UEFA Champions League

December 9, 2003

Full-time

Manchester United

2 - 0

VfB Stuttgart

Group E

19:45 +00:00, December 9, 2003

Old Trafford, England

Referee: Eric Poulat

  • 91'

    Mission accomplished for United. The win means they top the group and will not now meet any other group winner in the next stage.

  • 91'

    And that's it: fulltime.

  • 91'

    A loose pass from Djemba-Djemba allows Kuranyi a moment on the ball and he uses it to fire a shot over the bar

  • 90'

    Stuttgart take a quick freekick and try at get forward, but this compact United defensive unit are not giving an inch

  • 89'

    Bellion nips past two defenders and gets the ball to Forlan in the area, he takes a step to lose his marker but fires wide

  • 88'

    Hinkel has it, but loses it double quick. It has not been Stuttgart's night, the Bundesliga leaders have looked average

  • 87'

    It's back with Gary Neville, but he is robbed and Stuttgart break

  • 87'

    Djemba-Djemba works it out wide to Gary Neville, who finds Bellion

  • 87'

    Ferdinand has it and passes back to Carroll - possession being the name of the game now

  • 86'

    At the other end Forlan apes Kuranyi by scuffing a shot of his own

  • 85'

    Scuffed shot from Kuranyi and the ball dribbles tamely to Carroll. There hasn't been much from the Stuttgart forward line, despite some good passing work

  • 83'

    Bellion is tackled supremely by Wenzel just before he can thread a ball to Forlan who would have been in a shooting position

  • 82'

    "KEANO" is the chant from the United fans as their thoughts turn to the weekend and the derby with City in which captain Keane will play a starring role

  • 81'

    Tiffert is furious with a very rash tackle from Fortune - the ref isn't too impressed either

  • 80'

    Neat play from O'Shea, he deftly turns his man in his own area to create time and space - dangerous but great skill!

  • 78'

    Eric Djemba-Djemba is on the pitch coming on to replace Scholes

  • 77'

    Just over 10 minutes to go and United are on top, but United need to concentrate - one goal will change the complexion so the home side need not make things difficult for themselves now

  • 76'

    O'Shea collects from a Phil Neville pass, he switches the ball to the opposite wing where Fletcher fouls his marker in an effort to collect the pass

  • 75'

    The corner is a poor as the rest we've been forced to endure tonight, United clear their lines

  • 74'

    Stuttgart win a corner - but first there is a change. off goes Hleb and on comes the exciting propect Alex Centurion

  • 73'

    Silvestre fouls Cacau and gives away a freekick, then Fortune flies in on Tiffert and gets a yellow card for his troubles. Stupid

  • 72'

    Scholes can only look on while Forlan ignores the easy pass to try and find his range - he has found it yet, that shot was well off target!

  • 70'

    Can Forlan add to his recent hot strak with another tonight to kill off this game?

  • 69'

    Here comes two changes for United - Giggs, after scoring one and setting one up, goes off for Bellion. And also off goes Van Nistelrooy, who likewise scored and set one up tonight. In his place comes Diego Forlan

  • 68'

    Cacau latches onto a ball down the left wing and manages to wrap his foot around ball and cross on the deadball line, but no-one is there and Carroll claims it

  • 67'

    Good passing between Fletcher and Van Nistelrooy deep inside the Stuttgart half

  • 67'

    Hleb spreads the ball out wide to Hinkel, but it is over hit and goes out - Stuttgart still have the quality to threaten United, but the home side look very hungry this half

  • 65'

    Van Nistelrooy delights the crowd with a neat step-over to beguile his marker, unfortunately he then nearly falls over himself - the fans love it all the same

  • 64'

    Heldt ends a decent forward-minded move with a neat ball to Helb, but all he can do is mis-control it and lose possession

  • 63'

    Fletcher loses possession and Soldo takes it forward

  • 63'

    David Bellion looks like he might be readying himsle for action

  • 62'

    Giggs takes short to Gary Neville who woefully overhits his cross and Stuttgart clear

  • 61'

    The freekcik comes to nothing and United break and win a corner at the other end

  • 60'

    Scholes gives away a freekick on the right of the Unied area - he is on a yellow remember - might be a wise move to sub the combative star

  • 59'

    Giggs has now scored in nine different Champions League campaigns - what an achievement

  • 58'

    Awesome tenacity from Van Nistelrooy who held off three Stuttgart midfielders before threading a ball on the deck into Giggs' feet, he then ran 30 yards towards goal before slipping it under Hildebrand. Great move, great finish.

