United reign in battle of Britain
Goals galore as Manchester United, Villareal, Bayern Munich and Lyon win.
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2008 08:28 GMT

Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov fools the Celtic defence, and maybe the linesman [AFP]
Dimitar Berbatov scored two goals in Manchester United's 3-0 win over a depleted Celtic in the Uefa Champions League.

The Bulgaria striker appeared to score both times from offside positions.

Wayne Rooney, who had an earlier effort wrongly disallowed by referee Frank De Bleeckere, scored the third goal.

Berbatov flicked the ball through Artur Boruc's legs in the 30th minute after John O'Shea had clipped in Nani's corner.

The second came six minutes into the second half when Cristiano Ronaldo's powerful free kick was spilled by Boruc and left for Berbatov.

"We got a break for a change (with the refereeing),'' United manager Alex Ferguson said.

"It was marvelous performance by Berbatov again. He brought composure to the final third of the field again.''

In the 76th, Rooney completed a slick move started by goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar on his 200th United appearance.

"That was one of the best performances I've ever come across in European football,'' said Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, whose played for United from

"Two goals were offside, but I'm not going to sit here and complain. I'm a football man and I know we were well beaten. We were taking punches rather than punching right until the end.''

Ronaldo started despite concerns about his recovery from July's ankle surgery, and Rio Ferdinand was a surprising omission with a groin strain that ruled him out of a defense already missing the injured Patrice Evra.

Celtic was depleted by injuries in attack. With Scott McDonald as the lone front man, the Scottish team had little chance to get its first away victory in the Champions League at Old Trafford.


United dictated play with energy and incisiveness, but it wasn't reflected on the scoreboard in the first half as the team was stifled by a congested defence.

Celtic initially made the most of its forward surges. Van der Sar turned around Aiden McGeady's low strike in the 11th and repelled Gary Caldwell's sliced effort from the edge of the area in the 19th.

Before then, Rooney's acrobatic overhead kick had been blocked by Mark Wilson.

United gradually found more gaps in the packed defence, and Nani cut inside Wilson and McGeady before shooting wide in the 40th.

At the other end, Van der Sar spared O'Shea when the Northern Ireland defender turned Shunsuke Nakamura's free kick toward his own goal.

Darren Fletcher should have given United a two-goal cushion before halftime, but the Scotsman shot the ball over.

While Berbatov was fortunate to score a second, Rooney looked like being denied his fifth goal in five games for United when he was flagged for offside after stroking the ball under Boruc in the 54th.

Three minutes later, Rooney scooped the ball over, despite having an open target after Boruc had been left stranded while racing out to make a save.

Villarreal's Joseba Llorente proves to be the super sub [AFP]
Llorente boosts Villareal

Substitute Joseba Llorente scored three goals in 17 minutes to help Villarreal beat Aalborg 6-3 and move closer to a place in the second round of the competition.

Llorente scored in the 67th, 70th and 84th minutes to add to goals by Giuseppe Rossi in the 28th, Joan Capdevila in the 33rd and Robert Pires in the 79th.

Aalborg took the lead of the Group E match at El Madrigal stadium through Marek Saganowski in the 19th, with Thomas Enevoldsen scoring the Danish team's second goal in the 36th and Andreas Johansson heading the third in the 77th.

"Every time our opponents reached our goalmouth they scored, we were slack in our marking but we resolved it in the second half,'' Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini was quoted as saying by news agency Efe.

"It doesn't hurt to have conceded three goals, what I liked most was to have scored six.''

"It was a flattering result because (Aalborg) seems an inferior team but it was tough for us,'' Llorente said.

"It all worked out well and this match will serve us well for the next game (in Denmark).''

Villarreal, lacking injured defender Sebastian Eguren, striker Nihat Kahveci and midfielder Ariel Ibagaza, appeared disorganised at first and allowed Aalborg several chances.

Saganowski then took full advantage by diving to head in a goal from Anders Due's in-swinging cross following a forceful run by Kasper Bogelund.

Beyond belief

"I never imagined we could come to Spain, score three times and lose 6-3,'' Aalborg coach Bruce Rioch said.

After Due had come close to adding a second goal for Aalborg with a header, Villarreal equalised when Rossi's shot took a deflection off defender Steve Olfers to elude goalkeeper Karim Zaza.

Due again nearly scored three minutes later and again the Spanish team responded with a goal, Capdevila controlling the ball on the edge of the area before volleying in.

