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BBC Sport's Ron Jones
"Poom was absolutely brilliant"
 real 14k

Sir Alex Ferguson
"It was Jim Smith's day."
 real 56k

Derby boss Jim Smith
"A very vital three points"
 real 56k

Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Rams gatecrash United's title party
Derby striker Malcolm Christie
Christie celebrates his stunning winner
Man Utd 0-1 Derby

Derby County put a dampener on Manchester United's Premiership party and ended their relegation worries with an excellent win at Old Trafford.

United were presented with the title trophy after the game - but the edge was taken off the celebrations by the visitors' smash and grab exercise.

A superb first-half strike by Malcolm Christie was enough to give Derby all three points.

It has been difficult but I never lost belief that we could do it, and to do it at Old Trafford makes it even more special
  Derby County manager Jim Smith
And Jim Smith's men can now look forward to another season in the top flight after becoming only the second team to beat United at home in the league this year.

United pressurised the Derby area early on, keen to get the first goal and start a flurry.

They were rewarded with a couple of corners but it was Derby who had the first real shot on goal, Fabien Barthez saving Christie's tame shot.

Luke Chadwick, operating down the left wing in the place of substitute Ryan Giggs, made several mazy runs of which even the Welshman would have been proud.

  Key moments
15 mins: David Beckham free-kick well saved by Mart Poom
34 mins: Malcolm Christie arrows shot into top corner of United goal
56 mins: Christie misses a sitter

The United player was crudely obstructed by Derby's Youl Mawene after 15 minutes and was awarded a free-kick.

Up stepped David Beckham, who struck a fierce shot that Rams keeper Mart Poom did well to save.

Chadwick then played a clever one-two with Andy Cole in the Derby area but could not keep his shot down.

At the end of the day I think Derby deserved their victory, and I am pleased for Jim Smith
  Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
At the other end, Barthez gave Old Trafford a glimpse of his excellent outfield skills, showing the Derby attack a clean pair of heels which even made Sir Alex Ferguson smile.

But the United keeper could do nothing to stop Christie's stunning strike that gave Derby an unexpected lead after 34 minutes.

The young striker showed wonderful composure to arrow the ball into the top corner and silence the United fans.

Man Utd's Luke Chadwick
Chadwick: A constant threat to Derby defence

A few minutes later, Georgi Kinkladze's shot whizzed past the post as Derby - boosted by the goal - took the game to United.

Just before the interval, the Premiership champions went close to an equaliser with a Nicky Butt effort.

Smith's players came out in the second half aiming to add to their slender lead.

And, except for a Cole header from a Beckham cross, Derby looked the likelier to score.

Indeed they should have been 2-0 up in the 52nd minute.

But goalscorer Christie missed an absolute sitter after Lee Morris had set him up from Kinkladze's excellent through ball.

Man Utd's Nicky Butt tangles with Derby's Rory Delap
Butt tangles with Delap

It was then the turn of Paul Boertien, who beat the United defence but did not find the net.

Giggs was brought on to replace young midfielder Michael Stewart, making only his second senior appearance this season.

And the United star's mere presence gave the home side a lift.

Yet, it was Derby once again who provided the greater attacking menace.

The Argentine Haracio Carbonari struck a fierce free-kick straight at Barthez after Mawene had been fouled outside the area.

Giggs then decided to take the game to Derby and had his goal-bound shot blocked off the line.

Not to be upstaged, Barthez ventured forward in a bid to get United's equaliser.

But Derby survived United's late onslaught to hold on for a well-deserved victory.

Man Utd: Barthez, Irwin, Wallwork, Johnsen, Phil Neville, Beckham, Stewart, Butt, Chadwick, Cole, Sheringham. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Stam, Silvestre, Giggs, Yorke.

Derby: Poom, Riggott, Carbonari, Higginbotham, Mawene, Boertien, Delap, Eranio, Kinkladze, Morris, Christie. Subs: Grant, Bragstad, Jackson, Bolder, Gudjonsson.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)

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