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  Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Man Utd go through
David Beckham and Paul Scholes celebrate with Juan Sebastian Veron
Celebration time as Veron (centre) scores
Olympiakos 2-3 Manchester United

Manchester United booked their place in the second phase of the Champions League after making hard work of a win over Olympiakos in Piraeus.

The Premiership team were guilty of resting on their laurels to surrender the two-goal lead given them by Laurent Blanc and Juan Sebastian Veron.


I'd like to thank Paul Scholes for getting us out of trouble
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Substitute Lambos Choutos, and Predrag Djordjevic scored in the space of six minutes to turn a one-sided stroll for the visitors on its head.

But Paul Scholes saved their blushes with a winner five minutes from time.

Olympiakos keeper Dimitris Eleftheropoulos was twice called into action in quick succession in the opening five minutes.

He first clawed away Scholes' presumptuous 40-yard effort, and from the resulting corner the keeper made a meal of pawing away Laurent Blanc's header.

  Key moments
19mins: Laurent Blanc heads Man Utd in front.
60mins: Veron puts Man Utd 2-0 up.
70mins: Choutos pulls one back for Olympiakos.
76mins: Djordjevic pulls Olympiakos level.
85mins: Paul Scholes notches the winner.

Georgos Anatolakis was the first name in World Cup final referee Collina's notebook for a 19th minute foul on Forlan which indirectly led to Manchester United taking the lead.

Eleftheropoulos needlessly touched David Beckham's innocuous free-kick behind and from Ryan Giggs' resulting corner Blanc was left with an embarrassing amount of time and room to head home.

A brave header from Paraskevas Antzas denied John O'Shea a certain goal after Olympiakos had been carved open to provide Giggs with the chance to cross.

Manchester United stroked the ball around with the ease of a training game but as half-time approached received an alarm call when Antzas glanced a header wide.

Mikael Silvestre then blocked as Predrag Djordjevic threatened to move on to Giovanni's return pass.

Man Utd Ryan Giggs is challenged by Olympiakos defender Antzas
Olympiakos' defender Antzas has a horizontal hold on Giggs

Forlan's delay allowed Eleftheropoulos to smother as Olympiakos were opened up at the start of the second half

Olympiakos enjoyed a spell of possession but on the hour Veron scored the English team's second.

The Argentine drifted inside, took a return pass from Giggs and sidestepped Antzas's challenge to drill a shot into the bottom corner.

With their berth in the second phase seemingly booked, Manchester United took their foot off the gas, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson withdrawing Beckham and Giggs.

They failed to heed the warning sign when subsitute Choutos sneaked in to test Barthez on 68 minutes.


After we equalised we lost our discipline with the result that they scored again
Olympiakos coach Yiannis Kollias

Choutos did not pass up a second opportunity two minutes later when he surged into the penalty area to place his shot past Barthez.

The goal lifted Olympiakos and six minutes later they drew level, when Djordjevic skipped through a gaping defence to fire past Barthez.

United were stung into action and Forlan's delightful backheel set up Scholes to thump a 20-yard shot against the outside of the post.

Scholes restored the lead on 83 minutes when Eleftheropoulos made a hash of the England midfielder's 20-yard shot.


Olympiakos: Eleftheropoulos, Anatolakis, Antzas, Venetidis, Patsatzoglou, Giannakopoulos, Zetterberg, Karembeu, Djordjevic, Giovanni, Dracena. Subs: Katergianakis, Amanatidis, Choutos, Mavrogenidis, Ofori Quaye, Kostoulas, Niniadis.

Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Blanc, O'Shea, Silvestre, Beckham, Phil Neville, Veron, Giggs, Scholes, Forlan. Subs: Ricardo, May, Chadwick, Solskjaer, Fortune, Roche, Richardson.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's David Oates
"Defensive frailties came back to haunt United"
Man Utd's Gary Neville
"I can't understand what went wrong in those five minutes"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"I think 100 wins is a bit of a landmark"

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23 Oct 02 | Champions League
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