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Wednesday, September 9, 1998 Published at 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK


Red Sky at night, Dwight Yorke's delight

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer runs to congratulate United's new hero, Dwight Yorke

Manchester United 4 Charlton 1

This game had everything - goals, atmosphere and a streaker who many cynics might have suspected was a News International publicity stunt.

The ghost of Rupert Murdoch hovered over Old Trafford all night but the expected demonstrations against the BSkyB takeover failed to materialise.

There was only a handful of banners and a few muted chants.

Glorious home debut

United's faithful appeared more interested in record signing Dwight Yorke, who bagged a couple of goals on his home debut.

Up front Alex Ferguson opted for pace over height with Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer favoured over Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole.
[ image: Dwight Yorke challenges for a ball with Eddie Youds]
Dwight Yorke challenges for a ball with Eddie Youds

The 55,000 capacity crowd were struck dumb in the 32nd minute when Mark Kinsella fired a superb goal from out of the blue.

Kinsella, who used to ply his trade at lowly Colchester, beat Peter Schmeichel from 25 yards with the aid of a cruel deflection to send the visiting supporters into ecstasy.

A watching Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, may have been worried at that point but within minutes United were ahead.

First goal conceded this season

Solskjaer's goal - the first one Charlton have conceded in the Premiership - was a superb individual effort, although Yorke helped to distract the Charlton defenders.

Alex Ferguson could have been excused a quiet grin - two weeks ago he turned down a £5.5m offer from Spurs for Solskjaer.

Moments before the interval Yorke repaid the first instalment of his £12.6m transfer fee when he met a cross and powered the ball into the net.

Killjoy ref Paul Durkin - England's World Cup representative - ticked off Yorke for his exuberant celebrations but stopped short of booking him.

After the break United's pressure began to break up the Charlton defence like a shipwreck.

Solskjaer bags a brace

In the 48th minute Yorke slid into an open goal from six yards - his 100th League goal - and a quarter of an hour later Solskjaer scored his second.

By this time the mood in Old Trafford had turned from resentful - towards chairman Martin Edwards, who has agreed to sell the club to Sky - to joyous.

When the streaker, with a scrawled message on his back, made an appearance shortly after the fourth goal he was met with playful cries of: "Are you Murdoch in disguise?"

Yorke was substituted 15 minutes from the end - to a standing ovation - and replaced with Sheringham.

For Charlton boss Alan Curbishley - who won the Manager of the Month award for August - it was a timely reminder that his club still has a long way to go to secure its Premiership place.

Teams:

Man Utd: Schmeichel, Irwin, Johnsen, Stam, Beckham, Neville, Blomqvist, Keane, Scholes, Yorke, Solskjaer. Subs: Cole, Sheringham, Van Der Gouw, Berg, Wilson.

Charlton: Ilic, Mills, Powell, Redfearn, Youds, Newton, Kinsella, Hunt, Mendonca, Robinson, Brown. Subs: Petterson, K Jones, Mortimer, S Jones, Balmer.

Referee: Paul Durkin (Portland)



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