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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Charlton 0-3 Man Utd
By Howard Nurse

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer crowned Man Utd's victory
Rampant Manchester United maintained their stunning start to the season against Charlton at The Valley.

Darren Fletcher capitalised on an error by Addicks defender Jon Fortune to smash home the opener after half-time.

United carved out the best chances - and hit the woodwork three times - but Charlton twice had penalty appeals turned down by referee Chris Foy.

Louis Saha made it 2-0 from 20 yards before substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slotted in the third at the death.

United, who have hit eight goals in their two opening games, were never short of options in attack despite being without suspended duo Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes.

Saha led the attack on his own, supported from the flanks by the lively Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo.

606 VIEW

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson drafted in Fletcher, Mikael Silvestre and Park Ji-Sung, while Iain Dowie took charge of his first home game, bringing in Fortune for the suspended Djimi Traore.

Ronaldo, who was jeered by the Charlton fans from the start, raised a cheer from the home faithful by firing wildly off target in the seventh minute.

Park should have broke the deadlock when he was picked out unmarked inside the box by Rio Ferdinand. He spun quickly but drilled a low shot straight at Carson, who was making his home debut for Charlton after signing on loan from Liverpool.

Charlton survived again when Giggs struck the post direct from a 20-yard free-kick but then had appeals for a penalty rejected when the ball appeared to strike Patrice Evra's arm.

Giggs forced an excellent save from Carson just before the interval when the Welshman weaved his way into a great position on the left and curled a shot which the keeper did well to parry away.

Ronaldo blasted the ball against the crossbar seconds later from 25 yards, leaving Charlton relieved to go in on level terms at the break.

United went ahead on 49 minutes after Fortune made a hash of clearing Park's speculative cross from the right, allowing Fletcher to coolly take control before firing an unstoppable shot into the net.

Sir Alex's side turned up the pressure as they sought to kill the game off and Ronaldo's trickery on the left ended with Park slamming the ball against the post.

Charlton should have been awarded a penalty on the hour when Wes Brown went up for a header in a penalty-box scramble only for the ball to strike his arm.

United gave 18m signing Michael Carrick his debut for the final 14 minutes after his recovery from injury and he set up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was denied by a brilliant Carson save.

The ever-popular Solskjaer rounded off a superb night for United when he sidefooted in the third from Saha's cross for his first Premiership goal in three injury-hit years.

  • Charlton manager Iain Dowie:
    "We lost against a very good Manchester United side who kept the ball better than we did.

    "We didn't make enough effort in passing the ball, which we had talked about before the game, and we switched off at key defensive moments.

    "We did not press them enough, and they've got players that can hurt you."

  • Man Utd assistant boss Carlos Queiroz on Solskjaer's goal:
    "He came with confidence and he is again the player he used to be.

    "That is great news for us and for all the supporters.

    "We played well very and showed a great attitude and determination."

    Charlton: Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Hughes, Holland, Faye (Rommedahl 82), Ambrose, Hasselbaink (Marcus Bent 65), Darren Bent.
    Subs Not Used: Myhre, Kishishev, Lisbie.

    Booked: Hreidarsson.

    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Evra, Fletcher, Park (Carrick 77), O'Shea, Giggs (Solskjaer 82), Saha, Ronaldo.
    Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Rossi, Richardson.

    Booked: Brown.

    Goals: Fletcher 49, Saha 80, Solskjaer 90.

    Att: 25,422.

    Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).


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