Full-time - 1'
5 - 0
18:45 +00:00, September 16, 2003
Old Trafford, England
Ferguson's men did all that was required and dispatched the Greeks easily without playing anywhere near their best football. Van Nistelrooy had a poor game, but Howard and latterly Fletcher showed some flashes of the ability United will need to show when the come up against genuine contenders.
And that's it, full time and United have won easily over substandard opposition.
Unbelievably, Panathinaikos have won a corner! Olisadebe whips it in but Howard, once again, gathers with ease
While it has not been a classic performance, the scoreline will reverberate around Europe
The fourth official signals two minutes of added time
Fletcher, who looks a promising talent, flicks the ball to Giggs out on the right wing, but the cross is poor
Panathinaikos try to get the ball to Epalle, who has seen almost none of the game since he joined it. United tackle in numbers and knock it forward
Come on ref, blow the whistle!
Van Nistelrooy looks thoroughly hacked off with the game tonight and who can blame him, five goals on the score board and none are his, he's had a poor game by his own high standards
Giggs earns a corner for United after his shot cannoned of a Panathinaikos defender
Free-kick given against Fortune, but the delivery is too close to Howard how gathers and throws out quickly
Some neat build up play gets the ball to Gary Neville, who despite falling on his backside, whips in the ball from the right, Giggs attempted a flick and Eric Djemba-Djemba latched on to it to score his first United goal from close range
Finally a fifth for United!
The corner reaches Phil Neville who lifts it a cheeky ball over a defender but Van Nistelrooy is guilty of a shocking miss
Finally a shot on goal! Fortune lets one fly from 35 yards and the keeper turns it out for a corner! What drama...
Despite the supporters' best efforts this game is petering out with mistimed passes and bad first touches - and that's United!
United's fans are cheering their players on, trying to raise the team who are still struggling to find a rhythm after those substitutions
A good spell of pressure from United ends when Phil Neville fails to get a cross in, goal kick to Panathinaikos
A long ball from Fletcher is taken down with great skill by Giggs, but his shot flashes across the goal without troubling the keeper
Van Nistelrooy takes a long ball well but his shot leaved a lot to be desired
Bellion adjudged to have fouled Maric, freekick
Twenty minutes left - can the Greeks get anything from the game? Can United add to the score sheet? Either way lets hope something happens!
Howard has looked comfortable in his first Champions League game, answering every question asked of him
Olisadebe wins a free-kick for Panathinaikos which is taken by Takis Fyssas, but Howard gathers
A move including Fletcher, Giggs and Van Nistelrooy breaks down in a promising position inside the Panathinaikos half
Scotland's 19-year-old Scottish international Darren Fletcher on the ball again, he tries to release Giggs but his pass is too heavy - goalkick
Giggs takes the corner and Chalkias punches clear
Djemba-Djemba is set up by Fletcher and his shot is deflected out for a corner
Fletcher on the right wing tries to find Van Nistelrooy - but can't. All United's subs are trying to prove their worth, but seem to be trying too hard and making mistakes, they need to keep it simple
Substitution for Panathinaikos: Emmanuel Olisadebe is on for Papadopoulos, who has been the Greek team's best player by a country mile
Giggs feeds a ball through to Van Nistelrooy, but the Dutch striker is offside
United's substitutions have caused a few problems, with the side now looking a little dis-jointed
Great support for Panathinaikos from their travelling supporters, a pity their enthusiasm has not translated itself into their team's play
Papadopoulos played a nice through ball to Konstantinou on the edge of the United box and he nearly managed to control and shoot, but made a complete mess of it and United clear
Substitutions for United: Eric Djemba-Djemba is on for Nicky Butt and Darren Fletcher replaces John O'Shea
Quick feet by Bellion, but he is robbed by Zutautas
Panathinaikos will be bitterly disappointed by their showing tonight - but at home in Athens they will surely be a different proposition
Giggs tries to get a ball to Van Nistelrooy but its too long. It's not classic United, they are in third gear and quite franky don't need to be any higher given the threat from the visitors
Freekick for United about 40 yards out after a foul on Fortune. Giggs takes it, badly, and Panathinaikos break
Epalle looks lively and could create problems for United with his skill on the ball
Epalle and Maric almost carve an opening for Panathinaikos, but Gery Neville nonchalantly heads the final ball back to Howard
A decent strike there from Zutautas about 25 yards outside the area, but it ended up wide of Howard's net
David Bellion and Nicky Butt work an opening for Van Nistelrooy, but the Dutchman was expecting the ball on his right, not his left and its out goal kick
Double substitution for Panathinaikos. The man between the sticks is no longer Nikopolidis, but Chalkias and Goumas has been swapped for Cameroon's Joel Epallé
We?re back underway. Lets hope United go for a complete whitewash in the second half and don't sit back, otherwise this could be dull!
Panathinaikos have failed to produce enough to cause much concern for the home side, but there have been openings and a team more confident, and indeed competent, would be much closer to United
With four goals chalked up already United are quite evidently on top of things, but they have not been awe-inspiring, good enough to deal with the visitors but not awesome by any stretch of the imagination
The ref blows his whislte and its halftime at Old Trafford
The keeper nearly makes another mistake to let in United, but Goumas tidies up
An errant Giggs free-kick flies into the crowd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is substituted for David Bellion - the striker taking precaution after a kick to his foot earlier in the game
Butt's header was reminiscent of Roy Keane's goal against Juventus in the 1999 Champions League semi final ? not quite as important, but equally well dispatched
Best goal of the night and Nicky Butt has scored it. Butt leapt to meet a Giggs free-kick on the left and connected producing a glancing header which left the keeper flatfooted and helpless
A fourth for United!!
