Thursday, August 25, 2005

[manchester-united] Digest Number 380

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1. Heinze double leads Manchester United stroll
From: "Stu Sharp" <>


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 08:04:24 +0100
From: "Stu Sharp" <>
Subject: Heinze double leads Manchester United stroll

Fergie Delight As Reds Qualify For Euro Group Stages

Debrecen 0-3 United, Budapest

Fergie delighted after United secure their place in the Champions League
group stages.

Gabriel Heinze helped himself to a couple of goals as Manchester United
breezed into the UEFA Champions League group stage in Budapest on Wednesday

United ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Debrecen to match the first
leg score at Old Trafford and complete a highly satisfactory passage through
to the competition proper.

Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with United's display as they sealed a 6-0
aggregate victory over the Hungarian champions.

"We had to contend with a difficult pitch tonight but our discipline was
very good," explained the Boss after the match.

"We passed the ball well for most of the game and winning 3-0 away from home
is a very good scoreline.

"Gabi's goals were a surprise (!) but you don't care where the goals come
from as long as they come.

"The players were always going to be focused for this match because it's so
important to us and overall I'm very pleased with the result."

Heinze grabbed a goal in each half - both headers - whilst Kieran Richardson
also found the net with a fine low drive.

There was a downside to the evening for United with Gary Neville suffering a
torn groin muscle which Sir Alex predicted could keep him sidelined for up
to five weeks. Richardson was also taken from the field after picking up a
knee injury.

This was the fourth time United had been faced with playing in the
qualifying stage of the Champions League and thanks to their comfortable 3-0
win over Debrecen at Old Trafford they were looking good to maintain their
100 per cent record and complete their passage through to the group stages.

Skipper Roy Keane was given the night off whilst Ryan Giggs, United's
current longest serving player, was drafted in to play his first game of the
season. And there was also a place for Wes Brown, also making his first
appearance of the new campaign.

"We passed the ball well and winning 3-0 away from home is a very good
Sir Alex Ferguson
The vast bowl of the Ferenc Puskas Stadium, formerly the Nep Stadium, was
barely half-full when the game started with United kitted out in their new
all-blue strip.

Debrecen, needing four goals without reply from United to claim their place
in the group stages, started well and could well have claimed a dream early
goal in the 5th minute. Tamas Sandor was presented with a chance right in
front of the posts, but he blazed his shot high over the bar as Heinze dived
in to try and block the Hungarian's effort.

United replied immediately with a promising attack of their own, but then in
the 11th minute they were dealt a blow to their planning. Gary Neville went
down injured near the touchline and was then driven from the field on a golf
cart after failing to respond to treatment.

Kieran Richardson was thrust into action as the back four was reorganised
with Wes Brown moving to right back, Heinze slotting into central defence
and Richardson taking over from the Argentine at left back.

It was a blow for United, but there was better news in the 20th minute when
Heinze joined the attack to put his side into the lead. The goal chance
stemmed from a corner taken by Paul Scholes on the right which found Heinze
at the far post. He was unchallenged and did well to score just inside the
post with a downward header.

Four-nil to the good over the two legs, this tie was as good as over with
seventy minutes to play. Debrecen had a huge task on their hands at
kick-off, but now they were staring at certain elimination from their first
tilt at the Champions League.

United proceeded to approach the game with the attitude of a team that knew
that barring some amazing collapse they were already on course for the group
stages. The Hungarians were stunned by the goal and for the next few minutes
they looked likely to concede again as United took almost total control.

Debrecen did go close to pulling one goal back on the stroke of half-time
after Heinze had fouled Sandor on the edge of the box. The Debrecen player
took the free-kick himself, lashing a low shot which was stopped on the line
by Edwin van der Sar's diving save. It was a terrific piece of work from the
Dutch keeper, which preserved United's one goal lead on the night at the
half way stage.

The defence was further restructured during the half-time with young
Salfordian Phil Bardsley taking his place in the back four whilst Richardson
was to play the second half in a more familiar midfield slot. Scholes was
the United player to stay in the dressing room. Debrecen also showed one
change as the second half started with Bojan Brnovic taking over from Igor

A lovely reverse pass from Dragan Brnovic sent Brnovic away in the 57th
minute, but just as quickly as the Debrecen fans' hopes were raised they
were dashed as van der Sar raced from his line to take the ball off
Brnovic's toes.

It was to prove Debrecen's last real hope of making any real mark on this
European tie. Less than ten minutes later and United were home and dry with
time to spare. Two goals in the space of five minutes from Heinze (60th
minute header from Giggs' free-kick) and Richardson (blistering low drive)
put United six goals clear on aggregate.

Richardson's joy was short-lived for a few minutes later when he was the
second United player to take the golf cart journey to the touchline after
suffering a knee injury. He spent the remainder of the match on the bench
having ice applied to the injury.

The draw for the group stage takes place in Monte Carlo on Thursday

DEBRECEN: Csernyanszki; Kiss, Halmosi, Eger, Dombi (Szatmari, 57); Vukmir,
Mate, Sandor, Boor (Madar, 78); Kerekes, Bogdanovic (Brnovic, 46).
Substitutes: Tomic, Komlosi, Bernath, Jeremias.

MANCHESTER UNITED: van der sar; Neville (Richardson, 13), Ferdinand, Brown,
Heinze; Ronaldo, Fletcher (Miller, 61),
Scholes (Bardsley, 46), Smith, Giggs; van Nistelrooy.
Substitutes: Howard, Rooney, Park, Pique.

Report by Cliff Butler.

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