez impact for CL final

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel expects

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez to have a major impact for the

English club in the Champions League final against Barcelona.

Schmeichel also believes United has learned from its 2-0 defeat

to the Spanish side in the 2009 final and will be much improved in

Saturday’s showpiece in London.

”Two years ago it was kind of disappointing. I don’t think it’s

going to be disappointing this time,” Schmeichel told The

Associated Press. ”It’s an unbelievable final.”

Schmeichel compares Hernandez, nicknamed ‘Chicharito’, to former

teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and expects the 22-year-old striker

to cap his standout season in style at Wembley.

”We’ve got Chicharito and, oh my god, it’s very rare you have

someone who makes that kind of impact in his first season. Ole

Gunnar had the same kind of first season and won everybody over,”

the Dane said. ”He’s an amazing player with an amazing talent and

he must have an amazing mind as well because to do that and keep up

with the pressure has been incredible.”

There’s no secret to beating Barcelona, according to Schmeichel,

who believes patience will be key as United looks to disrupt the

Catalan club’s trademark possession while only letting players like

Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez receive the ball in

areas where they can do the least harm.

”(In Rome) Manchester United’s tactical set up was to sit a

little bit and see how it goes. Some of the players sensed some of

the Barcelona players were nervous and they started to press and

that split the tactics up,” Schmeichel reasoned. ”This time, with

the experience, it’s going to be a much better final.”

Solskjaer scored the extra-time winner in United’s 2-1 victory

over Bayern Munich in a memorable 1999 final, when Schmeichel was

captain. The Dane left the club on that high note and current

United ‘keeper Edwin van der Saar will look to emulate Schmeichel

when the Dutch goalie calls time on his career after the final.

Schmeichel was genuinely excited about a contest he had been

hoping for all season.

”I’m really looking forward to Saturday – I can’t wait,” he

said.