The official website for European football

Ronaldo underlines United authority

Published: Wednesday 28 November 2007, 0.22CET
Manchester United FC 2-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo proved the nemesis of his old club once again with a late winner.
by Simon Hart
from Manchester
Ronaldo underlines United authority
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his late winner with Anderson ©Getty Images

Match statistics

Man. UnitedSporting

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target6
 
3
Attempts off target10
 
3
Corners7
 
3
Offsides1
 
4
Fouls committed12
 
17
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:22 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 28 November 2007, 0.22CET

Ronaldo underlines United authority

Manchester United FC 2-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo proved the nemesis of his old club once again with a late winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo proved the nemesis of his old club Sporting Clube de Portugal once again as his injury-time free-kick completed a 2-1 comeback victory for Manchester United FC at Old Trafford. In the process, the Portugal winger – scorer of the only goal when the teams met in Lisbon in September – secured first place in Group F for United, this fifth straight victory leaving them five points clear of AS Roma.

Sporting eliminated
Yet it was not a straightforward success for United, who trailed at half-time to defender Abel's spectacular effort from the right wing. United levelled in the 61st minute through Carlos Tévez and for Sporting this defeat, together with Roma's win in Kiev, confirms their elimination from the competition. However, while they may rue dropping points at the death for the second successive match, Sporting at least have the consolation of knowing third place, and a berth in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, is theirs.

First blood
Speaking before the game, Sir Alex Ferguson had reflected how "some teams come to Old Trafford inspired but some teams come and freeze"; Sporting belonged firmly in the former category. Paulo Bento's men had the first effort of note after 12 minutes when João Moutinho dragged a shot wide of the far post and although Louis Saha was equally profligate after Ronaldo's delightful flick had sent him clear, the visitors drew first blood in the 21st minute. It was a goal out of nothing, Sporting working the ball, via Miguel Veloso, from the left to the right flank where full-back Abel advanced into a crossing position. Rather than deliver a centre, Abel, after a quick look across, rifled the ball with deadly precision inside the near post to leave goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak red-faced. Not a bad way to score your first UEFA Champions League goal.

United changes
Sporting's travelling supporters thought they had a second when, from a half-cleared free-kick, the impressive Anderson Polga fired the ball back towards goal and Liedson stabbed it past Kuszczak, only to be denied by the assistant's flag. With United players surrendering possession with uncharacteristic ease, Sporting remained in the ascendancy. Polga hooked a shot at Kuszczak following another corner while at the other end, Sporting's players worked overtime to deny United space. To counter this, Sir Alex made changes for the second half, sending on Ryan Giggs and Tévez in place of Darren Fletcher and Nani and switching from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2.

Pressure tells
The improvement was immediate and chances soon came. Ronaldo just failed to connect cleanly with Giggs's free-kick, then Saha dwelt too long on the ball when teed up by Ronaldo. Although Nemanja Vidić headed narrowly wide, the pressure eventually told. Following Patrice Evra's trademark surge into the box, Saha laid the ball back to Ronaldo and his low shot was deflected into the net off a combination of Tévez and visiting defender Marián Had. United sought a second but Rui Patrício, showing no signs of stage fright on his European debut, saved with his feet from both Ronaldo and substitute Owen Hargreaves. Veloso threatened with a long-range attempt on to the top of the net for Sporting, yet the traffic was now one-way and United got their reward when Ronaldo arrowed the dead ball inexorably beyond Rui Patrício.

Last updated: 28/11/07 2.31CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15105/match=301234/postmatch/report/index.html#ronaldo+underlines+united+authority

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

sporting

Sporting

29
KuszczakTomasz Kuszczak (GK)
1
Rui PatrícioRui Patrício (GK)
3
EvraPatrice Evra
Yellow Card83
3
HadMarián Had
Yellow Card47
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand (C)
4
PolgaAnderson Polga
Yellow Card88
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Yellow Card80
Goal90+2
7
IzmailovMarat Izmailov
Substitution82
8
AndersonAnderson
9
PurovićMilan Purović
Substitution82
9
SahaLouis Saha
Substitution79
13
TonelTonel
15
VidićNemanja Vidić
24
Miguel VelosoMiguel Veloso
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
28
João MoutinhoJoão Moutinho (C)
17
NaniNani
Substitution46
30
RomagnoliLeandro Romagnoli
Substitution68
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
31
LiedsonLiedson
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
Substitution46
78
AbelAbel
Goal21

Substitutes

1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK)
16
TiagoTiago (GK)
4
HargreavesOwen Hargreaves
Substitution79
6
Adrien SilvaAdrien Silva
6
BrownWes Brown
10
VukčevićSimon Vukčević
Substitution68
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
Substitution46
21
FarnerudPontus Farnerud
Substitution82
19
PiquéGerard Piqué
25
PereirinhaBruno Pereirinha
Substitution82
25
SimpsonDanny Simpson
26
GladstoneGladstone
32
TévezCarlos Tévez
Substitution46
Goal61
58
Luis PáezLuis Páez

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) Paulo Bento (POR)

Referee

Claus Bo Larsen (DEN)

Assistant referees

Bill René Hansen (DEN), Henrik Sønderby (DEN)

Fourth official

Nicolai Vollquartz (DEN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.