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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun May 02 08:46:41 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Euro Cup Final applications from OT
2. United - Villa TV report
3. Beckham stuns brave Villa!!
4. Match report 365  Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1
5. BBC Report:   United back on top


(Real audio files archived at http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99)
Today Interviews after the Villa game:
David Beckham + Alex Ferguson
http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/990501_becks_after_villa.rm  1m 53s  123k
http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/990501_alex_after_villa.rm   2m 09s  140k


Daily RED Trivia  Sun 2nd May 1999:

2/4/1975: David Beckham was born in Leytonstone. Made his United debut in 1992 at
 Brighton in a League Cup tie,  winning an FA Youth Cup medal that year. Won
 Premiership medals in  1996 and 1997, and an FA Cup Winners medal in 1996.
 Between 1992-98 he has made 154 appearances and scored 33 goals. 18 caps
 for England, playing  in the 1998 World Cup Finals.  

2/4/1993: United win the Premiership title as rivals Aston Villa lose at Oldham Athletic,
 their first title success in 26 years. The Reds finish 10 points clear of Villa.  

2/4/1994: United win their second successive Premiership title as rivals Blackburn Rovers
 lose at Coventry City. The final points tally of 94 is a new record, Rovers trailing
 8 points adrift in second place.


Barry Daily Comment: 

Tremendous goal by David Beckham collected all 3 needed 
points for the REDS yesterday. Now its Arsenals turn today home to Derby.
In todays Daily News info from OT on FAC + ECL Final Tickets!

Bayern Watch:
Bayern Munich 4 - 2 Borussia Moenchengladbach
Borussia Moenchengladbach (whose name I refuse to write again) have
already been relegated so this was expected to be easy for the league
leaders. In the event, they went 1-0 down and then 2-1 down before coming
back strongly. Both teams had a player sent off. For Bayern it was
goalkeeper Kahn (yes, the one who's fond of bananas) who received two
yellow cards, the first for bringing down an opponent in the area to
concede a penalty, the second for then mouthing off to the referee about
the first card. He seems to have an attitude problem, not surprising given
his face, and it may be something we can exploit in the final.

With Leverkusen managing only a draw, Bayern regain a ten-point lead. With
five games remaining, they need only five points to secure the title, the
first step of their treble. Their second step is the European Cup Final,
which just happens to be the third step of our treble. Someone is going to
be disappointed. Let's hope it's Herr Kahn, the banana fetishist.


Latest sound interviews in Real Audio here: 

Everyone who wants the goal in Real Time Video 300k now thanks to RED CAFE!

FA Cup Semi Final Replay
14 April 1999
Manchester United 2:1 Arsenal
 Villa Park
  Download Ryan Giggs Goal! (Real Video: 300K)
Thanks to the Theatre of Dreams

Important European Cup Ticket Info: (thanks to Mike)

UEFA Champions League final tickets information

The following has appeared on the UEFA website regarding tickets for the 
final.  Subject to the minor matter of beating Juventus next week, this is of 
particular interest to supporters outside England, since applications will 
not be accepted from the countries of competing clubs.   

UEFA Champions League final tickets information 
UEFA Champions League Final 
Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain 
Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 
Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) 

Apart from ticket orders from supporters residing in the countries of the two 
finalist clubs - Manchester United FC (England) or Juventus FC (Italy) and 
Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine) or FC Bayern München (Germany) - which, for security 
reasons, must be submitted to the clubs concerned, ticket orders for the 
general public irrespective of their country of residence can be ordered 
through the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (Spanish Football Federation).

