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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 21:37 GMT
Man Utd scramble through
Manchester United 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Manchester United took a hazardous route into the second phase of the Champions League with a narrow victory against Dynamo Kiev.
Sir Alex Ferguson's Premiership leaders needed a victory to avoid the embarrassment and agony of failure to progress in the competition they won in 1999.
United achieved their aim courtesy of Teddy Sheringham's early goal - but not before giving packed Old Trafford an anxious wait as they booked their ticket into the next stage of the competition.
And if they go on to make serious progress in the tournament, they will offer a vote of thanks to the unlikely figure of Kiev's Georgian striker George Demetradze.
He conjured up an astonishing miss from only six yards with just five minutes left, somehow shooting wide as a nervous United and Old Trafford held their breath.
They relied on their Champions League talisman Sheringham to grab the vital goal, but it was a cautious European version of the team that takes all before it in flamboyant fashion on the domestic front.
Ferguson's men started in style, but ended leaving their supporters ankle deep in chewed fingernails before they could celebrate qualification.
United - knowing they could not sit back and risk an early exit from the money-spinning second phase - were forced to play a game of patience early on.
But it was Sheringham, their lucky charm in this competiton, who eased Old Trafford's nerves with the breakthrough after 17 minutes.
The goal was almost entirely his own work, starting the move with a raking pass to Andy Cole before finishing it off from close range after Kiev goalkeeper Olexander Shovkovsky saved from Roy Keane.
It was the signal for United to go through a low-key period, in similar fashion to their performance against PSV Eindhoven in their last Old Trafford game in the competition.
And Kiev sounded a warning that they were not be discounted when Laszio Bodnar found space but shot over the bar.
United responded to manager Ferguson's demand for a second goal with an improved start to the second half.
And David Beckham almost brought the packed Old Trafford gallery to its feet with a rising 30-yard right foot drive that forced a spectacular save from Shovkovsky.
Beckham was United's danger man two minutes later, delivering another long-range effort that flew inches wide with the Kiev keeper motionless and well beaten.
Kiev made a positive change after 61 minutes, aiming to play on United's growing anxiety at the failure to kill off their Ukrainian opposition.
Striker Vladmir Kuzmichev, a Russian under-21 international, replaced defender Alexey Gerasimenko.
Beckham was emerging as United's sole second half threat, but he failed to profit from a set-piece opportunity, drifting a free kick well wide.
Old Trafford was watching the clock tick down, and Ferguson attempt to inject some fresh impetus into his team, replacing goalscorer Sheringham with Dwight Yorke.
Captain Keane almost sealed it after 78 minutes, but Shovkovsky plunged to his right to save.
United's nerves were almost visible, and they should have been punished with just five minutes left when substitute Demetradze contrived to give them an amazing let off.
Bodnar escaped down the right, and set the ball on a plate for Demetradze, who took the more difficult option and missed with Barthez helpless and the goal gaping.
Man Utd: Barthez, P. Neville, Irwin, G. Neville, Brown, Beckham, Butt, Keane, Giggs, Cole, Sheringham. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Yorke, Solskjaer, Wallwork, Fortune, Silvestre, Greening.
Dynamo Kiev: Shovkovskyi, Khatskevitch, Kaladze, Vaschuk, Holovko, Nesmachnyi, Gerasimenko, Bialkevich, Bodnar, Shatskikh, Lysytskyy. Subs: Kernozenko, Demetradze, Yashkin, Fedorov, Kardash, Kuzmichev, Serebrennikov.
Referee: Claude Colombo (France)
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