By Jonathan Caswell
Manchester United FC cruised into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory against FC Dinamo Bucuresti, wrapping up a 5-1 aggregate triumph.
An upset never seemed likely as United completely controlled the first half before adding the finishing touches in the second period, Alan Smith scoring twice and David Bellion adding a third goal 20 minutes from time.
United set out their stall, fielding a young and unfamiliar side who looked keen to impress from the first whistle. Only a minute had elapsed when Smith linked up with 18-year-old Chris Eagles, who cut the ball back to Darren Fletcher. His shot was knocked out for a corner, but United's intentions were clear.
The home team built on their purposeful start and had the better of the play, while the Romanian side's players looked accomplished on the ball but lacked a cutting edge, leaving Tim Howard in the United goal a virtual spectator. At the other end, Smith saw his header crash off the crossbar - but the game was still goalless at the break.
Smith broke the deadlock with his third goal of the season two minutes into the second half. A Kleberson cross was deflected into his path by Gheorghe Iordache and Smith pounced on the loose ball. Two minutes later the 23-year-old doubled his tally when the Dinamo defence failed to clear a cross by United captain Gary Neville and Smith lashed the ball into the net.
Florentin Petra could have pulled a goal back when he had time to run at the United defence before shooting just wide. United answered back through French substitute Bellion, who wriggled free from Iordache to finish with aplomb past the helpless Dinamo keeper Cristian Munteanu.
The 21-year-old substitute should have added a fourth for the home side five minutes later. Kleberson cleverly switched play from left to right, picking out Fletcher, whose instant cross was met by Bellion. But his shot sailed high over the bar.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.