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Football: Rooney Saves United Blushes

Posted on: December 11, 2008

MANCHESTER, England: Wayne Rooney saved Manchester United from an embarrassing Champions League defeat at home to Aalborg on Wednesday, but the striker was lucky to avoid a red card for a first-half foul on Kasper Risgard during this 2-2 draw.

The England striker Rooney scored a crucial equaliser on 52 minutes to extend United’s unbeaten run in the Champions League to 19 games – a record shared with Ajax and Bayern Munich.

But Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were unconvincing and although defeat would have been a setback, the loss of Rooney to suspension could potentially have been much more damaging.

With United already assured of their place in the December 19 draw for the Champions League knock-out stages, Ferguson rang the changes against the Danish champions, making nine changes from the team that defeated Sunderland at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, sidelined due to the hip injury sustained in that 1-0 victory, made a brief appearance on the pitch before the game, however, when he was presented with the Ballon d’Or by Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton – two of United’s three, along with the late George Best, previous European Footballers of the Year.

Even without Ronaldo, United would not have expected to be troubled by an Aalborg team treading water in mid-table in the Danish League, and the European champions appeared to be threatening a rout when they took the lead from their first attack after just three minutes.

A swift one-two between Ryan Giggs and Rooney led to Giggs releasing Tevez inside the Aalborg penalty area and the Argentina striker ruthlessly took his chance by guiding a first-time left foot shot past goalkeeper Karim Zaza.

Rooney and Tevez proved a lethal double act at times last season, but their partnership has been broken up by the arrival of Bulgarian hitman Dimitar Berbatov.

The pair showed signs of their old understanding, however, as they tore apart the Aalborg defence in the early stages and Tevez should have scored a second when he shot wide from fifteen yards after being picked out by Rooney.

Tevez then sent a glancing header from Rooney’s cross wide of the far post on 23 minutes as United maintained the pressure, but Aalborg were able to withstand the pressure and they stunned United by equalising on 31 minutes.

Anders Due’s in-swinging free-kick from the right flank was met with a backwards header from Michael Jakobsen and his contact was enough to take the ball past goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Four minutes before half-time, Rooney then had his lucky escape when French referee Laurent Duhamel failed to spot his foul when he placed his studs in Risgard’s chest.

Aalborg were angry at the referee’s failure to spot the incident, but they made United pay in perfect fashion by grabbing a shock lead when Jeppe Curth headed in Due’s cross two minutes into injury time.

United responded well in the second-half, though, and Rooney hauled them level when he rifled in from 20 yards after being released by Brazilian midfielder Anderson.

But although the home side poured forward in search of a winner, Aalborg held out and the visitors claimed a deserved draw.

Results:

Manchester United (ENG) 2 Aalborg (DEN) 2

Celtic (SCO) 2 Villarreal (ESP) 0

Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 0 Fiorentina (ITA) 1

Lyon (FRA) 2 Bayern Munich (GER) 3

FC Porto (POR) 2 Arsenal (ENG) 0

Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 1 Fenerbahce (TUR) 0

Juventus (ITA) 0 BATE Borisov (BLR) 0

Real Madrid (ESP) 3 Zenit Saint-Petersburg (RUS) 0

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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Football: Rooney Saves United Blushes

Posted on: December 11, 2008

MANCHESTER, England: Wayne Rooney saved Manchester United from an embarrassing Champions League defeat at home to Aalborg on Wednesday, but the striker was lucky to avoid a red card for a first-half foul on Kasper Risgard during this 2-2 draw.

The England striker Rooney scored a crucial equaliser on 52 minutes to extend United’s unbeaten run in the Champions League to 19 games – a record shared with Ajax and Bayern Munich.

But Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were unconvincing and although defeat would have been a setback, the loss of Rooney to suspension could potentially have been much more damaging.

With United already assured of their place in the December 19 draw for the Champions League knock-out stages, Ferguson rang the changes against the Danish champions, making nine changes from the team that defeated Sunderland at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, sidelined due to the hip injury sustained in that 1-0 victory, made a brief appearance on the pitch before the game, however, when he was presented with the Ballon d’Or by Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton – two of United’s three, along with the late George Best, previous European Footballers of the Year.

Even without Ronaldo, United would not have expected to be troubled by an Aalborg team treading water in mid-table in the Danish League, and the European champions appeared to be threatening a rout when they took the lead from their first attack after just three minutes.

A swift one-two between Ryan Giggs and Rooney led to Giggs releasing Tevez inside the Aalborg penalty area and the Argentina striker ruthlessly took his chance by guiding a first-time left foot shot past goalkeeper Karim Zaza.

Rooney and Tevez proved a lethal double act at times last season, but their partnership has been broken up by the arrival of Bulgarian hitman Dimitar Berbatov.

