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United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"We were decisive in our passing - there was no hesitation"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"The scoreline was close but the game wasn't"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 01:37 GMT 02:37 UK
Man Utd late show sinks Addicks
Andy Cole and team-mates
Andy Cole's goal got United halfway there
Manchester United 2-1 Charlton

Manchester United bounced back to winning ways after their European slip-up against Bayern by beating Charlton at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men were in no mood to mess about as they edged closer to a third successive Premiership title.

But it took them until the stroke of half-time to score through Andy Cole and they needed a late winner from super-sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to secure the points.

Charlton gave United a fright in between when Mark Fish pulled Alan Curbishley's side level, but in the end the Londoners could hardly complain about the final score.

Ferguson rested David Beckham, making three changes in the process and trying out Paul Scholes in an unfamiliar position wide on the right.


Just before kick-off, Eric Cantona was crowned Manchester United's greatest ever.

Cantona was voted United's best-ever player ahead of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton by readers of the club's official magazine.

United went straight on the attack but the Addicks, who had lost just one of their last 11 league games, weathered the early storm.

The recalled Dwight Yorke wasted a great headed chance from a Gary Neville cross before Mikael Silvestre directed another Neville ball just over the bar.

Yorke did better with a drive, which took a deflection before Sasa Ilic touched it past the post.

Scott Parker almost shocked United when he went close to breaking the deadlock just before the half-hour.

Shaun Bartlett fed the midfielder and, spotting Fabien Barthez off his line, he tried to chip him from 25 yards out only for his effort to come off the crossbar.

Back came United and they had a penalty appeal turned down when Cole's shot clearly hit Fish on the hand during a goalmouth scramble.

United's opening goal was extremely fortunate and referee Mark Halsey must be attributed with an assist for Cole's 45th-minute effort.

Yorke fed Cole who cut inside and when he was tackled by Fish, the ball rebounded off the heel of Halsey back to the striker and he dispatched his 13th goal of the season.

Giggs should have doubled United's advantage soon after the interval when his shot from four yards was cleared off the line by Fish.

Keane was then denied a goal when his drive from just outside the area came off the inside of the post.

Charlton brought on Mark Kinsella and John Robinson for Jensen and Graham Stuart - and the changes inspired a 63rd minute equaliser.

Neville failed to deal with Jonatan Johansson's cross into the box and Fish was on hand to slam in the loose ball from close range.

United were almost back in front seconds later when Neville's deep cross deceived everyone and came off the inside of the post.

With 13 minutes left, United introduced Teddy Sheringham and Solskjaer - and it soon paid off.

Solskjaer fired in his 13th goal of the season to seal a victory which was marred by a late injury to Denis Irwin.

Six more points for Ferguson's side will now be enough to secure the title.

Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Brown, Irwin, Silvestre, Scholes, Butt, Keane, Giggs, Yorke, Cole. Subs: Goram, Beckham, Sheringham, Phil Neville, Solskjaer.

Charlton: Ilic, Kishishev, Powell, Stuart, Rufus, Parker, Todd, Jensen, Johansson, Fish, Bartlett. Subs: Kinsella, Robinson, Konchesky, Svensson, Caig.

Referee: M Halsey (Heartfordshire).

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