Manchester United FC 3-0 Boavista FC
. Two goals from Ruud van Nistelrooij helped a much-improved Manchester United FC ease past Boavista FC in their UEFA Champions League Group A meeting at Old Trafford stadium.
The Dutch forward struck 15 minutes either side of half-time as United swept aside their Portuguese opponents with a blend of quick movement and incisive passing. But although United dominated the game, both sides had let slip a string of chances before Van Nistelrooij opened the scoring.
Trio go close
Boavista's trio of Silva, Duda and Petit all tested United's French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez inside a frantic first ten minutes, and Juan Sebastián Veron twice went close for the hosts.
First Veron tried a curling effort from 20 metres that tested Ricardo Soares in the visitors' goal. Then Laurent Blanc, arguably having his best game in a United shirt, turned defence into attack with a vital interception on the edge of his own area. The ball was threaded forward to Van Nistelrooij, who in turn found Dwight Yorke. The 30-year-old striker laid the ball off for Veron, whose searing drive whistled over the Portuguese side's crossbar.
By now the warning bells were ringing for the visitors and they were sliced apart on the half hour when Philip Neville and Veron exchanged passes on the right and the defender delivered a square ball into the penalty area. Van Nistelrooij advanced to side-foot the ball underneath Soares from six metres out and put United into the lead.
Blanc on target
Ten minutes after half-time Veron's corner from the right was met by the unmarked Blanc six metres out and the Frenchman headed the ball inside the far post to double United's lead.
United went three goals ahead five minutes later after Yorke gained possession on the halfway line and surged forward, stretching a flat Boavista defence. Yorke timed a through-ball for Van Nistelrooij, who nudged the ball forward and looked up before despatching an angled shot past Soares and just inside the far post.