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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 20:50 GMT 21:50 UK
Man Utd 3-0 FC Copenhagen
By Phil McNulty

John O'Shea celebrated his goal with Cristiano Ronaldo
John O'Shea celebrated his goal with Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United moved to the brink of qualification for the Champions League knock-out phase with a convincing win against FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford.

Paul Scholes fired United ahead from 25 yards six minutes before the interval.

John O'Shea bundled home seconds after half-time to double United's advantage as Sir Alex Ferguson's side dominated.

FC Copenhagen keeper Jesper Christiansen fumbled substitute Kieran Richardson's long-range shot for the third eight minutes from the end.

United had to make changes just minutes before kick-off when Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs - who had both been named in the starting line-up - were withdrawn.

Ferdinand was suffering from a stiff neck, while Giggs was unwell and moved down to the substitutes' bench.

Wes Brown was drafted in - with Wayne Rooney taking the captain's armband.

Louis Saha had an opportunity to put United ahead within the first minute, but Copenhagen keeper Christiansen set the tone for a performance - that was excellent until his late error - with a brave block.

Have Your Say on 606: Give your thoughts on the match

United were in rampant mood and Rooney almost ended his recent barren sequence in front of goal when he just failed to apply enough of a touch from six yards out to Ronaldo's driven cross.

Copenhagen had adopted a positive approach and former Aston Villa striker Marcus Allback brought a smart save from Edwin van der Sar with a snapshot on the turn.

Christiansen again denied Saha and Michael Carrick before United deservedly took the lead six minutes before half-time.

Saha touched Patrice Evra's pass into the path of Scholes 25 yards out and he drilled a trademark finish past Christiansen.

And the points looked to be sealed seconds after the re-start when O'Shea fortuitously touched home Ronaldo's corner.

Copenhagen's attitude had been commendable, and Van der Sar was forced into another fine save from Atiba Hutchison's angled shot.

Alan Smith came on as a subsitute as he continues his recovery from a broken leg, and he should have lifted his confidence with a goal 15 minutes from time, only to miss an open goal from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's cross.

But United crowned an impressive performance with a third goal eight minutes from time, when Christiansen marred an excellent display by allowing Richardson's tame shot to slide in.

SEE ALSO
Champions League photos
17 Oct 06 |  Football


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