Ticket Order Methods: Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF)  
Post Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF)
Alberto Bosch, 13
E-29014 MADRID
Telephone ++34-91-369 5045
++34-91-369 4771
++34-91-369 4129 
Fax ++34-91-429 8428 
E-Mail rfef@tsai.es 
Closing Date Thursday 29 April 1999 

No supporter may purchase more than four tickets, subject to availability. 
Tickets are for personal use only, and must not be resold or used for 
commercial purposes. The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (Spanish Football 
Federation) may reject or reduce any ticket order considered to be 

Prices Pesetas 
Category 1 14,000 Ptas 
Category 2 10,000 Ptas 
Category 3 7,000 Ptas 
Category 4 4,500 Ptas 

Written confirmation - by fax or mail - will be forwarded on receipt of an 
order for tickets for this match, and the amount for the total price of the 
tickets will be transferred to the Banco Popular Español.
Account Number: 0075-0591-17-0600300602
Banco Popular Español, Agencia 51, Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 25, E-28014 MADRID


Previous News:
BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:
If you would like ALL the final fixtures for
UNITED/Arse/Chelsea then go to http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899.htm

Next Games:
5  Liverpool (A) 20.00 PL           Live on Sky Sports UK
9  Middlesbrough (A)  16.00 PL      Live on Sky Sports UK
12 Blackburn (A)  20.00 PL          Live on Sky Sports UK
16 Tottenham (H)  16.00 PL          Live on Sky Sports UK
22 FAC Final Wembley Newcastle  (N) Live on Sky Sports UK
26 European Cup Final Bayern Munich  Nou Camp 

UNITED Stats v All teams:

   Charlton Athletic   0-0   Blackburn Rovers      20,043
             Chelsea   3-1   Everton               34,909
       Coventry City   2-1   Wimbledon             21,200
           Liverpool   3-2   Tottenham Hotspur     44,007
   Manchester United   2-1   Aston Villa           55,189
    Newcastle United   1-1   Middlesbrough         36,784
   Nottingham Forest   2-0   Sheffield Wednesday   20,480
         Southampton   2-1   Leicester City        15,228
     West Ham United   1-5   Leeds United          25,997

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 01/05/99 ***
Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    34 13  4  1  43  17   7  7  2  32  17   41   71
 2  Arsenal              34 12  5  0  32   5   7  7  3  22  10   39   69
 3  Chelsea              35 10  6  1  26  12   8  8  2  26  15   25   68
 4  Leeds United         35 11  5  2  31   9   6  7  4  28  22   28   63
 5  Aston Villa          36 10  3  5  30  24   5  7  6  18  17    7   55
 6  West Ham United      36 10  3  5  28  26   5  6  7  14  21   -5   54
 7  Middlesbrough        36  7  9  2  25  17   5  6  7  23  32   -1   51
 8  Liverpool            35  9  4  4  39  22   5  4  9  24  24   17   50
 9  Derby County         34  8  6  4  22  19   4  6  6  15  22   -4   48
10  Tottenham Hotspur    35  7  6  4  25  21   4  7  7  18  22    0   46
11  Leicester City       35  6  6  5  22  23   5  7  6  15  20   -6   46
12  Newcastle United     36  7  5  6  25  24   4  7  7  22  27   -4   45
13  Wimbledon            36  7  7  4  22  19   3  5 10  18  39  -18   42
14  Sheffield Wednesday  36  6  5  7  19  15   5  2 11  20  27   -3   40
15  Everton              36  5  8  5  16  12   5  2 11  20  33   -9   40
16  Coventry City        36  8  5  5  24  19   3  2 13  13  30  -12   40
17  Southampton          36  8  4  6  27  26   1  4 13   6  38  -31   35
18  Blackburn Rovers     35  6  4  7  20  22   1  8  9  16  27  -13   33
19  Charlton Athletic    36  4  7  7  20  19   3  5 10  17  33  -15   33
20  Nottingham Forest    36  2  7  9  17  31   3  2 13  15  37  -36   24


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171
20/02/99    Coventry City            Away     W  1-0     1    22,596
27/02/99    Southampton              Home     W  2-1     1    55,316
13/03/99    Newcastle United         Away     W  2-1     1    36,500
21/03/99    Everton                  Home     W  3-1     1    55,182
03/04/99    Wimbledon                Away     D  1-1     1    26,121
17/04/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home     W  3-0     1    55,270
25/04/99    Leeds United             Away     D  1-1     2    40,255
01/05/99    Aston Villa              Home     W  2-1     1    55,189


HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052)
BEST WIN:                06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:         20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)
BEST HOME WIN:           17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1)
HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT:    19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3)
BEST AWAY WIN:           06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:    20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)

Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd  2 v 0  Inter Milan
 Real Madrid     1 v 1  Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus        2 v 1  Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich   2 v 0  Kaiserslautern

**DYNAMO KIEV      2 v 0  REAL MADRID         (Agg:3-1)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Finals 
Manchester United v Juventus  4-3agg 1-0 [1-1]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev  4-3agg 1-0 [3-3]

Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain 
Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) 


Click on pic for all Champions League Results

Subject: Euro Cup Final applications from OT We received our FA Cup final tickets this morning and applications forms for Barcelona were included. Briefly, fans who went to Inter Milan along with season ticket holders and members with all 12 vouchers are invited to apply either for an official package or for tickets only. The official packages are priced as follows: Day trip £275 + ticket (from Manchester or Gatwick) 3 day trip (Tues - Thurs) £475 + ticket Coach trips also available priced £245 from Manchester with pick-ups on route to Dover. Booking forms for the coach trips have to picked up from the Membership Office, as can booking forms for the air trips for those who haven't received them direct from the club. Those who want to apply for tickets only can also do so but have to provide details of their travel arrangements (ie you have to make travel arrangements before you get your ticket!) The above prices are exclusive of match tickets, the majority of which cost between £12 and £28. You can apply by post immediately or in person at the membership office next weekend (8th/9th May). Good luck everyone! OUR SALFORD LASS
Click on pic for all Champions League Results

