x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Berbatov breaks United goal duck

Dimitar Berbatov scores twice to lead Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Aalborg and put the defending champions back on track in the Champions League.

The goalscorers for Manchester United against Aalborg, Dimitar Berbatov, left, and Wayne Rooney, formed a good understanding up front against their Danish opponents.
The goalscorers for Manchester United against Aalborg, Dimitar Berbatov, left, and Wayne Rooney, formed a good understanding up front against their Danish opponents.

AALBORG, Denmark // Dimitar Berbatov scored twice to lead Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Aalborg last night and put the defending champions back on track in the Champions League. Wayne Rooney scored in the first half and Berbatov had two clean finishes after the break to give United their first win in Group E after a disappointing 0-0 draw with Villarreal in their opening game. Giggs, who came on for the injured Paul Scholes after only 15 minutes, set up Rooney to give United the lead in the 22nd minute.

The England striker Rooney pulled away from the defender Michael Beauchamp and flicked the ball past goalkeeper Karim Zaza, displaying a master touch in the art of finishing. Berbatov doubled United's lead 10 minutes into the second half, taking advantage of a fumble by the Aalborg captain Thomas Augustinussen to score from the edge of the box. The Bulgarian doubled his United tally 11 minutes, finishing off a Cristiano Ronaldo cross with a half-volley. Aalborg could have made it 1-1 in the 24th minute as Kasper Bogelund stormed into the box, but Rio Ferdinand blocked the shot at the last minute.

Zaza was kept busy for the rest of the first half, stopping two low strikes from the flying Ronaldo and making a superb diving from the 18-year-old Rafael da Silva, who replaced the injured fullback Gary Neville in Sir Alex Ferguson's line-up. Ronaldo should have made it 4-0 but missed the target after breaking free on a counterattack. Aalborg, who drew 0-0 at Celtic in their first match, never gave up but never really troubled what seemed an impregnable Red Devils defence. Andreas Johansson had the best chance for the hosts in the second half when his header slipped just wide of the post. The United manager Ferguson was dealt some bad news last night though as it emerged midfielder Paul Scholes faces a lengthy lay-off after suffering a knee ligament injury. Scholes left the pitch on a stretcher after 15 minutes and Ferguson said Scholes's injury had marred an otherwise good night for the club. "There were a lot of plus points but we lost Paul Scholes who could be out for a few weeks," Ferguson told United's official website, which confirmed that Scholes could be out for two months. *AP and Reuters

AaB Aalborg 0 Man Utd 3 Villarreal 1 Celtic 0 Bayern Munich 1 Lyon 1 Fiorentina 0 Steaua Bucharest 0 Arsenal 4 FC Porto 0 Fenerbahce 0 Dynamo Kiev 0 BATE Borisov 2 Juventus 2 Zenit St Petersburg 1 Real Madrid 2