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Saturday, 28 September, 2002, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Man Utd see off Charlton
Rufus and Solskjaer tussle for the ball at the Valley
The impressive Rufus holds off Solskjaer
Charlton 1-3 Man Utd

Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooy scored second-half goals as Manchester United came from behind to beat Charlton.

The home team - who have still to win a point at home this season - led at the break thanks to Claus Jensen's brilliant strike.

But United came back strongly in the second half to ensure that they lost no further ground on leaders Arsenal.

  Key moments
21 mins: Rufus clears off the line
43 mins: Jensen scores
54 mins: Scholes equalises
83 mins: Giggs puts United in front
90 mins: Van Nistelrooy scores

Despite the victory it was another inconsistent performance from United, who still lack the zest that characterises their best play.

Charlton will be bitterly disappointed to take nothing from a game in which they played a full part and they continue to hover close to the bottom of the table.


You can't write Manchester United off.
Charlton manager Alan Curbishley

It was Addicks striker Jason Euell who had the first sight of goal, shooting narrowly wide from range in only the second minute.

But the visitors gradually began to assert their authority on the match.

And Scholes - returning after an operation on his knee - almost broke the deadlock after 21 minutes.

He latched on to Giggs' superb reverse pass behind the Addicks defence and slid the ball past Charlton goalkeeper Dean Kiely - but was denied by a brilliant sliding goal-line clearance by Richard Rufus.

Giggs and David Beckham - playing in the middle of the park - both blazed over before Charlton hit United on the counter-attack.

Shaun Bartlett - making his first start since December - cut in from the right and forced a good save from Fabien Barthez with his legs.

Jensen put Charlton in the lead
Jensen scores Charlton's goal
Beckham was inches from giving United the lead shortly before the interval but his free-kick went narrowly wide.

Shortly after Beckham's miss Bartlett was also guilty of spurning a good opportunity, blazing over the bar after shooting on the turn from short range

But by half time Charlton had taken the lead.

Jensen cut inside from the right and, after creating a yard of space, smashed the ball across Barthez and into the top corner.

United pushed forward with real purpose in the early stages of the second half and were soon rewarded with an equaliser.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flicked a long ball into the path of Giggs, who crossed from the left for Scholes to steer the ball home from eight yards.

Giggs, increasingly influential as the match wore on, had opportunities to give United the lead.

He almost scored with a glancing header and forced a good save from Kiely with a driven shot from an acute angle.

And it was Giggs who eventually scored his team's crucial second.

Substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy - who had replaced Diego Forlan - broke down the right and coolly squared the ball for Giggs to wrong-foot the keeper before slotting home.

And with full-time looming Van Nistelrooy scored his team's third, heading home a Giggs cross.


Charlton: Kiely, Young (Johansson 85), Rufus, Fortune, Powell, Robinson, Mustoe (Kishishev 87), Jensen, Konchesky, Euell, Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Fish, Svensson.

Booked: Mustoe, Robinson.

Man Utd: Barthez, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Blanc, Phil Neville, Beckham, Butt (Gary Neville 69), Scholes, Giggs, Solskjaer, Forlan (van Nistelrooy 56).
Subs Not Used: Ricardo, May, Stewart.

Booked: Forlan, Beckham, Phil Neville.

Attendance: 26,630.

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

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BBC Five Live's Nigel Adderley
"The tea cups were likely to be flying at half-time"
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