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BBC football correspondent Mike Ingham
"A victory would have been flattering."
 real 14k

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
"It didn't flow as we wanted it to"
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Jaap Stam
"It wasn't one of our best performances"
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Sir Alex Ferguson
"When Ryan was on, we looked a big threat to them"
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Roy Keane
"We'll bounce back - of course we will"
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banner Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 22:01 GMT
Brown blunder gifts Valencia draw
Andy Cole is congratulated on scoring by Teddy Sheringham
Cole is congratulated on scoring by Teddy Sheringham
Manchester United 1-1 Valencia

A last-gasp own goal by Wes Brown gifted Valencia a point as Manchester United missed the chance of early qualification for the Champions League quarter-finals.

Andy Cole scored United's goal early in the game but it was not enough as the Spaniards fought to the death and deserved to take a point from Old Trafford.

United were never at their efficient best and Valencia - last season's runners-up - refused to accept defeat.

Their impressive spell in the final 20 minutes saw substitute Vicente Rodriguez cross from the left and force Brown to put the ball past his own goalkeeper.

The result means Sir Alex Ferguson's side need another win from their final two games to reach the last eight.

Familar faces

Both sides went into the match unchanged from the line-ups which battled out a goalless draw in the Mestalla Stadium last week.

Wes Brown
A dejected Wes Brown realises he has gifted Valencia a point
Kily Gonzalez had the first effort when he was set-up by Pablo Aimar but scooped his shot over the crossbar with United still to settle.

Cole continued his rich scoring form by stroking the ball into the net in the 12th minute after a neat one-two with Ryan Giggs on the left.

Cole beat Santiago Canizares for his 12th goal of the season and left the Spaniards chasing the contest.

Giggs limped off with hamstring trouble soon after and was replaced by Nicky Butt.

Valencia wasted a great chance to get back on level terms when the lively Aimar, a recent 12m signing from River Plate, screwed a 15-yard shot wide of Fabien Barthez's right post.

  Key incidents
5 mins: Gonzalez shoots just over United's crossbar
12 mins: Cole makes it 1-0 from Giggs' pass
50 mins: Gonzalez shot superbly saved by Barthez
87 mins: Wes Brown nets an own goal
United lacked width on the left without Giggs and Valencia were able to probe down the right flank without worrying about the Welshman's threat.

The visitors enjoyed more possession in the latter stages of the first half but United always had men behind the ball and rarely looked in any danger.

Butt picked up a costly caution after the restart which will rule him out of the match in Panathinaikos on 7 March.

Ryan Giggs walks off dejected after injury forced him out
Ryan Giggs walks off dejected after injury forced him out

Barthez had to be at his most alert to prevent Valencia pulling level five minutes after the break when Gonzalez broke away on the left and rifled in a fierce shot which the United keeper parried away.

Ferguson threw on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in place of the subdued Teddy Sheringham for the final 27 minutes as United pressed for the cushion of a second goal.

It almost came on 70 minutes when Solskjaer weaved his magic down the left and sent over a low cross which whistled across the goal-mouth with nobody on hand to apply the final touch.

The game almost turned sour when Ruben Baraja was booked for a late foul on David Beckham which earned him a yellow card and a suspension for the next game.

Beckham, who was also booked earlier, was spoken to by the referee and moments later was taken out by Amedeo Carboni, who also received a caution.

The English champions had a huge let off when Paul Scholes cleared the ball off his own line.

But it was no surprise when United finally cracked three minutes from time when Vicentre's cross was stabbed into his own net by the unfortunate Brown.

The goal kept Valencia on track for a likely quarter-final spot, though anything could happen yet in Group A with Sturm Graz still in the chase.

Man Utd: Barthez, G Neville, Silvestre, Stam, Brown, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs (Butt 18 mins), Cole, Sheringham (Solskjaer 63). Subs: Rachubka, Irwin, P Neville, Yorke, Chadwick.

Valencia: Canizares, Pellegrino, Baraja, Aurelio, Carboni, Angulo (Sanchez 65), Mendieta, Gonzalez (Vicente 75), Angloma, Carew, Aimar (Albelda 89). Subs: Palop, Deschamps, Djukic, Alonso.

Referee: Hellmut Krug (Germany).
Attendance: 66,715.

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See also:

20 Feb 01 |  Football
Champions League and FA Cup live
20 Feb 01 |  Champions League
Panathinaikos v Sturm Graz
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