  • 58'

    Goal for Giggs!!

  • 57'

    Ferdinand with a deft backheel to Silvestre danger is averted

  • 56'

    Van Nistelrooy is fouled trying to hold up the ball until support reaches him. But the freekick is wasted and Stuttgart surge forwards with Kuranyi

  • 56'

    Where Stuttgart are attacking in numbers United are defending in numbers

  • 55'

    Hinkel and Soldo link well and get it to Hleb - but he is muscled out

  • 54'

    Meira brings it forward and finds Cacau

  • 53'

    Van Nistelrooy and Scholes are clearly operating on the same wavelength, linking passes and interchanging positions

  • 51'

    Cacau and Tiffert again exchange passes but their livewire double act fails this time - these two look very good, quick and threatening United must concentrate on shutting them down

  • 50'

    An error lets Untied off and they break, and but for some very compsed defending could have had a chance on goal

  • 49'

    After United first real attack of the half Stuttgart break clear and threaten

  • 48'

    Cacau feeds Tiffert who tries a shot but again Carroll is up to the challenge, Stuttgart, who only need a point to top the group, have started very brightly - the Van Nistelrooy goal means they have to bring the fight to United

  • 47'

    It's a great shot from Wenzel but Carroll reads it and gathers. But it was a fierce drive from Wenzel

  • 46'

    Early chance for the visitors with a freekick 30 yards out in a central position

  • 46'

    Back underway and there are two changes for Stuttgart - Cacau is on for Szabics up front, while in midfield Tiffert is on for Vranjes

  • 46'

    However, the goal masks a half which has been characterised by profligate finishing, particularly by United, but also from Stuttgart. There has been some slick and snappy passing from both sides, but United, perhaps justifiably given their superior pressure, are on top.

  • 46'

    With that goal Ruud has equalled Dennis Law's record of 28 European goals for United, but where it took Law 33 games Van Nisterlooy reached the milestone in just 30 appearances!

  • 46'

    And that's it - halftime

  • 46'

    A great header by Van Nistelrooy from Giggs' cross. The ball was behind the striker but he mangaged to crane his body and get his head to it, Hildebrand was helpless

  • 46'

    Goal for Ruud Van Nistelrooy!

  • 46'

    Giggs has it and tries to get by two defenders

  • 45'

    Ferdinand and Silvestre exchange passes before spreading it forward

  • 44'

    John O'Shea gets past his marker and pulls it back to Scholes, but his shot fails

  • 43'

    Two minutes of extra time signalled

  • 42'

    A nice exchange of passes between Van Nistelrooy and Scholes gets the ball to Fletcher inside the six yard area but he fails to come inside his marker and the ball is out. A good move, shame there was no end result.

  • 41'

    Stuttgart blow the most potent move by either side. Kuranyi and Hleb spent too long trying to set up the perfect opening instead of shooting on sight - in the end United were let off when the ball was hammered wide by Heldt

  • 40'

    Giggs slips a neat ball to a forward-galloping Scholes, but his shot it high and wide

  • 40'

    Fletcher collects the ball on the right flank and cuts inside his marker before spreading it to Giggs

  • 39'

    Yellow card for Scholes after clumsy tackle from behind on Heldt

  • 38'

    Hinkel lays a nice pass down the right wing looking for Szabics, but O'Shea is there to marshall the ball out of danger

  • 37'

    The corner again fails to lead to any meaningful threat on goal

  • 36'

    The kick is taken by Giggs and cannons of the wall, the Welshman tries again but it is out for a corner

  • 35'

    Freekick to United, within six inches of the penalty area. Fletcher and Van Nistelrooy carved the opening but the over-zealous tackle came in

  • 34'

    Stuttgart corner. Taken but dealt with by United, poor from the visitors

  • 33'

    Another good move breaks down for United after a Gary Neville shot, which was going well wide, got deflected dangerously close to goal, however Hildebrand saved

  • 32'

    The Neville brothers exchange passes after a freekick and feed it to Feltcher

  • 31'

    Fletcher on the right has seen the ball tonight, but has found himself under close guard by the Stuttgart midfield and defence

  • 30'

    Van Nistelrooy in a deep position flicks it to Scholes who launches a great ball to Giggs on the left but the flag is up for a very close offside call

  • 29'

    Back underway and Silvestre is back on the pitch

  • 27'

    A clash of heads has Silvestre on the floor looking shaken

  • 26'

    Van Nistelrooy gave it to Fletcher who fed an unmarked Giggs who sent his shot high over the bar when it looked easier to score. Giggs will be upset with that, particularly as Van Nistelrooy had continued his run and was hoping for a pass

  • 25'

    United through Giggs miss an open goal!