The pair showed signs of their old understanding, however, as they tore apart the Aalborg defence in the early stages and Tevez should have scored a second when he shot wide from fifteen yards after being picked out by Rooney.

Tevez then sent a glancing header from Rooney’s cross wide of the far post on 23 minutes as United maintained the pressure, but Aalborg were able to withstand the pressure and they stunned United by equalising on 31 minutes.

Anders Due’s in-swinging free-kick from the right flank was met with a backwards header from Michael Jakobsen and his contact was enough to take the ball past goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Four minutes before half-time, Rooney then had his lucky escape when French referee Laurent Duhamel failed to spot his foul when he placed his studs in Risgard’s chest.

Aalborg were angry at the referee’s failure to spot the incident, but they made United pay in perfect fashion by grabbing a shock lead when Jeppe Curth headed in Due’s cross two minutes into injury time.

United responded well in the second-half, though, and Rooney hauled them level when he rifled in from 20 yards after being released by Brazilian midfielder Anderson.

But although the home side poured forward in search of a winner, Aalborg held out and the visitors claimed a deserved draw.

Results:

Manchester United (ENG) 2 Aalborg (DEN) 2

Celtic (SCO) 2 Villarreal (ESP) 0

Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 0 Fiorentina (ITA) 1

Lyon (FRA) 2 Bayern Munich (GER) 3

FC Porto (POR) 2 Arsenal (ENG) 0

Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 1 Fenerbahce (TUR) 0

Juventus (ITA) 0 BATE Borisov (BLR) 0

Real Madrid (ESP) 3 Zenit Saint-Petersburg (RUS) 0

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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Football: Rooney Saves United Blushes

Posted on: December 11, 2008

MANCHESTER, England: Wayne Rooney saved Manchester United from an embarrassing Champions League defeat at home to Aalborg on Wednesday, but the striker was lucky to avoid a red card for a first-half foul on Kasper Risgard during this 2-2 draw.

The England striker Rooney scored a crucial equaliser on 52 minutes to extend United’s unbeaten run in the Champions League to 19 games – a record shared with Ajax and Bayern Munich.

But Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were unconvincing and although defeat would have been a setback, the loss of Rooney to suspension could potentially have been much more damaging.

With United already assured of their place in the December 19 draw for the Champions League knock-out stages, Ferguson rang the changes against the Danish champions, making nine changes from the team that defeated Sunderland at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, sidelined due to the hip injury sustained in that 1-0 victory, made a brief appearance on the pitch before the game, however, when he was presented with the Ballon d’Or by Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton – two of United’s three, along with the late George Best, previous European Footballers of the Year.

Even without Ronaldo, United would not have expected to be troubled by an Aalborg team treading water in mid-table in the Danish League, and the European champions appeared to be threatening a rout when they took the lead from their first attack after just three minutes.

A swift one-two between Ryan Giggs and Rooney led to Giggs releasing Tevez inside the Aalborg penalty area and the Argentina striker ruthlessly took his chance by guiding a first-time left foot shot past goalkeeper Karim Zaza.

Rooney and Tevez proved a lethal double act at times last season, but their partnership has been broken up by the arrival of Bulgarian hitman Dimitar Berbatov.

The pair showed signs of their old understanding, however, as they tore apart the Aalborg defence in the early stages and Tevez should have scored a second when he shot wide from fifteen yards after being picked out by Rooney.

Tevez then sent a glancing header from Rooney’s cross wide of the far post on 23 minutes as United maintained the pressure, but Aalborg were able to withstand the pressure and they stunned United by equalising on 31 minutes.

Anders Due’s in-swinging free-kick from the right flank was met with a backwards header from Michael Jakobsen and his contact was enough to take the ball past goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Four minutes before half-time, Rooney then had his lucky escape when French referee Laurent Duhamel failed to spot his foul when he placed his studs in Risgard’s chest.

Aalborg were angry at the referee’s failure to spot the incident, but they made United pay in perfect fashion by grabbing a shock lead when Jeppe Curth headed in Due’s cross two minutes into injury time.

United responded well in the second-half, though, and Rooney hauled them level when he rifled in from 20 yards after being released by Brazilian midfielder Anderson.

But although the home side poured forward in search of a winner, Aalborg held out and the visitors claimed a deserved draw.

Results:

Manchester United (ENG) 2 Aalborg (DEN) 2

Celtic (SCO) 2 Villarreal (ESP) 0

Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 0 Fiorentina (ITA) 1

Lyon (FRA) 2 Bayern Munich (GER) 3

FC Porto (POR) 2 Arsenal (ENG) 0

Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 1 Fenerbahce (TUR) 0

Juventus (ITA) 0 BATE Borisov (BLR) 0

Real Madrid (ESP) 3 Zenit Saint-Petersburg (RUS) 0

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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