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United victory ends Old Trafford jinx

Published: Wednesday 13 November 2002, 23.00CET
Manchester United FC 2-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen United top Group F after a convincing home victory.

Match statistics

Man. UnitedLeverkusen

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
4
Attempts off target3
 
10
Corners7
 
5
Offsides4
 
2
Fouls committed13
 
12
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 13 November 2002, 23.00CET

United victory ends Old Trafford jinx

Manchester United FC 2-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen United top Group F after a convincing home victory.

Manchester United FC finally brought to an end the jinx that had seen them fail to beat German opposition at Old Trafford in 36 years, defeating Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-0 in their UEFA Champions League Group F encounter, thanks to goals from Juan Sebastián Verón and Ruud van Nistelrooij. The result also confirmed United as section winners, and they will now be among the top seeds for Friday's second group stage draw.

Strong lineup
Both sides were already guaranteed to qualify before kick-off, but United manager Sir Alex Ferguson opted to field a strong side after the disappointment of losing 3-1 to Manchester City FC in the Premiership last weekend. He recalled captain David Beckham after domestic suspension, also granting winger Quinton Fortune and goalkeeper Ricardo López rare starts. Leverkusen coach Klaus Toppmöller was more experimental, and handed the suspended Yildiray Bastürk's playmaking reins to Czech youngster Jan Šimák.

Van Nistelrooij chances
The first half was certainly an open encounter with both sides looking to get forward at every opportunity. Van Nistelrooij could have had a hat-trick in the first ten minutes, but he spurned chance after chance with Leverkusen's defence struggling to adjust.

Penalty miss
Despite this early flurry from the hosts, it was Leverkusen who really found their tempo, aggressively breaking down United's forays forward before attacking in waves. This tactic was rewarded on 16 minutes when Thomas Brdaric was put clean through on goal, only to be hauled down by Ricardo López in the box. Penalty duties were handed to Šimák, but he blasted his effort over the bar.

Beckham dangerous
Yet United recovered their composure and, through Beckham's crosses, looked the more likely scorers as half-time approached. On three occasions he had Hans-Jörg Butt flustered, but the finishes did not match the delivery. The 1999 winners did take the lead before the break, however. Van Nistelrooij held the ball up well on the edge of the box, before teeing up Verón. The midfield player chipped the ball up before volleying accurately into the far side of the net.

United make it two
The second half continued as the first had ended, with United continuing to apply increasing pressure. However, it was not until 69 minutes that they got any reward; and some reward it was. Verón's pass was dummied by Scholes, and Van Nistelrooij latched on to it to score through Butt's legs.

Sour note
That excellent goal was almost bettered by a move on 79 minutes as Paul Scholes found space on the right. His excellent cross floated to Verón, but his diving header was well saved by Butt. The one sour note for United was the late injury to Rio Ferdinand. The England defender seemed to pull a muscle in his right leg and limped off with six minutes remaining.

Last updated: 14/11/02 4.29CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2002/matches/round=1636/match=1036521/postmatch/report/index.html#united+victory+ends+old+trafford+jinx

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

leverkusen

Leverkusen

19
Ricardo LópezRicardo López (GK)
Yellow Card16
1
ButtJörg Butt (GK)
4
VerónJuan Verón
Goal42
6
ŽivkovićBoris Živković
5
BlancLaurent Blanc
Substitution77
8
ŠimákJan Šimák
Penalty17
Yellow Card40
6
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
12
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
Substitution62
7
BeckhamDavid Beckham (C)
Substitution78
13
BierofkaDaniel Bierofka
Substitution78
10
Van NistelrooyRuud van Nistelrooy
Goal69
14
BalitschHanno Balitsch
Substitution81
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
Substitution81
19
BabićMarko Babić
18
ScholesPaul Scholes
23
BrdaricThomas Brdaric
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
26
SebescenZoltán Sebescen
Yellow Card87
25
FortuneQuinton Fortune
28
RamelowCarsten Ramelow (C)
27
SilvestreMikaël Silvestre
47
KleineThomas Kleine
Yellow Card8

Substitutes

13
CarrollRoy Carroll (GK)
20
JuricFrank Juric (GK)
2
G. NevilleGary Neville
Substitution77
2
PreussChristoph Preuss
Substitution81
3
P. NevillePhil Neville
11
FrançaFrança
Substitution62
15
ChadwickLuke Chadwick
Substitution81
33
DzakaAnel Dzaka
20
SolskjærOle Gunnar Solskjær
Substitution78
34
DoganHüzefeye Dogan
Substitution78
21
ForlánDiego Forlán
46
BozicMile Bozic
40
NardielloDaniel Nardiello
51
El KasmiNasir El Kasmi

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) Klaus Toppmöller (GER)

Referee

Vladimir Hrinak (SVK)

Assistant referees

Lubomir Suchy (SVK), Ivan Bartos (SVK)

Fourth official

Pavel Olšiak (SVK)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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