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Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 21:52 GMT

Scholes seals Man Utd comeback

Andy Cole was denied this time by Marseille's Yannick Fischer

Man Utd 2-1 Marseille

Manchester United left it late again as two belated goals in the space of four minutes rescued their Champions League campaign.

The BBC's Mike Ingham: "United never really got into momentum or rhythm"
With United trailling to a shock Ibrahim Bakayoko breakaway goal, Andy Cole equalised with a sensational overhead kick eleven minutes from time.

And four minutes later England midfielder Paul Scholes' persistance paid off as he somehow stayed on his feet to poke home a Dwight Yorke flick-on.

But for nearly 80 minutes it looked as though for all United's pressure the night would belong to Bakayoko.

Sore point

The Frenchman had a major point to prove after his brief stay at Everton ended in failure last season.

His was Marseille's only real goal-scoring chance but he took it calmly to sent United into the break one down at Old Trafford.

The scoreline could not have been less reflective of the play as Alex Ferguson's men dominated in every area of play.

Cole and Dwight Yorke's usual telepathic anticipation was evident as they linked up promisingly in a dozen or more United moves.

Marseille keeper Porato had to beat away fierce early drives from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nicky Butt, who let loose from a tempting Henning Berg knock-down.

One two

Cole had the first of a flurry of chances when Yorke played a one-two perfectly into his stride but Yannick Fischer did just enough to force him to curl his shot wide.

Cole then set up a fantastic chance for his partner to grab the lead when he brought a high ball down perfectly on the outside of his boot.

It fell invitingly into the path of Yorke but he fired his eight-yard shot into the body of Stephane Porato.

Solskjaer fired narrowly over the bar from the resulting corner and it appeared as if United were not going to be able to convert their pressure into goals.

Not that Marseille - with only Bakayoko operating as a lone striker - looked threatening.

Defensive lapse

But with four minutes to go until the interval Bakayoko stole the ball off the dithering Berg and raced unchallenged towards the United goal where he thumped a left-foot shot under the body of Van Der Gouw.

[ image: Everton sold Bakayoko after he failed to make his mark in the Premiership]
Everton sold Bakayoko after he failed to make his mark in the Premiership
After the interval United began where they left off, Cole and Yorke's electric passing setting up chances from all angles.

Cole and Solskjaer fired inches wide, the Norwegian hit the post and although Scholes pounced on the re-bound his header was too weak to trouble Porato.

But United's last-gasp heroics in Barcelona last season taught them the power of perseverance.

They refused to panic and sure enough, after Teddy Sheringham replaced Berg, they finally found a way through the French defence in the 78th minute.

It was a text-book goal - Beckham slapping a high free-kick to the far post where it was headed back across the face of goal by Jaap Stam and Cole, rising from six-yards, thumped in the bicycle kick.

With eight minutes to go Scholes stole the points from United's biggest Group D threat when he muscled his way into the box to latch onto a Yorke header.

The England international lost his footing and could have tried to claim the penalty but stumbled on to somehow poke the ball home.

The result puts United top of Group D, one point ahead of Marseille and three points ahead of Croatia Zagreb. Teams:
Man Utd: Van Der Gouw, Irwin, Stam, Berg, Neville, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Solskjaer, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Bosnich, Sheringham, Cruyff, Clegg, Fortune, Wilson, Greening.
Marseille: Porato, Blondeau, Gallas, Fischer, Perez, Issa, Luccin, Dalmat, Ravanelli, Bakayoko, Brando.
Subs: Trevisan, Pires, De La Pena, Belmadi, Keita, Diawara, Reina.
Referee: Jose Maria Garcia-aranda (Spain)

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