Manchester United FC booked their place in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League for the seventh consecutive season following a 3-0 win at Juventus FC in Group D.
Pre-match speculation had centred on whether Roy Keane would play at the back and so it turned out as the United captain lined up alongside Rio Ferdinand. However, an early injury to striker Diego Forlán was the defining moment of the game as the Uruguayan international limped off after only four minutes following a challenge with Ciro Ferrara.
Ferrara comes close
The entry of Giggs certainly changed the complexion of the match, and perhaps the group. On 15 minutes Keane did well to block Marco Di Vaio's shot and from the resulting corner Pavel Nedved's shot was deflected against the post by Ferrara. United launched a counterattack and as Gianluca Zambrotta slipped under a Juan Sebastián Verón challenge, the Argentinian midfield player gathered the ball and played a low cross into the area for Giggs to score.
Zambrotta presented United with an opportunity to double their advantage soon afterwards with a weak chested pass to Gianluigi Buffon who did well to block Ole Gunnar Solskjær's effort.
David Trezeguet appealed for a penalty at the other end after John O'Shea challenged the striker as he was about to volley the ball goalwards, but the referee signalled for a corner. The French international then saw a firm header crash off the crossbar. United almost created a second goal as Nicky Butt found himself free in the area, but the midfield player side-footed his shot against the post.
The match continued to ebb and flow before, with only four minutes remaining in the first half, Giggs produced a moment of magic. Intercepting a loose pass from Antonio Conte, the Welsh international set off on a trademark run which took him past Lilian Thuram, Paolo Montero and then Ferrara before sliding a right-footed shot into the corner of the goal.
However, for United, Giggs's contribution would effectively end there as he was replaced by Ruud van Nistelrooij in the first minute of the second half – and this after Trezeguet had hit a volley over the crossbar following a Marcelo Salas challenge on Fabien Barthez.
Juventus continued to press for the breakthrough that would bring them back into the game, but a freak injury to Ferrara presented United with their third goal on 63 minutes. The former Italy defender was off the field receiving treatment for a head injury inflicted by team-mate Thuram when a long ball found its way through to Igor Tudor, whose attempted back-pass with his midriff came back off the post for Van Nistelrooij to tap in. He will not score a simpler goal all season.
After that Juventus pressed but United, with Keane in majestic form, were never in real danger as they recorded only their second ever win on Italian soil - their first coming against the same opposition en route to winning the Champions League in 1999.
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