Real Madrid, Man United win in Champions League

February 20, 2007

LONDON -- Manchester United beat Lille 1-0 on Tuesday on a disputed goal in a Champions League game marred by crowd problems. Real Madrid, meanwhile, helped ease the pressure on its coach by beating Bayern Munich 3-2. Also, PSV Eindhoven beat Arsenal 1-0 and Celtic held AC Milan to a 0-0 tie in the other first leg matches of the second round. Ryan Giggs scored the winning goal for United, curling in a free kick in the 83rd minute. That prompted an angry reaction from Lille's players, who claimed Giggs had not waited for the referee's whistle and took the free kick too quickly. ``When the goalkeeper asks to place his wall, you should wait for the referee's whistle,'' Lille captain Gregory Tafforeau said. ``There was no whistle at all and the player shot directly and the result is a goal.'' Lille had a goal by Peter Odemwingie ruled out because the referee said he pushed United defender Nemanja Vidic. Soon after the game started, some visiting fans were pushed against a high metal security barrier designed to keep fans off the field. Although several fans were helped over the barrier, there were no reports of any major injuries. The match was played at nearby Lens because Lille's stadium doesn't meet UEFA's standards. Madrid got two first-half goals from Raul Gonzalez and another from Ruud van Nistelrooy to give the nine-time champions the edge heading into the second leg in two weeks. The victory at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium may have eased the pressure on coach Fabio Capello, who reportedly offered to quit on Monday, seven months into his second spell in charge. Raul, the competition's all-time leading scorer, scored in the 10th and 28th minutes to give him 56 goals. Van Nistelrooy added another in the 34th. Defender Lucio scored for Bayern in the 23rd, with midfielder Mark van Bommel adding what could be a decisive away goal in the 88th. Edison Mendez scored in the 61st minute for PSV Eindhoven after controlling a pass from Arouna Kone and sending a long range shot into the bottom corner of Jens Lehmann's goal. PSV defender Sun Xiang became the first Chinese player to play in the Champions League when he came on as a 66th-minute substitute for Manuel Da Costa. Milan striker Alberto Gilardino, who has recently recovered from a knee injury, had his team's best chance when he beat the offside trap in the 26th minute, but his shot was deflected wide by Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc. For Celtic, Shunsuke Nakamura's free kick was saved by the diving Zeljko Kalac in the 39th. AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini became the fifth player to make his 100th Champions League appearance, joining Oliver Kahn, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Raul. The 38-year-old Maldini also played in the previous version of the competition, making his European Cup debut in 1992. He has two winner's medals and has reached three other finals. On Wednesday, defending champion FC Barcelona hosts 2005 champion Liverpool and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho goes to former club FC Porto, which he guided to the 2004 Champions League title. Also, Inter Milan hosts Valencia in a half-capacity San Siro stadium and Lyon travels to AS Roma.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press