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Heinze ignites United charge

Published: Thursday 25 August 2005, 0.21CET
Debreceni VSC 0-3 Manchester United FC (agg: 0-6) Gabriel Heinze scores twice as the English team progress smoothly into the group stage.
Published: Thursday 25 August 2005, 0.21CET

Heinze ignites United charge

Debreceni VSC 0-3 Manchester United FC (agg: 0-6) Gabriel Heinze scores twice as the English team progress smoothly into the group stage.

Manchester United FC eased into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League as Argentinian defender Gabriel Heinze struck twice to help the English Premiership side to an emphatic 6-0 aggregate win against Hungary's Debreceni VSC.

Richardson strike
But the game started on a sour note for the visitors as Gary Neville was forced off with torn groin muscle with the game just 13 minutes old. They soon recovered though, and Heinze broke the deadlock with a header just seven minutes later. He added his and United's second on the hour mark before Neville's replacement Kieran Richardson added a late third.

United rattled
United went into the match 3-0 up, but lost their composure when English international Neville was stretchered off early on. Debrecen immediately took control, with Zsombor Kerekes and Tamas Sandor both spurning decent chances.

Rare strike
United offered little in return until a 20th-minute free-kick fell to Heinze at the back post, and now playing at centre-back following Neville's withdrawal, he squeezed the ball home. It was only his second goal for United, and his first since his debut against Bolton Wanderers FC last September, and the strike reinvigorated the visitors.

Tactical change
Alan Smith headed wide from a corner while both he and Cristiano Ronaldo had shots saved before the half ended, but that did not stop Ferguson making more changes at half-time, bringing on young full-back Phil Bardsley for Paul Scholes, allowing Brown and Heinze to revert to their starting roles.

Giggs corner
Unlike the first change, the substitution did not alter the tone of the match. Nor did it detract from Heinze's newfound goalscoring prowess and he added a second on the hour, glancing Ryan Giggs's corner into the net. The defender clearly likes this stadium, having scored on the same ground just seven days earlier in Argentina's friendly with Hungary.

Late injury
Richardson compounded Debrecen's misery five minutes later, controlling a square pass from Ronaldo and blasting a shot beyond Norbert Csernyánszki from the edge of the area. He limped off soon after, and United were forced to complete the game with ten men but Debrecen still could not find an opening, although Tamás Sandor did hit the woodwork.

Thursday draw
The Hungarian side will now have to console themselves with a UEFA Cup berth while United march on, entering Thursday's group stage draw in the top group of seeds.

Last updated: 25/08/05 14.21CET

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