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  Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 21:37 GMT
Man Utd top group
Laurent Blanc scored Manchester United's first
Blanc scored United's opener with a crisp volley
Boavista 0-3 Manchester United
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Manchester United stormed into the quarter-finals of the Champions League as group winners after outclassing Boavista in the Estadio do Bessa.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side will now avoid Real Madrid and Barcelona - but they could face Liverpool who have also made it through to the last eight.

First-half goals from Laurent Blanc and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set United on their way.

And David Beckham scored from the penalty spot after the interval to put the game beyond any doubt, the scoreline reflecting United's total dominance.

Despite the absence of Roy Keane, Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy through injury, Ferguson opted for an attacking formation.

  Key moments
14 mins: Laurent Blanc volleys home from a David Beckham corner
29 mins: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer strokes in United's second
51 mins: Beckham scores from the penalty spot

Diego Forlan was handed his first Champions League start and the Uruguayan looked impressive throughout.

He combined well with Solskjaer as United tormented Boavista.

It did not take long for United to expose the Portuguese side's defensive shortcomings.

The revitalised Beckham whipped over a corner that evaded goalkeeper Ricardo and the Boavista defence, allowing the unmarked Blanc to fire in a low volley.

Beckham took control of midfield matters and captain for the night Ryan Giggs proved a constant threat as he roamed from wing to wing.

Forlan came close to extending United's lead on 20 minutes after he dived bravely to meet Giggs' cross. But the striker's header was blocked by Ricardo.

With so much possession, and playing such incisive attacking football, a second United goal was inevitable.

Manchester United striker Diego Forlan
Forlan's display deserved a goal

And it came on the half-hour from a reliable source. Solskjaer struck inside the area following excellent work from Giggs on the left.

Fabien Barthez was hardly employed in the first half, but did well to stay focused and diverted Erwin Sanchez's long-range effort away for a corner.

Any hopes Boavista had of getting back into the game were dashed soon after the interval when Martelinho brought down Paul Scholes in the area.

Beckham thumped a thunderous spot-kick past Ricardo to make it three goals in his last two games.

Substitute Michael Stewart came close to getting a fourth for the visitors, while Barthez made an excellent save late on to deny Serginho.

The only disappointment of the evening was Solskjaer being forced off with what appeared to be an ankle injury.


Boavista: Ricardo, Frechaut, Turra, Pedro Emanuel, Soares da Silva, Loja, Petit, Silva, Sanchez, Duda, Serginho. Subs: Khadim, Avalos, Marcio Santos, Martelinho, Pedro Santos, Jorge Couto, Goulart.

Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Blanc, Johnsen, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Giggs, Solskjaer, Forlan. Subs: Carroll, Irwin, Phil Neville, Fortune, Stewart, O'Shea, Djordjic.

Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"United won with an almost embarrassing degree of comfort"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"Our football was absolutely superb"
 VOTE RESULTS
Who will go further in Europe?

Arsenal
 15.64% 

Liverpool
 29.60% 

Man Utd
 54.76% 

43542 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


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