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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
reports from Austria
 real 14k

BBC Sport's Trevor Brooking
"Man Utd deserved to win"
 real 14k

Man Utd's Phil Neville
"We thoroughly deserved to win"
 real 14k

Man Utd's assistant manager Steve McLaren
"We had a few scares"
 real 14k

Man Utd's Gary Neville
"We expected a difficult second half"
 real 14k

Man Utd's Dennis Irwin
"It was a strange game"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 21:36 GMT
Man Utd surge past Graz
scholes
Paul Scholes clips the first goal past the Graz keeper
Sturm Graz 0-2 Manchester United

Paul Scholes grabbed his fifth Champions League goal of the season with another sublime finish and Ryan Giggs came on as sub to score a late second to send United into the winter European break with full points from their first two games.

It meant United overturned their poor away form of only one point from their three first phase group games.

Fabien Barthez played his part by producing an outstanding reaction save with eight minutes left as Roy Keane inadverdently flashed a header goalwards as he tried to intercept Ivica Vastic's cross.

Otherwise Sturm Graz, who had won all their three previous home games this season to top their first phase group, had little to offer apart from a 30-yarder against the crossbar.

United controlled possession well and created more than enough chances to have increased their advantage.

United had the first meaningful move on four minutes as attack-minded wing-back Mickael Silvestre burst clear down the left and his centre was headed out to Yorke, whose fierce low shot was collected at the second attempt by Kazimierz Sidorczuk.

Angled drive

It was soon apparent that Graz were happy to sit in their own half and let United attack them.

beckham
Beckham is felled by Uruguayan Andres Fleurquin
In their first real break after seven minutes, Uruguayan Andres Fleurquin got away down the left, but Gary Neville blocked his cross for a corner, from which Gilbert Prilasnig headed well over the bar.

Dwight Yorke created a clear shooting opportunity on 14 as Teddy Sheringham seized on a mistake by Ranko Popovic and found the Trinidadian who skipped past Neukirchner on the edge of the area, but sent his angled drive well over the top.

United's pressure paid off on 17 minutes with a superbly-created goal as Yorke's ball in to Sheringham's feet was superbly flicked through his legs.

Scholes still had to do the hard work, bursting between two defenders and beating the keeper to the ball to clip his shot back into the opposite corner.

The goal ruined Graz's breakaway tactics, and the Austrians had to be more adventurous, but United effectively slowed the game down and gradually re-asserted themselves, keeping hold of the ball with relative ease.

Appeared to spit

Graz produced their first real threat on 35 minutes when they won a free-kick 30 yards out.

Vastic fired a fierce low shot which Fabien Barthez had to dive to his right to punch clear as the ball swerved away from him.

The roars went up a notch in the second half when Beckham appeared to spit at the feet of Iranian Mehrdad Minavand after the latter fouled him, then tumbled to the ground as the pair ran off together.

yorke
Yorke is confronted by Ranko Popovic
Scholes almost silenced the reawakened home crowd when he got on the end of a series of clever flicks and fired a fierce volley 12 yards which forced Sidorczuk into an impressive one-handed save to his right.

United were well served by referee Anders Frisk on 66 when Vastic brilliantly beat Wes Brown and cut into the area, then mis-hit his shot as Silvestre and Neville closed in.

The crowd howled for a penalty and Vastic's air-shot made it look as though he had been fouled, but no contact was made.

Disallowed

The unruffled visitors went straight upfield and nearly scored a second when Yorke cleverly clipped the ball inside and Sheringham hit a 25-yard volley which forced Sidorczuk into a scrambling save.

It should have been level on 71 minutes when Tomislav Kocijan was given time to turn and run at the United defence before lashing a stunning 30-yard shot which shook the crossbar with Barthez nowhere near.

Again United responded quickly as a desperate interception denied Yorke a certain goal from Sheringham's clever pass, and though the latter then had the ball in the net, the goal was disallowed for offside.

Barthez certainly repaid some of his 8m fee with a brilliant save on 82 minutes as Vastic's cross skidded fast off Roy Keane's head, but fortunately near enough to the keeper.

Graz piled men forward in the last few minutes but United weathered the storm, and broke away with two minutes left for Yorke to slip a pass into Giggs who sent a low shot under Sidorczuk to make the game safe.


SK Sturm Graz: Sidorczuk, Neukirchner (Strafner 82), Mamedov (Mahlich 85), Popovic, Schopp, Korsos (Reinmayr 70), Prilasnig, Fleurquin, Minavand, Kocijan, Vastic.
Subs not used: Knezevic, Foda, Feldhofer, Szabics.

Man Utd: Barthez, Irwin (P Neville 90), G. Neville, Brown, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt (Giggs 80), Keane, Scholes, Sheringham, Yorke (Solskjaer 90).
Subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Fortune, O'Shea, Greening.

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

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