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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 February, 2003, 08:57 GMT
Beckham inspires Man Utd win
Wes Brown heads Man Utd ahead
Wes Brown puts Man Utd in front
Man Utd 2-1 Juventus

David Beckham put his recent troubles behind him to inspire Manchester United to Champions League victory against Juventus at Old Trafford.

Beckham created goals in each half for Wes Brown and Ruud van Nistelrooy as United took a giant stride towards the Champions League quarter-finals.

He delivered the corner that set up Brown's first-ever goal for Manchester United against the flu-ridden Italians after only four minutes.

And Beckham was behind van Nistelrooy's late strike that eased United's nerves after an uncertain display.

Pavel Nedved's injury-time goal was only a minor inconvenience for United on the path to victory.

It was a marvellous ball from David for the second goal
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
It was a welcome relief for Beckham and manager Sir Alex Ferguson after a traumatic week when England's captain suffered a cut eye in an incident involving his manager following the FA Cup defeat against Arsenal.

Beckham was making the headlines for the right reasons in the fourth minute when his corner was met powerfully by Brown, whose header beat Antonio Chimenti.

But instead of being a spark for United, it acted as the catalyst for an impressive opening 45 minutes from the under-strength Italians.

Nedved, a one-time transfer target for United, was desperately unlucky not to restore equality for Juventus after 20 minutes when he struck an upright from long range.

And Juventus gave United a scare four minutes later when Marcelo Zalayeta, a late replacement after Antonio Conte pulled a muscle in the warm-up, headed straight at Fabien Barthez from eight yards.

Juventus were growing in confidence, and David Trezeguet should have done better than blast wildly over the bar after Nicky Butt presented him with the ball 25 yards out.

David Beckham lines up for the kick-off
Beckham lined up with two plasters above his eye
United suffered an injury blow six minutes after the interval when Mickael Silvestre, who had fallen awkwardly, was replaced by John O'Shea.

But they should have extended their lead after a moment of controversy on the hour.

Juventus keeper Chimenti risked a red card when he upended Van Nistelrooy as he raced into the penalty area.

Trademark through-ball

Referee Kim Milton Nielsen played advantage as Paul Scholes was left with an open goal, but he fired against the post when it looked easier to score.

United appealed for the spot-kick to be given - and Chimenti to be sent off - but referee Nielsen simply waved play on.

There was an ominous sight for United with eleven minutes left when Scholes limped off with a groin strain, to be replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But their spirits were lifted when Beckham's trademark long ball picked out Van Nistelrooy, who lofted a finish over Chimenti.

Nedved's angled shot crept past Barthez in injury time, but it was not enough to deny United victory.


Manchester United: Barthez, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre (O'Shea 52), Beckham, Keane, Butt, Giggs (Forlan 90), Scholes (Solskjaer 80), van Nistelrooy. Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Phil Neville, Pugh, Fletcher.

Booked: Scholes, Keane.

Juventus: Chimenti, Pessotto, Montero, Ferrara, Zenoni, Nedved, Davids, Tacchinardi, Camoranesi, Trezeguet (Olivera 65), Zalayeta. Subs Not Used: Bonnefoi, Fresi, Paro, Gastaldello.

Booked: Davids, Tacchinardi.

Attendance: 66,703.

Referee: K Nielsen (Denmark).





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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"We are very pleased with that"


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