UEFA Champions League

August 11, 2004


D Bucuresti

1 - 2

Man Utd

UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, August 11, 2004

Dinamo Stadium

Referee: Paulo Costa

  • 90'

    United will be very pleased to come away with the lead. Dinamo put up some resistance in the form of lively breaks and some clever forward play but ultimately their policy of conceding possession and defending deep did not work. Even woithout a number of key men the English side were just too strong. Smith, Giggs and Scholes took the game to the home side whilst the spritly Niculescu stood out for Dinamo.

  • 90'

    Whistle sounds and, after some scary moments, it is job done for the big boys. 2-1 United the final score

  • 90'

    Neville is in trouble as the referee books him for protesting. For those of you paying attention that would add up to a red but, apologies for this, I was misinformed about his earlier card which, it turns out, never happened. He is booked now though

  • 89'

    So confident is Sir Alex with the way the game is going that he feels able to take off Scholes and replace him with Frolan. Says it all really

  • 88'

    United will be happy with how the game is ending. Dinamo look a spent force and United just need to run the clock down

  • 86'

    Silvestre is the latest United man to see yellow and, like Neville before him, it was completely unnecessary. Flew into the back of Danciulescu in the centre circle when red shirts outnumbered white by two to one. Stupid

  • 84'

    Smith is caught offside again. he has had a decent enough game but that isn't the first time he has been looking down the line and still didn't check the run

  • 83'

    Second free kick is equally well delivered but the Dinamo defenders are alive to it this time and clear their lines well

  • 82'

    Re-take is the verdict and Neville argues the point with the referee. Gets a yellow card for his troubles. That'll teach him, eh?

  • 81'

    Wonderfully delivered outswinging cross from Neville is inch perfect for Smith who rises to meet it sweetly and bury the ball in the back of the net. His celebrations are cut short, however, as the referee had blown long before Smith even jumped

  • 80'

    United work the ball down the right through Miller, Smith and Scholes before a body check on Miller earns a free kick in a good position, deep on the right.

  • 79'

    United follow suit with Giggs, impressive all night, being sacraficed for Phil Neville

  • 78'

    Substitution for Dinamo: Alexandru Baltoi enters the fray with Balan retiring

  • 77'

    Giggs flys as only he can into the Dinamo box across a pair of defenders. Shot looked on for a second but instead he lays back to Smith who skies the snatched shot well over the bar

  • 76'

    Dinamo continue to cause problems in the United box. Good, deep cross from the left clears the crowded box but Tames, arriving late at the far post volleys spectacularly but without accuracy

  • 74'

    Semeghin is obviously rattled. First he motions to square up to Scholes after a fair challenge and then produces what looked to all the world like a foul throw. All the world that is, bar the match officials

  • 73'

    Giggs now tries his luck from distance as a poor clearance bounces up in front of him, 30 yards out directly in front of goal. Left footed shot is truck sweetly and has the goalkeeper scrambling but flashes just the wrong side of the post as far as Giggs is concerned

  • 71'

    United strt to play the ball around now with the confidence of a side holding a comfortable lead

  • 70'

    Huge raking cross finds Miller unmarked at the back of the box. With time to consider his options he elects to drive a low, powerful effort across the six yard box. No United man there but it doesn't matter as the Dinamo defence return Fortunes earlier favour and stick it away themselves. 2-1 United

  • 69'

    The introduction of Miller pays early dividends as United do take a lead for the first time in the match

  • 68'

    United really on top now and you sense it is only a matter of time before they take the lead

  • 67'

    Quick thinking from Scholes as a ball into the box went behind him. A clever flick of the leg and a back heel goes almost goalbound. Would have been a cheeky goal. But wasn't

  • 66'

    Some rather clumsy tackling from O'Shea and Scholes lets Tames send a pass through to the feet of Danciulescu but he is called offside. Howard stopped the shot regardless

  • 65'

    Substitution from United as Fletcher makes way for debutant Liam Miller, a recent purchase from Glasgow Celtic and 'the new Roy Keane' if you beleive what some are saying

  • 64'

    The endeavour and persistence of first O'Shea and then Fortune gives Smith the ball on the edge of the box. Cute little drag back creates space where there was none but he can't get any backlift to give the shot power.

