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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 August, 2004, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
D Bucharest 1-2 Man Utd
Angelo Alistar after his own goal gives Man Utd the lead
Manchester United survived an early scare to emerge as favourites to progress from their Champions League qualifying tie with Dinamo Bucharest.

United fell behind in the 10th minute through a Quinton Fortune own goal.

Just before the interval United drew level after Ryan Giggs rounded Vladimir Gaev and slid the ball into the net.

United were more cohesive after the break, Alan Smith hitting the post before Angelo Alistar scored an own goal after Liam Miller had crossed.

Despite their lengthy injury list, Sir Alex Ferguson was still able to field 11 internationals, with the United manager opting to deploy Roy Keane as a central defender and John O'Shea in midfield.

United's team shape might have been unfamiliar, but their problems in a fraught opening period were more to do with a lack of sharpness - Dinamo were quicker in the tackle and their passing was equally brisk.

Initially Keane had real problems dealing with Claudiu Niculescu, a player with quick feet and lots of pace, who at every opportunity looked to test the United defence.

In the fourth minute United's nerves were ruffled when Tim Howard spilt a low free-kick from Niculescu after Darren Fletcher fouled Dorin Semeghin, though Liviu Ciobotariu was unable to turn the rebound home.

In the 10th minute Niculescu, this time in open play, fired in a low cross that evaded Howard and landed at the feet of Danciulescu.

The Dinamo striker was unable to force the ball home, only managing to touch it back to Fortune, who inadvertently miskicked into his own net.

Midway through the first half Niculescu's reserve pass sent Semeghin clear, but Keane was quick to clear the danger.

Gradually United began to gain a foothold in the game and on 38 minutes Giggs equalised after the Welshman had initiated a move that started deep in the visitors half.

Eventually Scholes fed the ball to Giggs, who carried the ball past Dinamo goalkeeper Gaev, before sliding his shot home.

Emboldened by Giggs' goal, United emerged a more potent force after the break.

Smith also began to come into the game and he was unlucky when his low shot rebounded off the inside of the post.

Midway through the half, Ferguson introduced Miller, who was making his competitive debut for United.

The former Celtic player quickly made his mark drilling the ball across the penalty area from the right, a cross that was turned past Gaev by the hapless Alistar.


Dinamo Bucuresti: Gaev, Ciobotariu (Galamaz 29), Alistar, Iordache, Balan (Baltoi 79), Margaritescu (Goian 53), Tames, Semeghin, Petre, Niculescu, Danciulescu.
Subs Not Used: Matache, Irimia, Pacurar, Vlad Munteanu.

Goals: Fortune 10 og.

Man Utd: Howard, Gary Neville, O'Shea, Silvestre, Fortune, Fletcher (Miller 67), Keane, Djemba-Djemba, Giggs (Phil Neville 81), Scholes (Forlan 90), Smith.
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Eagles, Richardson, Spector.

Booked: Smith, Scholes, Silvestre, Gary Neville.

Goals: Giggs 38, Alistar 72 og.

Att: 58,000.

Ref: Paulo Manuel Gomes Costa (Portugal).




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