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United show of strength flattens Celtic

Published: Wednesday 22 October 2008, 0.46CET
Manchester United FC 3-0 Celtic FC
Two predatory strikes from Dimitar Berbatov moved United on to seven points in Group E, with Wayne Rooney's late effort sealing a routine win.
by Simon Hart
from Old Trafford
United show of strength flattens Celtic
Dimitar Berbatov got the first two goals at Old Trafford ©Getty Images

Match statistics

Man. UnitedCeltic

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
2
Attempts off target8
 
2
Corners12
 
5
Offsides1
 
1
Fouls committed14
 
18
Yellow cards0
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

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

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 22 October 2008, 0.46CET

United show of strength flattens Celtic

Manchester United FC 3-0 Celtic FC
Two predatory strikes from Dimitar Berbatov moved United on to seven points in Group E, with Wayne Rooney's late effort sealing a routine win.

Dimitar Berbatov struck twice as Manchester United FC moved a step closer to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Celtic FC.

Air of inevitability
Once Bulgaria forward Berbatov had broken the deadlock on the half-hour there was an air of inevitability about the outcome of this one-sided Anglo-Scottish contest, and he duly added his fourth goal in two UEFA Champions League outings after the interval, before Wayne Rooney rounded off the scoring with 14 minutes remaining. United proceeded to seven points at the Group E summit, leaving Celtic with just a point to their name and plenty of soul-searching to do before the teams meet again in a fortnight's time.

Van der Sar saves
Sir Alex Ferguson had speculated beforehand about finding a way of fitting Berbatov, Rooney and Carlos Tévez into the same attack. Applying the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' theory, however, he kept Rooney and Berbatov up front in a 4-4-2 formation. Yet it was Celtic, missing target men Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Georgios Samaras and starting with a lone forward in Scott McDonald, who threatened an early goal, Aiden McGeady drawing a full-stretch stop from Edwin van der Sar with a low strike from the edge of the area. Then, from McGeady's left-wing cross, defender Gary Caldwell – playing in an unaccustomed midfield holding role – crashed in a half-volley that the goalkeeper tipped over.

On the back foot
Yet Premier League titleholders United soon had the Scottish champions on the back foot. With the half-hour approaching, Berbatov's quick feet fashioned a shooting opportunity for Cristiano Ronaldo whose first-time effort rustled the side-netting. Moments later, however, United were in front. Nani's corner deflected off Caldwell to John O'Shea and he headed the ball back towards goal where Berbatov turned it past Artur Boruc.

Berbatov tap-in
Given Celtic's record of nine successive away losses in the competition, their supporters will have feared for them as United really began to find their stride, menacing Boruc's goal again as Rooney sent a strong drive at the keeper. The home team should have gone into the break with their lead doubled by Darren Fletcher but the Scotland captain shot wastefully over after Nemanja Vidić had flicked a Rooney cross on to him at the far post. By the 51st minute it was 2-0 with Berbatov claiming his second following a Ronaldo free-kick. Although Boruc saved the No7's attempt, the ball deflected off his body and across goal where the Bulgarian was ready to accept the tap-in.

Rooney ices the cake
With Old Trafford sensing further goals, Rooney had an effort ruled offside before blazing over when Boruc's spill left him with an empty net. United were so on top that Sir Alex felt confident enough to take off Berbatov on the hour; yet it hardly constituted good news for a Celtic defence now asked to contain his replacement, Tévez, who soon saw a shot deflected centimetres wide. Rooney finally iced the cake by concluding a sweeping five-man move which began with Van der Sar's roll-out and ended with the England forward driving a precise low strike into the corner from the edge of the area for his fifth goal in as many games for United.

Last updated: 23/10/08 12.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302730/postmatch/report/index.html#united+show+strength+flattens+celtic

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

celtic

Celtic

1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK)
1
BorucArtur Boruc (GK)
2
G. NevilleGary Neville (C)
Substitution60
3
NaylorLee Naylor
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Substitution82
4
McManusStephen McManus (C)
8
AndersonAnderson
5
G. CaldwellGary Caldwell
9
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
Goal30
Goal51
Substitution60
7
McDonaldScott McDonald
Substitution77
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
Goal76
8
BrownScott Brown
15
VidićNemanja Vidić
12
M. WilsonMark Wilson
17
NaniNani
19
RobsonBarry Robson
Substitution62
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
22
LoovensGlenn Loovens
Yellow Card83
23
J. EvansJonny Evans
25
NakamuraShunsuke Nakamura
Substitution62
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
46
McGeadyAiden McGeady

Substitutes

29
KuszczakTomasz Kuszczak (GK)
21
BrownMark Brown (GK)
6
BrownWes Brown
Substitution60
2
HinkelAndreas Hinkel
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
11
HartleyPaul Hartley
Substitution62
Yellow Card74
13
Park Ji-SungPark Ji-Sung
Substitution82
13
MaloneyShaun Maloney
Substitution62
21
RafaelRafael
18
DonatiMassimo Donati
28
GibsonDarron Gibson
26
SheridanCillian Sheridan
Substitution77
32
TévezCarlos Tévez
Substitution60
48
O'DeaDarren O'Dea

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) Gordon Strachan (SCO)

Referee

Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Assistant referees

Peter Hermans (BEL), Alex Verstraeten (BEL)

Fourth official

Joeri Van De Velde (BEL)

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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