Subject: United - Villa TV report Phew! I felt better when we were 2-0 down against Juve than I did in those last 20 minutes when we were 2-1 up. The feeling that we were going to do a repeat of the first half (ie dominate, then lose control) stayed until the final whistle. But this was a game when the result mattered far more than the performance. (Wait a minute ... the result always matters more than the performance!) The game started in nice sunny weather. But where were all the promised flags and balloons? I spotted a couple of flags only. Had Martin started economising already? It looked as if he'd had 5 flags made and the 55,000 were expected to pass them around so everyone could have a two-second wave. The fans seemed to be in pretty good voice but, frankly, I'd been expecting stirring scenes of massed flag waving and thousands of red balloons. But I think I spotted Jon Leigh with some face paint. I was anxiously waiting to see if Shotgun Gregory was under close surveillance by the SPS thugs. After all, he had threatened to murder Yorkie not so long ago. If Dwight scored, would Shotgun rush on to the field and spray him with bullets? Yes, it seemed as if precautions had been taken as the first sight we got of Shotgun he appeared to have been bricked into his own little cell. We got the occasional sight of him growling. I'd hoped he might also have been strait-jacketed and trussed up like Anthony Hopkins in 'Silence of the Lambs' but that was not the case. And so to the game. No Jaapy, no Giggs, no Keano of course. But, what the hell was Ronaldo Johnsen doing on the field? Hadn't the always reliable Mirror just told us he was virtually on his death bed, his season finished, nay, his entire career up the spout through some terrible injury?? Does anybody at the Daily Mirror know anything at all? Anyway, it was a comforting sight to see Ronaldo, today partnered by Superstar. Up front, Yorkie and Teddy were partners and this was a promising move by Fergie, though one that had probably been forced upon him. We started very brightly, no doubt Fergie's dire threats of beatings still ringing in their ears. There was a hopeful sign in that both Teddy and Yorkie were winning a lot of stuff up front. Teddy especially was in creative mode early on and he would need to be as Villa were massing in defence and hoping for a swift counter. On 15, we got a free kick. Becks drove a nice curver towards the top left but the canny Southgate had positioned himself precisely there and headed it away. Well done, Southgate. Just make a mental note to keep on doing that for Beckham free kicks and you'll be alright. Doh! On 22 minutes our first goal arrived after a series of corners. Jesper crossed the ball into the area, Scholes stuck out a speculative leg and sent the ball towards goal, but, in a moment of delightful confusion, Steve Watson failed to control the ball under pressure from Yorkie, and the ball bobbled over the line. Watson doesn't score many goals so I was very pleased to see the lad scoring one today. Well done, Steve. For the next few minutes we had Villa on the rack and should perhaps have finished them off. One reason we didn't, despite some pretty passing, was that Becks was having problems crossing the ball and was a bit off with his shooting too. Goal difference might be crucial when the last kick of the season has been made so we need to pressure opponents more. We need the killer instinct back. As things turned out, Villa equalised against the run of play on 34 minutes through Joachim. We looked pretty dumb at this point. Until the Villa goal it had been another stroll a la Sheffield Wednesday for United and they obviously thought Villa wouldn't threaten. We eased up and paid the price. I wish managers could stop the game and give team talks every ten minutes or so. The lads had obviously forgotten Fergie's words. A minute later we almost found ourselves 2-1 down as Big Dion lobbed a ball over Schmikes just wide of the post. We finished the half with a couple of corners and exerting some pressure but the feeling was we'd let it slip through carelessness and Villa had gained in confidence. It would be harder in the second half. But, as always, IFWT (In Fergie We Trust). We got off to the best possible start to the second half. Shotgun Gregory had just been fitted into his strait jacket and had his face mask tightened when we got a free kick some way outside the Villa area. Up steps Becks. He seemed to be placing the ball with a hell of a lot of care. We all surveyed the scene before us: massed Villa defence, goalie on the line ... but no Southgate this time. The ball seemed to curve from right to left, the goalie scarcely moved, and the ball zoomed into exactly that part of the goal where Southgate should perhaps have been standing. I can only guess that he thought the ball was so far out that Becks had no chance of beating the keeper. Will tomorrow's headline be 'Southgate Shot by Crazed Manager'? It was a great relief. I had been afraid that the half would develop into one of those really dire frustraing afternoons when we chase a winner that never comes. Surely now they wouldn't let it slip as they had done in the first half? For a few minutes it looked as if we might capitalise on the goal, but Villa exerted some pressure of their own culminating in a loud penalty appeal on 55 minutes. Jesper had brought down his man with a bodycheck, a clear foul, and, frankly, it looked like he'd done it in the area. But the referee, quite rightly as the replays showed, awarded an indirect free kick just on the edge. Well done Bloomers! Not only did you time your foul perfectly but you also made it look accidental. Jesper had a pretty good game today, at least he looked interested and was involved a lot, especially his now famous scything left-leg tackle. I watched the Villa free kick through a crack between my fingers. It missed but Villa were gradually pushing us back. We then had a golden opportunity to make the game safe and perhaps do our goal difference a world of good by knocking in two or three more goals. The referee Mr Burge (I refuse to call him Bugger) awarded us a very dubious penalty when Phizza Neville fell like a ton of stolen scouse wheel hubs under the lightest of touches from Stone. Replays were inconclusive but I would not have been happy if it had been given against us. Up stepped Denis Irwin. His shot was hard but not particularly well directed, and the keeper managed to get a hand to it. I understand there is a solemn ceremony tonight at OT when the honorary title of 'Mr Reliable' will be stripped from poor Dinnnis. (But no doubt given back to him in time for the scousers on Wednesday.) We could have relaxed. But Villa took some comfort from the miss and applied more pressure. Our game went off somewhat, passes went astray, the front men were starved as all the long balls were cut out or passes were misdirected. Our midfield ... hello Butty and Scholes? ... appeared to have left the field and gone home. If this is a taste of what the midfield will be like against Bayern, then we should dampen our optimism somewhat. Things were so bad that Fergie was seen down on the touchline on 85 minutes putting the fear of God into each and every one of them. We looked confused at the back on a couple of occasions; on 89 minutes Wes was standing ball-watching as the ball bounced invitingly in our area. It took a Denis overhead kick over our crossbar to relieve the situation. Finally, two minutes into injury time, Yorkie had a good chance ... it's Leeds all over again ... but chose to shoot rather than pass to an unmarked player on the right. Unlike Leeds, this one didn't matter. The referee blew, I let out a sigh of relief, three people waved a flag, and that was that. A vital win, they're all vital now, but again we put a bit of pressure on Arsenal tomorrow at home to Derby. It's the scousers on Wednesday. Today they came back from 2-0 down to beat Spurs 3-2, but I'll feel a lot happier if Jaap is back in harness. Six more games. Four more weeks. Three titles still to be won. Will our hearts stand up under the strain? ______________ Terry Saudi
Click on pic for all Champions League Results

