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SK Sturm Graz 0 - 2 Manchester United FC
Wed 6 December 20:45
Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadion, Graz
Watch the Video highlight of the Match
United end bad away run with Graz victory

Manchester United FC cruised to victory in front of a full house at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium, beating SK Sturm Graz 1-0 in this UEFA Champions League Second Group Stage match in Austria. Goals from Paul Scholes and substitute Ryan Giggs were enough to earn United a valuable three points, in a game that saw the visitors totally dominate proceedings in front of a partisan Graz crowd.

Paul Scholes scored United opening goal
(© Reuters)
Counter attacks

As the rain beat down, the English Premiership champions soaked up Graz’s early exuberance and hit them with regular penetrating counter attacks. Forward Dwight Yorke had United's first effort on goal, after good work by Mikaël Silvestre, but Graz keeper Kazimierz Sidorczuk gathered at the second attempt. Yorke then broke into the hosts’ penalty area, but drove a powerful effort wide of the target, after gliding past Günther Neukirchner. The pressure finally told after 18 minutes, when Teddy Sheringham fed Scholes with a delightful flick, and the United man chipped over the onrushing Sidorczuk to give United a well-deserved lead.

United continued to look comfortable during the remainder of the first half, pushing Graz back towards their own goal and retaining possession in the midfield. The Swedish referee waved away penalty claims as half time approached, following Mehrdad Minavand’s clumsy challenge on the lively David Beckham, and it was testament to some stout Graz defending that it was only 1-0 at the break.

Denied by crossbar
Graz came out fighting for the second half, creating several chances in the early moments as they tried desperately to grab an equalising goal, and a way back into the tie.
Captain Ivica Vastic appeared to pose the greatest threat to Fabien Barthez’s goal, bossing the midfield and pushing forward to support Tomislav Kocijan. It was his pass that fed Kocijan, as he blasted a 25 metre effort towards goal, and was unlucky to see the ball rebound off the face of the crossbar and behind for a goal kick. The referee then turned down Graz penalty appeals, deeming Gary Neville’s sliding challenge on the ever-busy Vastic to be a fair one.

Attacking substitutions
Graz coach Ivica Osim threw on two forward players at the expense of two defenders, as Hannes Reinmayr and Gerald Strafner replaced Günther Neukirchner and György Korsos. Reinmayr looked the more lively, but the closest the hosts came to equalising was through a United player. Roy Keane headed Vastic’s swerving cross towards his own goal, and Barthez had to be at his athletic best to beat the ball clear.

Deciding goal
With time running out for the home side, United launched a killer counter attack and grabbed the deciding goal. Ryan Giggs broke into the Graz box and drove a powerful effort under the sprawling body of Sidorczuk, to make it 2-0 and secure the points for his side. Manchester United showed glimpses of their very best and dominated every aspect of the game, thoroughly deserving the victory. Graz now have until February to lick their wounds and bounce back with a much improved performance.

First Half  0 - 1
18'  18 Scholes  MU
21'  30 Fleurquin  SG
Extra 50"
Second Half  0 - 2
58'  8 Butt  MU
70'  11 Korsos (out)
9 Reinmayr (in)
80'  8 Butt (out)
11 Giggs (in)
82'  3 Neukirchner (out)
7 Strafner (in)
85'  15 Mamedov (out)
6 Mählich (in)
89'  11 Giggs  MU
89'  9 Reinmayr  SG
89'  19 Yorke (out)
20 Solskjær (in)
89'  3 Irwin (out)
12 P Neville (in)
Extra 3'00"
Full Time Statistics
4 Shots on goal 5
5 Wide shots 4
12 Fouls committed 12
5 Corners 5
3 Off sides 6
28'49" Ball Possession (time) 35'32"
44% Ball Possession (%) 56%
Detailed Match Player Statistics >>
Ferguson in positive mood after victory in Austria
Manchester United FC gained their first away win of this season’s UEFA Champions League with a performance that left coach Sir Alex Ferguson in positive mood.
Graz Post-match reaction
United end bad away run with Graz victory
Manchester United FC cruised to victory in front of a full house at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium, beating SK Sturm Graz 2-0 in this UEFA Champions League Second Group Stage match in Austria.
Sturm look to punish United's poor away form
SK Sturm Graz begin their quest on Wednesday to match their achievement in the First Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League
Sturm Graz
1 Sidorczuk 
3 Neukirchner 
10 Vastic (C)
11 Korsos 
12 Prilasnig 
15 Mamedov 
18 Schopp 
20 Minavandchal 
21 Kocijan 
24 Popovic 
30 Fleurquin 
25 Knezevic 
5 Foda 
6 Mählich 
7 Strafner 
9 Reinmayr 
16 Feldhofer 
19 Szabics 
OSIM Ivica
Man United
1 Barthez 
2 G Neville 
3 Irwin 
7 Beckham 
8 Butt 
10 Sheringham 
16 Keane (C)
18 Scholes 
19 Yorke 
24 Brown 
27 Silvestre 
17 Van Der Gouw 
11 Giggs 
12 P Neville 
20 Solskjær 
25 Fortune 
30 O'Shea 
34 Greening 
FRISK Anders (SWE)
Assistant Referee
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