Date: 8th May 2006 at 9:01pm
Written by:

MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville (Vidic 62), Ferdinand, Brown,Silvestre, Ronaldo, O’Shea (Scholes 45), Giggs, Richardson,Saha (Solskjaer 61), Rossi.


Subs Not Used: Howard, Fletcher.



CHARLTON ATH: Andersen, Sankofa (Fortune 45), Sorondo, Perry,Powell, Holland, Kishishev, Euell (Ambrose 61), Hughes,Bartlett, Darren Bent (Sam 45).


Subs Not Used: Randolph, Bothroyd.


Att: 73,006


United made that Premiership runners-up spot their own, but it was the massive story BEFORE the game concerning Ruud van Nistelrooy that was all the talk of the day.

Man Utd issued a statement confirming van Nistelrooy had ‘gone home’ because he wasn’t included in the team.

The Dutchman was out in the cold, but Louis Saha, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kieran Richardson all found the net in his absence, as well as unlucky Charlton veteran Jason Euell.

Rossi had already carved out a couple of half chances for himself when Richardson let fly with a brutal 30-yard shot which crashed down off the crossbar. And it was not long before Charlton keeper Stephan Andersen was picking the ball out of his net though as Saha rose to glance home a Ryan Giggs corner.

Ronaldo made it two midway through the half, with Giggs again supplying the assist.
After failing to make any contact with his first attempt to convert the Welshman’s low cross, Ronaldo was no doubt grateful for a kind rebound which offered him a second attempt to fire home his 12th goal of another mixed campaign.

There was also an element of good fortune about United’s third, although Ronaldo could argue it was his far post run which harassed Euell into turning Saha’s low cross into his own net.

The introduction of two old stagers, Paul Scholes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, either side of Richardson’s effort only reinforced the sense of a carnival.