Subject: Beckham stuns brave Villa!! MAN UTD 2 v ASTON VILLA 1 FULL TIME Watson 20 og Joachim 33 Beckham 46 A stupendous second-half strike from David Beckham clinched maximum points for United at Old Trafford on an afternoon in which Alex Ferguson's hopes of fulfilling a unique treble almost bit the dust. Julian Joachim rocked the Old Trafford faithful with a richly deserved equaliser after a Steve Watson own goal had put United ahead but Beckham spared the Reds' blushes with a strike that keeps Alex Ferguson's treble chasers on track. United made a bright, positive start and almost punished John Gregory's men within 10-minutes. Jesper Blomqvist delivered a deep cross to the back post, Teddy Sheringham cut the ball back with a clever header but Paul Scholes fired his shot straight into the arms of Michael Oakes. Aston Villa, with striker Dion Dublin back in the first-team picture, looked sluggish and struggled to establish any pattern to their play. The home side eventually forced the opener after a period of sustained pressure. Blomqvist, the Swedish international, crossed to Paul Scholes whose shot took a wicked deflection off Villa defender Steve Watson past the stranded Michael Oakes. Villa rallied, however, and levelled proceedings through striker Julian Joachim in the 33rd-minute. Steve Stone broke the offside trap, squared to Joachim and the former Leicester frontman made no mistake with a comfortable tap-in to leave United reeling. Villa almost took the lead just minutes later but Dion Dublin's clever lob over Peter Schmeichel failed to find the net. The visitors' joy was short-lived, though, as David Beckham restored United's lead immediately after the interval. The England international struck home in the 46th-minute with a beautifully placed, trademark free-kick. Dennis Irwin wasted a golden opportunity to further United's lead when his penalty kick was saved well by Oakes after Steve Stone was adjudged to have bundled substitute Phil Neville over. It mattered little, however, as United held their nerve and, moreover, their lead to retain pole position at the top of the Premiership.
Click on pic for all Champions League Results

