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  Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Draw puts Man Utd out
Roy Keane tangles with Diego Placente
Roy Keane drove United forward all night
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Man United
(3-3 agg; Bayer win on away goals)


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  Photo gallery: Man United's anguish

Another Oliver Neuville equaliser against Manchester United proved the priceless goal that put Bayer Leverkusen into the Champions League final.

Roy Keane put United ahead in the 28th minute before Neuville levelled for Bayer - just as he did in the first leg at Old Trafford.

And although the visitors twice had efforts cleared off the line, they could not find the decisive finish in a frantic finale.

As in the first leg, United were not at their sharpest defensively and Bayer monopolised both possession and territory for the bulk of the opening half.

  Match facts
13 mins: Schneider hits the post for Bayer
17 mins: Man Utd's Johnsen has a header cleared off the line
28 mins: Keane puts Man Utd 1-0 up
45 mins: Neuville equalises for Bayer
72 mins: Scholes shoots over for Man Utd
87 mins: Man Utd's Forlan has a shot cleared off the line

But - largely thanks to Keane - Alex Ferguson's team were seconds away from taking a priceless lead into the break.

The captain's determination to lead from the front saw him nudge a long ball on to Ruud van Nistelrooy and then forge into the box in search of the return.

Basturk's slip allowed the ball to reach him, and he rounded Bayer keeper Butt to slide the ball home from a narrow angle in the 28th minute.

That could have been 2-0 for United as Ronny Johnsen had seen his header cleared off the line by Ze Roberto on the quarter-hour.

But Bayer had also hit the post through Bernd Schneider minutes before Johnsen's effort and grabbed a deserved equaliser a minute into first-half injury-time.

Fluent football

Ballack found Neuville - playing with a broken toe - in half a yard of space on the edge of the United box.

The German international turned instantly and clipped a shot over Barthez and in off the underside of the bar.

Bayer emerged from the break to pick up where they left off, playing the more fluent football in the opening stages.

Neuville squandered a glorious chance when he allowed his attempted pass to the unmarked Diego Placente to be headed clear by Laurent Blanc.

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Yildiray Basturk battle it out
Van Nistelrooy began as a lone striker for United
United are rarely so wasteful in attack and the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the hour raised the question of whether Bayer would regret that miss.

United switched to 4-4-2 and immediately looked more dangerous.

Bayer's defence had lost captain Jens Nowotny with damaged cruciate knee ligaments after just eight minutes.

And it came under increasing pressure in the final quarter as United threw everything they had at the Germans.

Paul Scholes fired over from the edge of the box on 72 minutes after Ryan Giggs had broken free down the left.

Roy Keane brought a sprawling save out of Butt with a fierce drive from just outside the box on 82 minutes.

And with three minutes to play, Placente headed Diego Forlan's shot off the line before Solskjaer hit the follow-up over the bar.


Bayer Leverkusen: Butt, Zivkovic, Nowotny (Sebescen 9), Lucio, Placente, Basturk (Vranjes 79), Schneider, Ramelow, Ballack, Ze Roberto, Neuville (Berbatov 84).
Subs not used: Juric, Babic, Kirsten, Kleine.

Booked: Ze Roberto

Manchester United: Barthez, Brown (Forlan 81), Blanc, Johnsen (Irwin 60), Silvestre, Scholes, Keane, Veron, Butt (Solskjaer 60), Giggs, van Nistelrooy.
Subs not used: Carroll, Phil Neville, Fortune, O'Shea.

Booked: Butt, Scholes, Irwin

Referee: K Nielsen (Den)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"No dream final for Sir Alex Ferguson"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"The goal before half-time was a killer"
See also:

29 Apr 02 |  Eng Prem
Ferguson eyes Bayer revenge
26 Apr 02 |  Germany
Leverkusen leave Germany smiling
24 Apr 02 |  Football
Man Utd held by Bayer
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