Aalborg soon made it 2-2 when Saganowski sent Enevoldsen clear and the midfielder gently spooned the ball past advancing Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Llorente entered the field at the start of the second half to replace striker Guille Franco and almost scored in the 58th when Michael Jakobsen made a saving clearance just before the substitute's chip could cross the goal line.

Llorente enjoyed better luck nine minutes later when he netted at the second attempt to give Villarreal a 3-2 lead after Zaza had spilled Marcos Senna's spinning long shot.

Llorente doubled his tally from close range for Villarreal's fourth goal three minutes later from a pass across goal by Pires.

Aalborg reduced the deficit when Johansson headed home Due's free kick with the help of a deflection off Capdevila's head, only for Pires to head home Villarreal's fifth goal two minutes later after Zaza had parried Santi Cazorla's shot.

Llorente completed his hat trick when he ran in to poke home Capdevila's cross from the left.

Villarreal has seven points from three matches, while Aalborg has one point.

Manchester United also has seven points after beating.

Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger scores his side's second [AFP]
Bayern stay on top

Bayern Munich scored two first-half goals and added another in the 90th minute to beat Fiorentina 3-0 and stay top of its group.

Miroslav Klose found the net in the fourth minute and Bastian Schweinsteiger doubled the advantage in the 25th.

Bayern then failed to convert a number of chances before Ze Roberto scored with time almost up.

In front of another sold-out crowd of 66,000 at Allianz Arena, Bayern was the more aggressive side early and Franck Ribery shot just over the crossbar in the fourth minute after an attack down the left flank.

Seconds later, Klose scored the opening goal. Munich forward Luca Toni headed the ball in midfield toward a charging Klose, who nodded the ball down and out-raced a Fiorentina player before beating goalkeeper Sebastien Frey.

Klose didn't attempt his trademark back flip after injuring himself while performing the acrobatic move following his goal in Bayern's 1-0 win at Karlsruhe in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The Italian team had two long-range attempts in the first 10 minutes.

Adrian Mutu forced goalkeeper Michael Rensing to fend the ball away for a corner, and then Riccardo Montolivo's shot was deflected just wide of goal.

Felipe missed a golden chance in the 15th after beating two defenders in the area, but Rensing managed to get hands on the shot.

Fiorentina continued to have the better of play as Alberto Gilardino failed to get a head on Mutu's cross into the box in the 21st.

Schweinsteiger scores

Bayern made it 2-0 when Schweinsteiger collect Ribery's cross, dribbled, before blasting a left-footed shot into the top far corner.

Gilardino twice almost pulled a goal back in the in the 42nd and 43rd minutes, but it could have been 3-0 at halftime if Toni's goal hadn't been disallowed for Klose being ruled offside just the break.

Frey did well to stop Martin Demichelis' header in the 68th and Klose's shot a minute later after a through ball from Ze Roberto.

The hosts finally made it 3-0 thanks to Ze Roberto's left-footed blast after a pass from Demichelis.

Lyon outlast Steaua

Karin Benzema and Fred scored two goals each Tuesday to help Lyon rally for a 5-3 win at Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League.

Steaua took the lead when Bernhardt Arthuro headed in the first goal in the eighth minute, and then Dorin Goian doubled it with another header in the 11th.

Kader Keita scored Lyon's first goal in the 23rd after taking a pass from Jean II Makoun, and Benzema headed the ball past goalkeeper Robinson Zapata 10 minutes later.

Ovidiu Petre put Steaua ahead 3-2 with a header in the 45th, but Fred equalised from 16 meters (yards) in the 69th and Benzema scored his second goal two minutes later. Fred scored the final goal in injury time.

"We appreciate the match and score. There were many opportunities and every time I trusted what was happening on the pitch,'' Lyon coach Claude Puel said.

"All matches are difficult ... The fact that we won in Bucharest shows that nothing is final (yet).''

Benzema missed another chance in the 18th after Robinson Zapata managed to scrape the ball away from the goal with his right hand.

A minute later, Keita took another shot which Zapata shot over the goal.

And in the 30th, Lyon's Ederson had a shot which went wide.

"We gave the match away because of the way we played. We made mistakes
which were gifts and they could play the way wanted,'' Steaua coach Marius
Lacatus said.

"I am upset because we could have obtained a better result.''

Munich leads with seven points in Group F, two ahead of Lyon, which beat Steau Bucharest 5-3 on Tuesday.

Fiorentina has two points and Steau one.

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