Deportivo La Coruña 0 - Manchester United 2
Scaloni, César, Naybet, Capdevila; Mauro Silva, Sergio; Víctor
(Duscher 87'), Valerón (Djalminha 70'), Fran (Makaay 60'); Diego
Deportivo La Coruña's European campaign appears to be over after they lost at home 0-2 in this first leg tie to Manchester United. Depor had never been beaten by an English side in the Riazor stadium and Alex Ferguson's team had never won in Spain against a Spanish club. However records are made to be broken, and after a lively start by the visitors in which Molina saved from Van Nistelrooy, Beckham gave the English side the lead with a shot from fully 35 yards out which sailed over the keeper into the top of the net. Barthez saved from a Diego Tristán header and then from a César shot in a three minute period later on, but Van Nistelrooy extended Manchester's lead shortly before half time, turning Silvestre's cross under the keeper. A couple of minutes later though Roy Keane had to leave the field with a hamstring injury, ex Atlético Madrid midfielder Fortune coming on in his place.
Depor were lucky not to have fallen further behind after the break when Greek referee Kyros Vassaras waved away two penalty appeals, the first by Scaloni on Silvestre and the second by the same player on Van Nistelrooy. Giggs' speed took him clear of the defence twice in a minute, with Molina forcing him wide on the first occasion and César clearing off the line on the second. All this time Depor were nowhere to be seen, and the introduction of Makaay and Djalminha made no impact on the game. With the match won Ferguson put on Solksjaer for Van Nistelrooy and almost immediately the Norwegian forward fired a shot against the outside of the post. Manchester had done enough though, and they should have no problems going through in the second leg next Wednesday at Old Trafford. The English team will however have problems in midfield for that game, with Keane injured and Scholes suspended after picking up another yellow card, and Beckham must be doubtful after an awful tackle by Tristán left him writhing in pain clutching his ankle. The Spanish international striker was lucky only to see a yellow card as the England midfielder left the field on a stretcher, although subsequent tests showed that the injury was not as serious as was first thought.