  • 25'

    The second kick comes in but is headed clear. Good play from Fletcher, Giggs and Gary Neville provided the opening but United's corners have been disappointing

  • 24'

    Giggs takes and Wenzel heads it out for another

  • 23'

    Corner for United after some good stuff from United

  • 22'

    United have threatened more and had more of the ball, but have failed to mount a serious threat on goal. If this continues Stuttgart with their skill could punish United on the break

  • 21'

    It is taken short but a stray pass lets Stuttgart off the hook

  • 20'

    Giggs fires in a freekick from a deep, wide-left position, Van Nsitelrooy leaps but his effort is defelcted out for a corner

  • 19'

    Fortune on the left wing feeds it to John O'Shea, who links with Giggs, but then Quinton Fortune fails to read the next ball from Giggs and it goes out of play - Giggs looks disgusted

  • 18'

    Heldt tries to slip a ball through to Szabics but Rio Ferdinand is there to prevent a threat

  • 17'

    The crowd treat us to their Eric Cantona inspired version of the days of Christmas while on the pitch move sides squander possession

  • 15'

    Scholes tries a Beckham-esque 40 yard cross-field ball towards Fletcher, but he has over hit it and the ball is out

  • 14'

    Giggs and Scholes exchange passes from the dead ball and the ball is driven in by Scholes, but it is low and dealt with by the defence - the Old Trafford crowd seem to be finding their voice...finally

  • 13'

    Another corner for United - a good spell of pressure and the crowd sense a chance!

  • 12'

    Bad call from the linesman. He ruled that a Stuttgart back pass to the keeper actually came from Phil Neville and was intended for Van Nistelrooy. Completley wrong and ruins a goal scoring chance.

  • 12'

    Fletcher whips the ball in and Hildebrand punches clear

  • 11'

    Corner to United

  • 10'

    Great example of United defending from the front - Giggs and Van Nistelrooy applying enough pressure to the defenders to force them back to the keeper

  • 9'

    Scholes takes a shot from around 20 yards out, but Hildebrand reads it well - Scholes just getting his eye in maybe?

  • 8'

    A good spell from United comes to nothing, Van Nistelrooy held the ball up well but failed to pass to Scholes who darted into space

  • 7'

    A calm start, neither team prepared to play this at frenetic pace

  • 7'

    Good passing from Stuttgart as they move their way forward

  • 6'

    Scholes tries to slip the ball through to van Nistelrooy but it is an obvious ball and cut out with the minimum fuss

  • 5'

    Heldt steps up and whips a left shot over the wall, but it lacks pace and Carroll is untroubled

  • 4'

    Foul, and Stuttgart have a freekick in a very dangerous position outside the United area

  • 4'

    End to end stuff as the Stuttgart defence manages to shut out Giggs and spread the ball forward to Kuranyi

  • 3'

    Roy Carroll in the United goal gathers a spooked effort

  • 2'

    Great interception from Meira to rob Ruud van Nistelrooy of a shot on goal after a cross from the left

  • 2'

    This Stuggart team are technically gifted and are worthy leaders of Group E - but can United get the win and top the group?

  • 1'

    Heldt and Szabics show some very nice touches just inside the United half, but they lose control and the ball

  •  

    Early interplay between Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher on the right flank

  •  

    The best Premiership defence against the best Bundesliga defence - any goal-scorers can feel rightly proud tonight!

  •  

    French referee Eric Poulat gets the match underway at a packed Old Trafford.

  •  

    And for VfB Stuttgart: Hildebrand, Hinkel, Meira, Wenzel, Lahm, Soldo, Vranjes, Heldt, Hleb, Kuranyi, Szabics. And on the bench: Heinen, Meissner, Amanatidis, Gerber, Tiffert, Centurion, Cacau.

  •  

    Tonight's Man Utd team: Carroll, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea, Fletcher, Phil Neville, Scholes, Fortune, van Nistelrooy, Giggs. And the Subs: Howard, Butt, Bellion, Kleberson, Keane, Djemba-Djemba, Forlan.

  •  

    All the action as United and Stuttgart battle it out for top spot in Group E. Kicking off at 19.45 GMT