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  Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 21:38 GMT
Maccabi maul Man Utd
Manchester United goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez was beaten three times
Lopez stands in disbelief as he concedes another goal
Maccabi Haifa 3-0 Man Utd

Manchester United's perfect Champions League record was shattered by two spectacular Maccabi Haifa strikes and a late penalty.

Yaniv Katan set the Israeli side on their way to a famous victory over a makeshift United with an excellent first-half goal.

The striker had scored Maccabi's opener against United at Old Trafford in September before the Israelis succumbed and lost 5-2.

But there was to be no such capitulation as Raimondas Zutautas fired in an inexorable strike to leave Ricardo Lopez in the United goal a mere bystander.

The impressive Zutautas was then brought down by Lopez in the penalty area with 13 minutes remaining, earning his side a spot-kick which Yakubu Ayegbeni duly converted.

  Key incidents
40 mins: Yaniv Katan opens the scoring for Maccabi Haifa
56 mins: Raimondas Zutautas fires in an unstoppable second
77 mins: Yakubu Ayegbeni scores from the penalty spot

With qualification to the second phase of the competition already assured, Sir Alex Ferguson could afford the luxury of resting several key players and blooding some youngsters.

The main beneficiaries were 18-year-old Kieran Richardson and Irishman John O'Shea.


I have no regrets about leaving the players behind
Sir Alex Ferguson

But it was another full debutant, goalkeeper Lopez, who made the first telling contribution, saving smartly after Giovanni Rosso's shot took a wicked deflection off O'Shea.

Not to be outdone, Dudu Awate's outstretched leg diverted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's goal-bound effort out for a corner moments later.

Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune skips over a tackle
No good Fortune for United
The unfamiliarity of United's line-up made for a disjointed opening period, although the visitors enjoyed the greater possession.

Yet there was nothing unfamiliar about the way in which United went behind just before the interval.

United's defence parted like the Red Sea as Katan surged forward and unleashed a searing strike past Ricardo, who was angered that no-one had challenged the Maccabi striker.


For two wonderful hours, everyone in Israel can forget all the problems we have
Maccabi manager Itzhak Shum

If the United goalkeeper could not believe his eyes for the first goal, there was absolutely nothing he could do to stop Maccabi's second after the break.

Diego Forlan had only just hit the crossbar with a dipping volley before Zutautas stunned the visitors with an unstoppable shot.

The 35-yard strike was hit with such power and pace that Lopez had no chance.

But Lopez was definitely the culprit for the Israelis' third goal, hauling down Zutautas, conceding a penalty and earning himself a yellow card.

Ayegbeni slotted home the spot-kick to leave Lopez picking the ball out of his net for a third time in what was a torrid full debut for the Spaniard.

Ferguson will no doubt bring his big guns back against Bayer Leverkusen on 13 November to make certain United top Group F and are seeded for the second phase.


Maccabi Haifa: Awat, Zautatas (Zandberg 81), Harazi, Benado, Badir, Keisi, Ayegbini (Almoshnino 84), Rosso, Zano, Katan, Pralija.
Subs Not Used: Al Madon, Sevilia, Cohen, Israilevich, Gabrin.

Man Utd: Ricardo, Gary Neville, Silvestre, Ferdinand, O'Shea, Phil Neville, Scholes, Fortune, Richardson (Nardiello 62), Solskjaer, Forlan (Timms 79).
Subs Not Used: Carroll, May, Pugh, Roche, Lynch.

Booked: O'Shea, Silvestre, Ricardo.

Attendance: 22,000

Referee: Antonio Jesus Lopez Nieto (Malaga).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara
"Maccabi's finishing was stunning"

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29 Oct 02 | Man Utd
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