Wednesday, August 10, 2005

[manchester-united] Digest Number 377

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1. Rampant Rs rout Debrecen
From: "Stu Sharp" <>


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 07:56:37 +0100
From: "Stu Sharp" <>
Subject: Rampant Rs rout Debrecen

Three R's Give Reds The Perfect Start

Barring some kind of cataclysmic upset, Manchester United should have their
passage to the UEFA Champions League group stage rubber-stamped in Budapest
in a fortnight's time.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team put themselves well on course to the next phase
with a comfortable 3-0 win over Debrecen at Old Trafford tonight (Tuesday)
and will travel to the Hungarian capital brimming with confidence of
completing the job.

United started the evening in sparkling fashion, an early spell that was
decorated by Wayne Rooney's 7th minute goal. It was a cracking opening to
the game and there was the feeling that Old Trafford may be in for a
European deluge of goals.

Sadly for the watching thousands, that didn't materialize, but United did
grab two further goals after the break, from Ruud van Nistelrooy and
Cristiano Ronaldo, to prevent any talk of a second leg fight-back from the

United played some terrific football in patches, chiefly from Rooney and
Ronaldo, and had to quell a mid-match resurgence from the visitors but in
the end they could be well satisfied with a good evening's endeavours.

There was something in the region of 50,000 inside Old Trafford when the
game started with United defending the Stretford End.

United were, with the exception of Ryan Giggs and Gabriel Heinze, pretty
well at full strength against the Champions of Hungary. Edwin van der Sar,
the goalkeeper signed from Fulham in the summer, was in the side to make his
competitive debut.

This was the seventh time United had faced Hungarian opposition in European
competition spanning forty years.

Ferencvaros, Raba Vasas, Videoton, Pecsi Munkas, Honved and Zalaegerszeg had
all visited Old Trafford during that time, but none had managed a victory.
In fact, each and every one of them were beaten in Manchester, while
Ferencvaros and Videoton were the only sides to get the better of United

Zalaegerszeg defeated United 1-0 in the third qualifying round, first leg,
two years ago, but that was well and truly wiped out in the return with
United winning 5-0.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side started with a real spring in their step, taking
the game to Debrecen from the first whistle. The Hungarians, donned in
pristine all-white, were immediately pushed back into their own half as the
Reds went looking for the early opener.

It was all United in the first few minutes and it came as no real surprise
when they grabbed a precious early goal. It was another fine attack which
had the Debrecen defence at sixes and sevens. The ball appeared to be on its
way to Ruud van Nistelrooy, but instead it struck a Debrecen defender and
fell to the feet of Wayne Rooney. Croxteth's finest instinctively hit the
ball goalbound and to his delight it beat the keeper and found the net just
inside the post.

It was just what the doctor ordered and had the crowd buzzing in the
expectancy of a goal rush.

Cristiano Ronaldo had looked lively and inventive in the opening spell and
he was unlucky, in the 21st minute, not to double United's advantage after a
mazy run had taken him into the visitors' penalty area.

United began the game in a fashion that suggested that they would have this
tie as good as wrapped up before half-time in this, the first leg. But the
Reds, for a reason best known to themselves, took their feet off the gas
and the Hungarians at the same time began to become slightly more

Debrecen carried over their new-found confidence into the second half and
proceeded to make a couple of decent chances before United had settled.

Briefly, it looked possible that the Hungarians may be about to force their
way back into the game, but that notion was scrubbed out four minutes into
the half when Rooney set-up strike partner van Nistelrooy to fire home
United's second goal.

Debrecen were stunned by that goal. Particularly after their bright start to
the second half, but worst was to follow for the Magyars. The goal had put
United firmly back on course and in the 63rd minute, Rooney got behind the
Debrecen defence before slipping the ball to Ronaldo, who slid home the
third goal.

That was game, set and match as far as the tie was concerned for despite
their brief encouraging spells, Debrecen rarely looked like troubling United
and there was little to suggest that they could pose any more of a threat
when the tie reconvenes in Budapest.

Sir Alex Ferguson must have been happy with the state of play for he took
the opportunity to send on new signing Park Ji-Sung, Alan Smith and starlet
Giuseppe Rossi.

Both sides seemed to call it a day in the closing stages as the game petered
out. United were well satisfied with their three-goal cushion to take to the
second leg in Budapest, whilst the Hungarian champions could be somewhat
relieved to get off with a 3-0 defeat after United's early dominance had
threatened to engulf them.

The return should be something of a formality for United as they set
themselves up for another tilt at the continent's biggest prize.

United: van der Sar; Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea; Fletcher,
Scholes, Keane (Park, 67), Ronaldo (Smith, 67), van Nistelrooy (Rossi, 82).
Substitutes: Howard, Heinze, Miller, Richardson.

Debrecen: Csernyanszki; Nikolov, Mate, Eger, Szathari; Dombi (Boar, 85),
Sandor, Halmosi; Bogdanovic (Kiss, 60), Kerekes (Sidibe, 52).
Substitutes: Tomic, Madar, Kmlosi, Bernath.

Attendance: 51,701

Report by Cliff Butler

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