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Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson
"We have no complaints with the result"
 real 14k

banner Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
United run ragged by King Kezman
Paul Scholes fires United in front
Paul Scholes fires United ahead from the penalty spot
PSV Eindhoven 3-1 Manchester United

Manchester United were torn to shreds by the striking genius of Mateja Kezman as PSV Eindhoven came from behind to win in style.

Kezman tormented United's weakened midfield and ripped their creaking defence to shreds as PSV raced to the top of Group G, with United dropping to third.

United made a dream start - and for Paul Scholes it marked a dream return to the Philips Stadium.

The lively midfielder netted within three minutes of England's Euro 2000 clash with Portugal on his previous visit to the venue and repeated the trick against PSV.

Just 100 seconds had ticked by when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was bundled over by goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus and Scholes made no mistake from the penalty spot, firing into the top left-hand corner to put United in front.

It was the perfect opening for a young United side, which was considerably weakened by Alex Ferguson's desire to rest his midfield creative department of David Beckham and Ryan Giggs and in-form striker Andy Cole.

Mateja Kezman
Mateja Kezman ran United ragged with a dazzling display

But it could have been even better had Cole's replacement Dwight Yorke not wasted a glorious chance on seven minutes, blazing a shot over the bar after Solskjaer had headed down Nicky Butt's cross.

Had that chance gone in, United would surely have been coasting, but the Dutch side weathered the early storm and turned the tie on its head as they took control in midfield.

They were back on level terms just 10 minutes after Yorke's crucial miss, Phil Neville completely misjudging a long ball over the top, allowing Wilfred Bouma to run clear and fire a low shot past Raimond Van Der Gouw, with Neville tugging at the Dutchman's shirt in total desperation.

That despair was heightened seven minutes before half time when United's patchwork quilt of a defence ripped at the seams as Mateja Kezman played Mark van Bommel into space, the skipper making no mistake with a shot through Van Der Gouw's legs.

The second half was disappointing with naivety in defending. In the first half I thought we played well. We have four points, and 10 will get us through
  Sir Alex Ferguson

Kezman's wizardry was proving too much for United to handle and he made a mockery of Ferguson's tactical line-up as he turned the second half into a one-man show.

Creaking defence

The Yugoslav star should have made it 3-1 within three minutes of the restart when United's creaking defence appealed in vain for offside as Kezman ran clear, only to slide his shot wide of the far post.

But he made no mistake on 63 minutes with the goal of the game.

Mikael Silvestre blocked Kezman's path to goal, but it proved a minor obstacle to the PSV star, who eased past Silvestre with a drop of the shoulder and then rifled a blistering shot into the roof of the net beyond a stunned Van Der Gouw.

Arnold Bruggink wasted a glorious chance to hit a fourth just seconds later when he blazed wide after Wes Brown had blocked his initial effort.

PSV's dominance continued on 67 minutes when Kezman had the ball in the back of the net, only to see his effort harshly ruled out for offside, a let off which finally prompted Ferguson to shuffle his pack.

Giggs and Beckham were introduced at the expense of Silvestre and Scholes, with Ronnie Wallwork handed his European debut in place of the tiring Jonathan Greening.

But even that failed to spark lacklustre United, although Butt came agonisingly close to grabbing a lifeline when his header was bundled off the line by Jan Heintze following Giggs' cross.

PSV even had the luxury of bringing Kezman off to a huge ovation with six minutes left and United's woeful night was soured even further in the dying moments when Beckham was booked for persistent dissent.

PSV: Waterreus, Heintze, Nikiforov, Hofland, van der Weerden, Bouma, van Bommel, Vogel, van der Doelen, Kezman, Bruggink. Subs: Lodewijks, Ooijer, Dirkx, Kolkka, de Jong, Lucius, Rommedahl.

Man Utd: Van Der Gouw, Silvestre, Brown, G. Neville, P. Neville, Butt, Keane, Scholes, Greening, Yorke, Solskjaer. Subs: Bosnich, Johnsen, Wallwork, Giggs, Beckham, Cole, Sheringham.

Referee: Markus Merk (Germany).

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