O'Shea and Fortune on the left for the homeside try to get the ball to Giggs, but they are scuppered by Maric
Freekick to United in what Old Trafford has come to know as 'Beckham territory'. Giggs steps up and his curling shot is just over
The United crowd singing the name of United's club captain, Roy Keane - he's on the bench tonight as Alex Ferguson looks towards the game against Arsenal this weekend
Antonis Nikopolidis, the Panathinaikos and Greek national team keeper, must wish the ground would open up for him - that was a howler of tragic proportions
Well that was an absolute gift for United - Giggs dribbled himself into space on the left and pulled the ball back for Solksjaer who hit a shot at the goalkeeper who managed to let the ball squirm under him
And its third goal fro United - this time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
And at the other end from the goal kick Van Nistelrooy is ruled offside, this time rightly
Papadopoulos cross for Konstantinou is too long
Zutautas robs Butt on the halfway line and United are facing another attack
Again the Greek side have found their stride after a chance - the visitors seems to be missing some belief and confidence
That was a wonderful save from the American, his dive low and to his right save both a certain goal and the blushes of Rio Ferdinand who was beaten in the air by the Konstantinou
Maric and Papadopoulos conjure a chance for Konstantinou and it brings a great save from Tim Howard
Neat plat from Gary Neville and Giggs, but Neville's cross is too deep for Van Nistelrooy
Kyrgiakos tries to find Sotirios Sanmartean but his pass is too long - back to the drawing board for a shell-shocked Panathinaikos
Giggs takes the kick and the keeper, Nikopolidis, punches it clear
Giggs felled unfairly by Goumas and another freekick in a dangerous position on the left
But wait - the linesman had is flag up for offside, odd decision given Rudd was being played on clearly by two defenders - still an awesome save worthy of credit
The ball is quickly dinked back in towards van Nistelrooy who attacks it with his head and it takes a great save from the keeper to turn it out
Corner for United - Giggs takes and it is completly missed by both defenders and attackers alike
Signs of vulnerability though for United at the back Michalis Konstantinou as finds time for a shot - concentration has to be the watchword for the backline
A cross from O'Shea's boot on the left is too long, and Panathinaikos escape
Goumas, who put off Giggs for his shot moments ago, launches a ball from deep but its soon with United and they build again
At the other end van Nistelrooy sees Giggs in space and fires a pass his way but Giggs' shot is wide - the Reds trying to kill the contest off
Panathinaikos look to press forward and a great half-cross half-shot flies towards Tim Howards goal from Papadopoulos, the American gathers with ease
A great run from Ryan Giggs almost threatened to put the home side in another scoring position but a timely tackle thwarts the danger
Without really being in charge of the flow of play United find themselves two goals to the good in the space of two minutes
Quiton Fortune lashed in a great shot from a Giggs knockdown after a cross from the right
Another goal for United!
Giggs whipped in the corner and between them Van Nistelrooy and Mikael Silvestre caused enough havoc to fox the defender and Silvestre opens the scoring
Goal for United!!
Solskjaer is muscled of the ball on by Kyrgiakos but the ball falls to Phil Neville who hits a decent shot low and Antonis Nikopolidis tips it out for a corner
The Greeks are buoyed by that attack and are showing much more bite in their challenges, trying to force the game
Papadopoulos latches onto a good ball from deep, but his cross from the left wing is loow and poor - a let off for United, who look shaky at the back
Butt plays a great looking ball from a central position in his own half trying to find O'Shea galloping down the left, but its too long
Now the Greeks have a free-kick deep in their own half after a Giggs foul on Yourkas Seitaridis
Ryan Giggs, the Red Devils' captain for tonight, floats in the dead ball but to no avail - goal kick
Free-kick to United on the right flank after a foul on Solskjaer
The Panathinaikos left has been probe3d quite a bit already this evening - Gary Neville causing problems and just failing to keep his cross in play
United, seeing plenty of the ball, building from the back
Gary Neville feeds the ball down the right to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the right, he tries to win a corner off the defender, but fails and Panathinaikos clear
Strong play from Silvo Maric in the centre of the pitch as the two teams attempt to stamp some authority on the game
Nicky Butt runs into traffic in the middle of the pitch and Michalis Konstantinou wins the ball
The ball came across the box and Rudd was there with a header but it floated wide of the target
A very early chance for Ruud van Nistelrooy from a deep Gary Neville cross
French referee Alain Sars gets things underway as Panathinaikos try to register their first win on English soil
The players take field - the Panathinaikos players each giving a high five to United's seven-foot mascot - how...sweet!
And the Panathinaikos team: Nikopolidis, Henriksen, Silvio Maric, Seitaridis, Goumas, Papadopoulos, Zutautas, Kyrgiakos, Sanmartean, Konstantinou, Fyssas. Subs: Chalkias, Morris, Münch, Epallé, Olisadebe, Pantelis Konstan, Michaelsen
Tonight's Manchester United team: Howard, G.Neville, P.Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea, Butt, Fortune, Solskjaer, Van Nistelrooy, Giggs. Subs: Cristano Ronaldo, Bellion, Keane, Djemba-Djemba, Forlán, Fletcher
It's back to Old Trafford, venue of last season's final. Join us as Fergie's boys embark on their latest European odyssey - at home to Athens side Panathinaikos. Live commentary here from 19.45 BST