  • 63'

    Dinamo break and it's two on two for a moment. Ball laid wide to Petre allows defenders to cover but nonetheless Howard has to challenge Niculescu to prevent him having a free near post header from the centre. Dinamo do look good on the break

  • 62'

    Scholes looks to have got in after taking down a high pass and breaking into the area. Goes down looking for a penalty, the ref blows up, but it is for Scholes' handball earlier in the move

  • 60'

    Fortune does well to get round the back of the Dinamo defence on the left and dig out a cross towards O'Shea. The Irishman had a real chance until Semeghin got back to put him off - and clash heads for good measure

  • 59'

    Dinamo break again aginst a defence low on numbers. Ball is fed across the 18 yard line to Petre who's shot cannons against a red shirt and comes to nought

  • 58'

    The Romanians will take hope from that moment after United bossing this half from the outset

  • 57'

    Moment of worry for Howard but he is eaqual to it. A wildly struck cross from wide right by Balan looked to be looping over the American into the net until he leapt and stretched an arm to turn it over. Great save in the end

  • 56'

    Fortune sends a dead ball high over the crowded box and to Smith who intelligently nods down to Keane. Something of an air shot from the captain but he recovers to bundle his way into the box before the ball ricochets to Scholes. Under pressure he sends his shot wide of the target

  • 54'

    Once more Fletcher is left in oceans of space on the right but, despite having time to place his cross and with Smith arriving by the penalty spot, his centre does not clear the covering defender

  • 53'

    Scholes follows Smith into the referee's notebook for a cynical foul on Petre who had got away from him in the centre circle. No argument on that one

  • 51'

    Great football from United pulls the Dinamo defence apart and even has the sight of an instinctive back heel from Neville into the path of Smith, unmarked, just inside the box. The former Leeds man did really well to drive the shot low and hard but the width of the post denies him a first competetive goal in United colours. Desperately unlucky but bodes well for the visitors

  • 50'

    Fletcher finds spce to centre from deep on the right wing. Ball rather bobbles in front of Giggs at the back of the box and he falls over as it hits him in the face

  • 49'

    Cracking effort from Scholes. Nice, simple passing in the middle of the park ends with a lay off from Fletcher sitting up nicely and tempting Scholes to hit it on the volley from 30 yards. Not to far away eaither after a clean contact

  • 48'

    Margaritescu gets a ride on the Uefa golf buggy after taking a knock in the back in the process of fouling O'Shea

  • 47'

    Soft free kick awarded to Dinamo as Tames just runs into Fortune but the deep, right wing cross is well defended

  • 46'

    Smith lets the opposition know he is about once more. Genuine attempt to get the ball but after a couple of near things in the first half he is finally shown yellow

  • 45'

    Second half gets going with United in the box seat

  • 45'

    First half comes to a close with the scores level. United have seen most of the ball but have looked suspect at the back whenever the Romanians have broken. After going behind United have clawed their way back through patience rather than endeavour. The English team are favourites to go on and win it but O'Shea and Keane will have to come to terms with their new temporary positions - Keane at centre back, O'Shea a holding midfielder (?) - a bit better if it is to be comfortable

  • 43'

    Unlike the previous free kick from Niculescu, Howard is not called into action as the ball sails wide of the mark

  • 42'

    Long ball upfield for Dinamo sees Danciulescu go between Keane and Silvestre. Keane catches him and a free kick is awarded on the edge of the box. The United players claim a dive but there was something in it

  • 41'

    Inswinger from Scholes sees a host of players rise but none can make a true connection

  • 40'

    Free kick for United on the left hand corner of the box is rather fortunately won as Fortune (get it) stands on the ball and falls over. Dinamo's protestations fall on deaf ears

  • 39'

    As you would expect, what once was a wall of sound is no more. Very, very quiet for a minute or two

  • 38'

    O'Shea was brave to nick the ball away from a tackle and a swift ball forward releases Giggs in full stride. He beat the last defender for pace, rounded the advancing keeper on the edge of the box and then cooly sloted into the empty net. Very controlled from Giggs and no more than United deserve on possession alone. 1-1

  • 37'

    United go up the other end of the pitch and, after a couple of slick passes, Giggs keeps his head to level the scores.

  • 36'

    Dinamo's turn to play keep ball in the middle but comes to nothing after Semeghin floats a rather aimless ball to the back of the area

  • 34'

    Slight break in play as Margaritescu needs treatment after a typically strong, but poorly executed, Scholes 'tackle'

  • 33'

    Niculescu takes up the running in midfield. With little in the way of options in front of him he elects to shoot from a very long way out. The result is predictably wayward

  • 32'

    O'Shea lays a square ball to Scholes on the edge of the box and continues his run but still seems surprised to receive the return to his feet. Had he been a touch more aware a chance would have opened for the shot. He wasn't so it didn't

  • 31'

    Niculescu agin works space on the left for a cross but the delivery does not find the intended target of Danciulescu

  • 30'

    Smith gets flagged offside. Not the first time and won't be the last I'm sure

  • 29'

    Good work from the industrious Fletcher as he dinks a ball forward into the path of Neville. Not sure if he tried a Van Basten-esque volley from an acute angle or simply tried to help in on into the box. Either way he failed - goal kick

