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Sunday, 3 March, 2002, 17:57 GMT
Derby thwart Man Utd
Paul Scholes (centre) scored Man Utd's opening goal
Derby County 2-2 Manchester United
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Derby County fought back to hold Manchester United at Pride Park, but were left ruing a controversial disallowed goal near the end.

Malcolm Christie looked to have snatched a memorable win in injury-time before referee Steve Dunn ruled that the Derby striker had kicked the ball out of Fabien Barthez's hands.

It would have completed a superb hat-trick for the England Under-21 international.

  Key incidents
8 mins: Malcolm Christie puts Derby ahead with a smart finish.
41 mins: Paul Scholes equalises with a side-footed shot.
60 mins: Juan Veron gives United the lead with a brilliant solo effort.
77 mins: Christie sweeps home a Luciano Zavagno cross to equalise for Derby.
90 mins: Christie's goal is disallowed.
Christie had given Derby the lead in the eighth minute before United fought back with goals from Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron.

Christie restored parity 13 minutes from time and the home crowd were celebrating the prospect of an improbable draw, but they ultimately ended up disappointed.

The result leaves United one point clear of Arsenal at the top of the table, while Derby have drawn level on points with Blackburn, who are in 17th.

The Rams, welcoming Fabrizio Ravanelli and Chris Riggott back from suspension, started the game brightly.

And they were rewarded when Christie reacted sharply to a loose ball inside the area and swept home from eight yards.

Yes, it (the goal) should have stood
Sir Alex Ferguson
Man Utd manager
This stirred United into action and the home side were forced to defend desperately for the rest of the half.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit the post with a lunging shot from close range and Derby keeper Andy Oakes did well to save a powerful shot from the edge of the area by Scholes.

But Derby failed to hold on until half-time. Ryan Giggs, who was a constant threat down the left, outstripped Warren Barton and surged into the area before squaring to Scholes, who side-footed home from six yards.

United continued to dominate after the interval. Oakes pushed a Ruud Van Nistelrooy shot onto his post and then tipped a David Beckham effort onto his crossbar before Veron scored for United.

The Argentine collected the ball 35 yards out and evaded two challenges before shooting right-footed past Oakes from the edge of the area.

It was a blatant penalty by Barthez - as Christie came through Barthez punched the back of his head
John Gregory
Derby manager
United appeared to relax after this goal, seemingly content that their work had been done.

They were punished when Derby substitute Lee Morris broke down the left and passed to Luciano Zavagno, who sent in an excellent cross for Christie to sweep home from close range.

Derby could even have taken all three points at the death.

First Christie went down under the challenge of Barthez inside the penalty area and then he snatched the ball from the despairing grasp of United's keeper and slotted home.

The crowd went wild but Dunn disallowed the goal.

Derby: Oakes, Barton, Zavagno, Riggott, Higginbotham, Ducrocq (Morris 63), Kinkladze (Elliott 82), Lee, Boertien, Ravanelli (Strupar 74), Christie.
Subs Not Used: Foletti, Valakari.
Booked: Ducrocq, Zavagno.
Goals: Christie 8, 77.

Man Utd: Barthez, Irwin (O'Shea 84), Gary Neville, Johnsen, Silvestre, Beckham, Scholes, Veron, Giggs (Forlan 80), van Nistelrooy, Solskjaer.
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Butt, Phil Neville.
Goals: Scholes 41, Veron 60.

Att: 33,041.

Ref: S Dunn (Bristol).

BBC Sport's John Southall
"It was a breathtaking afternoon"
Derby boss John Gregory
"That was a 3-2 victory for us, I feel very aggrieved"
See also:

03 Mar 02 |  Photo Galleries
Christie grabs point for Rams
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