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BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"Man Utd are now in a very good position"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Outstanding defensively"
 real 14k

Man United captain Roy Keane
"It's not the end of the world"
 real 14k

Man United's Ryan Giggs
"We've still got a job to do"
 real 14k

Man United defender Gary Neville
"They can certainly break on the counter-attack"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 21:51 GMT
Man Utd survive in Spanish stalemate
Wes Brown makes a timely intervention at the feet of John Carew
The action was fast but the chances were few
Valencia 0-0 Man Utd

Manchester United kept their Champions League campaign on track, grinding out a goalless draw against last year's finalists.

Valencia had not lost a European game at home in Europe since 1992 and United found chances hard to come by at the rain-soaked Mestalla.

But United, who remain clear of Valencia at the top of Group A, will fancy their chances of clinching a place in the quarter-finals when the teams meet again at Old Trafford next week.


In the second half they were the better side and we rode our luck a little bit
  Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Though the former European champions looked persistently dangerous in a thoroughly entertaining tie, Valencia keeper Santiago Canizares had barely a save to make.

They had to wait until five minutes from time for their only real clear-cut opening, Roy Keane beaten to a cross from six yards out.

At the other end Fabien Barthez was kept far busier, Gaizka Mendieta wasting the Primera Liga teams's best chance when he dallied with only the Frenchman to beat.

  Match action
1 min: Kily Gonzalez fires into the side-netting
5 mins: Mauricio Pellegrino just beats Andy Cole to a wicked Ryan Giggs cross
11 mins: Angulo puts the ball in the net but is ruled offside
20 mins: Giggs' cross just eludes the in-coming David Beckham
30 mins: Mendieta is clear on goal but delays his shot too long
36 mins: Paul Scholes blasts narrowly wide
51 mins: Barthez dribbles the ball out of trouble in his own box
53 mins: Barthez does the same thing - on the opposite flank
66 mins: Valencia claim a penalty when Neville appears to handle a cross
74 mins: Carew replaced by Alonso; Beckham replaced by Butt
83 mins: Andy Cole appeals for a penalty under a heavy challenge from Ayala

Miguel Angulo slotted the ball home after just ten minutes but referee Dick Jol had already blown for offside.

United played a risky game at the back and though they were frequently exposed, they survived through a mixture of fortune and fortitude.

A pin-point pass found Mendieta with just Barthez to beat, but when he finally pulled the trigger, Wes Brown was among four red shirts between him and the goal.

The battle down United's left flank between Ryan Giggs and French defender Jocelyn Anglomar was engaging.

Giggs provided half-chances for David Beckham, who had a quiet game and was replaced before the final whistle, and Andy Cole, with two sensational crosses.


We played a great game against a great side and the game at Old Trafford will be very similar
  Valencia manager Hector Cuper
And Paul Scholes came close for United with a superbly struck half-volley after Teddy Sheringham had skilfully cushioned the ball, but it flew wide.

Valencia's record signing Pablo Aimar, the 13.7m man from River Plate, began quietly.

Hot finale

But after the interval he began to sparkle alongside Mendieta as the Spaniards turned up the heat.

Barthez seemed oblivious to the tension of the tie, twice opting to dally dangerously with the ball at his feet and then dropping a cross.

But the Frenchman knew what he was doing when he blocked a fierce goal-bound Gonzalez drive then held well from a Mendieta shot.

Valencia stepped up the pressure, John Carew making way for the popular Diego Alonso in attack, and both teams had half-hearted penalty claims turned down in the closing stages.

Super sub Ole Gunnar Solksjaer set up United's best chance with five minutes to go when he slid a beautiful ball across the face of goal.

But Amedeo Carboni did brilliantly to prevent Keane poking home from inside six yards and for once, a last-gasp winner eluded United.


Teams:

Valencia: Canizares, Carboni, Pellegrino, Ayala, Angloma, Mendieta, Kily Gonzalez, Baraja, Aimar, Angulo, Carew. Subs: Palop, Deschamps, Djukic, Alonso, Vicente, Sanchez, Albelda.

Man Utd: Barthez, Silvestre, Stam, Brown, Gary Neville, Giggs, Keane, Scholes, Beckham, Sheringham, Cole. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Irwin, Butt, Phil Neville, Yorke, Solskjaer, Chadwick.

Referee: Dick Jol (Holland)

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14 Feb 01 |  Photo Galleries
Champions League - in pictures
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