  • 28'

    Substitution for Dinamo as Ciobotariu hobbles off to be replaced by George Galamaz

  • 26'

    The pattern of the game has fallen into United dominating the possession with Dinamo happy to sit back, protect their lead, and spring counter attacks when ever possible

  • 25'

    Seats of the pants stuff again for the favourites. A simple, perfectly weighted through ball disects the entire United back line. Semeghin is on to it and looks to have got past Keane but the United man does just enough to put him off as Howard comes out to collect. Semeghin goes to ground but there was little danger of a penalty being awarded

  • 24'

    Nice nutmeg from Giggs as he tries in vain to work his way into the box. A covering defender clears but at least the Welshman is being positive

  • 23'

    Fletcher does well to evade a couple of challenges before he is stopped illegally and a foul is awarded on the half-way line

  • 22'

    Scholes gets involved in some pushing and shoving off the ball but the referee sensibly just makes them get on with the game

  • 21'

    Short corner to Giggs. He twists and turns then sends over a tempting looking ball. In goes Scholes but his header under a challenge goes up in the air. Smith nods it back across the danger area but there is no one there to benefit. Better from United

  • 20'

    Fortune, looking to get crosses in all the time, eventually wins a corner through sheer doggedness

  • 19'

    Good delivery to the edge of the six yard box from Fortune comes to nothing. No one was attacking the near post despite a number of red shirts being in the box

  • 17'

    For all United's possession - and they have been on top in that department - they have yet to carve a genuine opportunity whilst the home team look lively on the break

  • 16'

    Niculescu is having a field day down the Dinamo left, especially when up against the ageing Keane. Beats the United skipper for pace but the angle to get a decent shot away is tight and he sends it wide. The Romanian will be encouraged by that though

  • 15'

    Once more Dinamo's offside trap works a treat. Smith the culprit this time

  • 14'

    O'Shea and Fortune labour their way up the left flank before Scholes gives it away cheaply. Very unconvincing from United

  • 13'

    Good possession football from United as they go chasing an equaliser. Raking cross field ball from Scholes picks out the head of Giggs at the back of the box. He nods down to Smith but before he can do anything with it an offside is called

  • 12'

    United have their work cut out now as the home team are briming with confidence and their fans are in good voice

  • 10'

    A blistering run down the right went unchallenged for too long and, with three United men in the box, Niculescu was able to hit the byline and send in a cross-cum-shot. howard spilled the effort into the path of Danciulescu on the line who comically spooned it away from the net. Luckily Fortune was there to fumble in an own goal. 1-0 Dinamo and it's game on

  • 9'

    Can't say they haven't been warned. Some Keystone Kops defending from United lets Dinamo in and the home side have the lead!

  • 7'

    First decent attacking movement from the visitors prompted from deep by Keane sees Scholes find space on the right, winds up a shot that Gaev saves but the linesman's flag was up anyway

  • 6'

    Smith very lucky to just concede a free kick and nothing more after leaving a high foot in a challenge. Just a word from the referee

  • 5'

    Long ball over the top finds Silvestre alone guarding the United half from Danciulescu. Intelligent defending as he calmly nods back to Howard - just about hard enough. Early warnings coming thick and fast that the home side are out for a result

  • 4'

    Blistering shot stings Howard's palms as he falls to his left and pushes the ball away. Danciulescu following in just fails to connect with an acrobatic leap. Danger signs for United

  • 3'

    Semeghin 'earns' his side a free kick just deep of the corner of the 18 yard box. No contact but the ref is fooled. Roy Keane visibly angered by the decision and lets the referee know about it.

  • 2'

    Cagey error prone opening as both sides try to feel their way into the game

  • 1'

    First free kicki of the night goes in United's favour, Fletcher upended after being sold a short pass by Smith - his second mistake of a very young match


    Smith to Scholes and Man United's European campaign begins - a bit earlier than usual


    For the Romanians there are no household names - outside their homeland of course - but United will have to pay special attention to Ionel Danciulescu. He carries the greatest goal threat from Dinamo and doesn't need asking twice to shoot


    Roy keane will be detailed on defensive duties as United try to avoid a repeat of a 1-0 first leg reversal in Hungary two years ago at the same stage of the competition - a tie they eventually won 5-1. So, don't expect as many fireworks on the pitch as there will doubtless be on the terraces.


    Sir Alex Ferguson is taking no chances as his much depleted side take to the field in Romania tonight. With nine players missing for one reason or another it's bare bones time with Darren Fletcher and Eric Djemba-Djemba needing to to take a step up in European competition.


    A tough test for the Red Devils considering their crippling injury list. Join us at 19.45 BST for the action.