Sir Alex Ferguson had to make two changes before the kick-off: Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand were replaced with Darren Fletcher and Wes Brown respectively.
It did not seem to bother United: in the very first minute Rooney released Saha with a fine ball but the Frenchman failed to beat Christiansen.
Quarter of an hour gone, Ronaldo had an excellent chance to score. After Saha’s measured pass, the Portuguese winger shot over the bar from the left – it was quite selfish to be honest with Rooney waiting all alone in the middle. Six minutes later, and resilient Copenhagen had their first chance of the game but van der Sar was equal to Allbäck’s cross.
After half an hour, Rooney once again threaded a wonderful ball int to path of Saha who shot straight at Christiansen. The visitor’s keeper then turned away Carrick’s 18-yard effort and it started to be an increasingly frustrating night for the Reds. However, Paul Scholes had other ideas, the little midfielder fired into the net from 20 yards after Saha’s lay-off. Ronaldo had a glorious chance to increase the lead but headed wide.
The second half started with O’Shea’s fortuitous goal that all but killed off the game. After the hour mark, Alan Smith and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came on and while both of them had good chances it was Richardson who scored the third and final goal. His powerful shot was completely misjudged by the otherwise excellent Christiansen and the ball deflected into the net.
United all but booked their place in the knockout phase – a great relief after last season’s European disaster.
Van der Sar 6
Rarely tested but did his job well when called into action.
Scored an outrageously lucky goal otherwise a little inconsistent
Replaced Ferdinand minutes before the kick-off nad put in a solid performance.
I hope his goal against Wigan will boost his confidence. Looked calm throughout the game.
Good contribution. He was solid at the back;maybe should have gone forward more often.
Tenacious, ever-improving. He fought for every ball but his crosses were ineffective. Should play in centre midfield against Liverpool.
Could have been Star Man – it was the Scholesy we all want to see. Scored a great goal and his passing and composure did not let him down. Should have been awarded a penalty.
His poorest game in red so far. Looked off the pace and did not take risks when he had the ball. His passing improved in the second half but he was rightly substituted. Needs to build up his confidence.
Threatening runs and good dribbling but very selfish on occasions – so no surprises there. Managed to hit O’Shea’s standing leg from a corner to claim an assist.
My choice for star man. He seems to have regained his touch and was back to his best. Should have scored but Ronaldo decided to shoot rather than to pass…
His pace and mobility posed a permanent threat to the visitors’ defence but he missed unmissable chances.
He was a constant menace in a quiet period. Could have had an assist and a goal but Smith and himself missed the chances.
Great to see him back. He needs to regain his sharpness but the competitive drive surely did not abandon him. Should have scored from Solskjaer’s fine ball.
Scored a lucky goal. Remains to be seen whether Fergie trust him for more difficult games.