Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Football: FA Carling Premiership
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Rugby League 
Rugby Union 
Formula 1 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Peter Slater
"It took the champions 74 minutes to break Bradford's resolve"
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 December, 1999, 17:28 GMT
Fortune paves the way

sheringham Bradford held on well into the second-half but it was not long enough

Man Utd 4-0 Bradford

Quinton Fortune opened the floodgates for Manchester United with a second half strike at Old Trafford on Sunday.

In his home debut, Fortune forced a cutback from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer into the Bradford net just 16 minutes from time.

Match facts
37 mins: Fortune's free-kick strikes the bar
75 mins: Fortune ends the deadlock
79 mins: Dwight Yorke ends Bradford's resistance
87 mins: Cole runs in a third
88 mins: Keane maintains his scoring run
The pressure had been immense from the treble-winners and Fortune's goal shattered Bradford.

Three more then came in quick succession. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole added one apiece, despite having only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes. Roy Keane grabbed the fourth on the stroke of time.

The first-half was a dour affair. The recent rain had left Old Trafford water-logged and Bradford hustled and harried United out of their stride.

Fortune - a 1.5m buy from Atletico Madrid in August - came within inches of scoring when he struck the underside of the Bradford bar with a fierce free-kick on 37 minutes, but Bradford refused to fold.

Certainly the heavy rain which fell for much of the first half, allied with the boggy pitch, proved to be a leveller as Bradford packed their midfield to frustrate the home side.

Lee Mills had little joy in a lone-raider role up front but he should have done better than fire tamely wide from eight yards after former Old Trafford favourite Lee Sharpe had picked him out with a deep cross inside three minutes.

The hosts, with nine wins in 10 outings before the clash, dominated possession but found it difficult to carve open the Bradford defence.

The Bantams goalkeeper also twice denied Scholes but he needed a fair slice of good luck in the final few minutes of the first half to ensure his side stayed on level terms.

Fortune strikes

Teddy Sheringham came close after the break, when Nicky Butt was put through by Solskjaer. Butt laid the ball back at the edge of the area only for Sheringham's shot to fly past the post.

Then, in what proved to be an inspired double substitution, United manager Alex Ferguson replaced Sheringham and Scholes with Yorke and Cole as the home side began another wave of attacks.

The pressure was immense, yet still Bradford held on. Butt played in a hard low drive, but Cole was unable to supply the necessary touch.

A Roy Keane drive was then deflected off O'Brien, before another strike floated just wide of the right hand post after a one-two inside the box.

With so much pressure, something had to give and with just 16 minutes remaining the inevitable occurred after another inch perfect cross from Butt.

Solksjaer stood wide and turned the ball inside to Fortune who hit the back of the net from 5-yards to grab the lead on 64 mins.

United never looked back. Eleven minutes from time Yorke added the second - his 12th goal of the season - after a slip by Wetherall.

Using his considerable pace, Yorke skipped past Clarke, despite the dreadful conditions, to bring an end to the Bradford resistance.

Leeds finally managed to force a late corner - their first of the half - but the home side immediately cleared. A long ball from Solskjaer found Cole on the left, who dummied the Bradford goalkeeper to add the third.

With United scoring, seemingly at will, Bradford can be thankful there was so little time left.

Nevertheless, there was still long enough for captain Roy Keane to round of proceedings - and continue his scoring streak - with a superb low drive on the stroke of time.


Man Utd: Bosnich, G. Neville, Stam, Silvestre, P. Neville, Scholes, Keane, Butt, Fortune, Sheringham, Solskjaer. Subs: Taibi, Cole, Yorke, Wallwork, Cruyff.

Bradford: Clarke, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Myers, Lawrence, Redfearn, McCall, Sharpe, Mills, Windass. Subs: Davison, Beagrie, Westwood, Saunders, Blake.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
26 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Leeds march on in style
26 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Flo upstages Tiss return
26 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Big Dunc saves the day
26 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Spurs bounce back
26 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Ardley dents Hammers
Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.