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Stubborn United hold out

Published: Wednesday 22 October 2003, 23.18CET
Rangers FC 0-1 Manchester United FC Phil Neville's fifth-minute goal proves decisive at Ibrox.

Match statistics

RangersMan. United

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target7
 
5
Attempts off target8
 
3
Corners4
 
5
Offsides1
 
3
Fouls committed8
 
13
Yellow cards0
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

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

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 22 October 2003, 23.18CET

Stubborn United hold out

Rangers FC 0-1 Manchester United FC Phil Neville's fifth-minute goal proves decisive at Ibrox.

By Alex O'Henley at Ibrox

A goal by Phil Neville gave Sir Alex Ferguson a record 50th UEFA Champions League win as Manchester United FC beat Rangers FC in Group E at Ibrox.

Emotional return
Ferguson was making an emotional return to the club he played for in the late 1960s, now managed by one of his former players at Aberdeen FC, Alex McLeish. It was billed as the clash of the British champions, but in the end United had to cling on to their slender lead as Rangers launched wave after wave of attacks.

Early advantage
United got off to a fantastic start with a goal as early as the fifth minute. Ruud van Nistelrooij picked out a run from Phil Neville midway inside the Rangers half and the midfield player evaded a couple of half-hearted tackles on the edge of the box, kept his balance and shot low past Stefan Klos in the Rangers goal.

Giggs miss
The early strike settled the Premiership champions and silenced the 52,000-strong Ibrox crowd. Van Nistelrooij and Ryan Giggs were linking well for United up front and the Welsh international winger squandered a good opportunity in the eighth minute.

Rangers press
There were loud appeals for a Rangers penalty in the 14th minute when Paolo Vanoli appeared to be tripped in the United box - but the Swedish referee, Anders Frisk, waved away the claims. Peter Lovenkrands threatened again minutes later when he picked up a clever ball from Mikel Arteta - but his well-struck shot went straight into the arms of the United goalkeeper, Tim Howard.

Further chances
The duo combined moments later but this time Lovenkrands wasted the opportunity by blazing his shot high over the bar. Vanoli was the next to squander a good chance for the home side in the 27th minute. United failed to clear their lines from a corner and despite having the goal at his mercy, the Italian failed to hit the target from six metres out.

Howard alert
With half-time approaching, Lovenkrands launched a left-foot shot from 30 metres and Howard had to be alert to tip it over the bar. From the corner United broke downfield and, had Giggs been more accurate with his final pass, Van Nistelrooij would have been through on goal, but Michael Ball intercepted to clear the danger.

Arteta heroics
United should have gone further ahead right on half-time. A Giggs corner was met by Mikaël Silvestre in front of goal but Arteta cleared his header off the line.

Scholes invention
The second half started with Rangers pushing United back without creating any clear-cut chances. United were proving dangerous on the break and Van Nistelrooij should have done better in the 52nd minute. A slide-rule pass from Paul Scholes found the Dutch international in a good position but his mis-hit shot went wide of Klos's left-hand post.

Ferdinand saviour
Rangers should have equalised four minutes later. A last-ditch tackle by Rio Ferdinand blocked a shot from Lovenkrands and from the resulting corner the winger headed straight at Howard.

Tense climax
The last 15 minutes were tense for United as they tried to protect their lead against a barrage of Rangers attacks. Lovenkrands had another good chance in the final minutes, drifting in from the left past Gary Neville - but his shot went just wide of Howard's left-hand post. It was a tale of missed chances for the home side and United will be relieved to have left Ibrox with all three points.

Last updated: 23/10/03 10.09CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1712/match=1056838/postmatch/report/index.html#stubborn+united+hold

Lineups

rangers

Rangers

man. united

Man. United

1
KlosStefan Klos (GK)
14
HowardTim Howard (GK)
2
RicksenFernando Ricksen
2
G. NevilleGary Neville
3
MooreCraig Moore (C)
3
P. NevillePhil Neville
Goal5
Substitution86
7
S. ArveladzeShota Arveladze
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
10
MolsMichael Mols
10
Van NistelrooyRuud van Nistelrooy
15
KhizanishviliZurab Khizanishvili
Substitution86
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
16
VanoliPaolo Vanoli
Substitution67
16
KeaneRoy Keane (C)
18
BallMichael Ball
18
ScholesPaul Scholes
Yellow Card73
23
ArtetaMikel Arteta
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
Yellow Card1
25
BergHenning Berg
25
FortuneQuinton Fortune
Substitution90+4
26
LøvenkrandsPeter Løvenkrands
27
SilvestreMikaël Silvestre

Substitutes

22
A. McGregorAllan McGregor (GK)
13
CarrollRoy Carroll (GK)
4
EmersonEmerson
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
8
NerlingerChristian Nerlinger
Substitution67
8
ButtNicky Butt
Substitution86
9
ØstenstadEgil Østenstad
12
BellionDavid Bellion
20
CapuchoCapucho
19
Djemba-DjembaEric Djemba-Djemba
Substitution90+4
21
RossMaurice Ross
Substitution86
21
ForlánDiego Forlán
27
HughesStephen Hughes
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher

Coach

Alexander Mcleish (SCO) Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO)

Referee

Anders Frisk (SWE)

Assistant referees

Kenneth Petersson (SWE), Peter Ekström (SWE)

Fourth official

Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

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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