Subject: Match report 365 Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1 When Kevin Keegan asked Alex Ferguson which of his players he wanted to rest for England's friendly in Hungary, the Manchester United boss did not hesitate for a second. David Beckham was his immediate answer and as the winger tormented Aston Villa at Old Trafford to send his side back to the top of the Premiership table above Arsenal, it was easy to see why. Villa may not be the imposing side which led the Premiership before Christmas but they still managed to equalise Steve Watson's early own goal with a strike by Julian Joachim. But although his teammates' aching limbs showed as they began the month of May which holds the key to their treble destiny, Beckham scored a sublime 30-yard free-kick two minutes into the second half. United were even able to survive a missed penalty, as Michael Oakes brilliantly denied Denis Irwin. But their victory was mainly down to Beckham, who has played the large majority of United's games this season, and the week's rest he has benefited from - along with Gary Neville - clearly showed as he ran the show. United were without Ryan Giggs, Andy Cole and Jaap Stam through injury, while Roy Keane was suspended, but still they came out of the blocks fuelled with self-belief on their first return to Old Trafford since their success against Juventus. Colin Calderwood tangled with Paul Scholes in the area but no penalty was given, Scholes and Nicky Butt both aimed efforts straight at Oakes and Jesper Blomqvist fatally hesitated before having a shot deflected wide. Villa seemed hypnotised by United's fluid movement and pace, and were penned back, offering absolutely nothing at this stage as an attacking force. Beckham's first attempt at a free-kick, this one from 22 yards out, was bound for the top corner until Gareth Southgate, who had sneaked back almost unnoticed onto the goal-line, rose to head it over the bar. Little over a minute later United were ahead, even if their goal owed much to some desperately poor defending by the visitors. Blomqvist's visionary through-ball picked out Scholes and the midfielder headed the ball across goal for Watson, under pressure from Dwight Yorke, to apparently put the ball into his own net. Yorke nevertheless celebrated against his former club and the Old Trafford crowd promptly awoke from its slumbers - but so too did Villa. Scholes placed a chance just wide soon afterwards yet by now Paul Merson, who had been a peripheral figure, was roaming menacingly all over the pitch and arrived in the box to head a cross from Steve Stone straight at Peter Schmeichel. In contrast, United became lethargic, almost over-confident against a side who had failed to score on their previous four League visits to Old Trafford, as their crosses went astray and their movement dulled. When Stone again crossed from the right flank, the home defence even seemed to freeze and Joachim nipped in ahead of them. His effort may have been mis-hit but Schmeichel was still beaten and even though Merson had been offside as the cross came over, referee Keith Burge ruled that he had not been interfering with play as he was running away from goal. Villa were by now looking a different side, with the half-fit Dion Dublin trying a cheeky lob which went just wide and Merson's shot from the edge of the area being plucked out of the air by Schmeichel. Beckham was forced to try his luck from long-range, Yorke tried to go it alone and United were forced to rethink, Ferguson's side can never be discounted though and Teddy Sheringham forced Oakes into a fine diving save to deny him just before the break, while Scholes headed over the top. And within two minutes of the restart, they were ahead through Beckham's quite sublime free-kick, which gave Oakes absolutely no chance as it curved and dipped its way unerringly into the top corner. Scholes powered a drive just a yard wide of the upright soon afterwards and Villa were again chasing shadows, conceding a 65th-minute penalty when Stone needlessly pushed substitute Phil Neville. It took a tremendous save from Oakes to deny Denis Irwin from the spot, flinging himself to his right and tipping the ball around the post as he arched his outstretched arm above him. Scholes headed the resulting corner just wide amid a melee of players but as United then started to tire, there was Beckham, still full of running and even dropping into central midfield on occasions to orchestrate moves from there. While their natural urges demanded a third goal, the tightness of the league table and their aching muscles urged caution. England debutant Wes Brown came on for David May to counter the pace of Villa strikers Joachim and substitute Darius Vassell. United were perhaps fortunate that Villa's own creative touch deserted them, with a string of passes going astray just as they started to dominate possession again. But while United's limbs may be tiring, there is no disputing their strength of mind or the brilliance of Beckham. Over to you, Arsenal.
Click on pic for all Champions League Results

Subject: BBC Report: United back on top Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa Manchester United's title challenge survived a missed penalty and a resilient display by the visitors at Old Trafford. John Murray: "United win despite penalty miss" http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/330000/audio/_333411_jonmurray.ram Villa will look to a basic defensive error and a strange decision not to place a defensive wall to a David Beckham free kick, which cost them a chance of taking something back down the M6 motorway. Beckham got the eventual winner in the first minute of the second half after Steve Watson's own goal had been followed by a Julian Joachim equaliser. But Dennis Irwin spurned a generous opportunity to extend the lead from the spot when his kick was turned away by Villa's Michael Oakes, retained in the side following manager John Gregory's loss of patience over Mark Bosnich's contract. And Villa certainly enjoyed more of the later play with United nervously awaiting the final whistle. Villa intentions clear As early as the first minute referee Burge had refused to give United an early penalty after Colin Calderwood's challenge on Paul Scholes. Alex Ferguson: "I'm surprised they didn't build a wall when David took the free kick" http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/330000/audio/_333608_ferg.ram Villa's early intentions were clear - to get as many people behind the ball and try to break. On 13 minutes Ian Taylor was booked for a trip on the halfway line on former colleague Dwight Yorke. After 20, Steve Stone foolishly offered Beckham a chance at his favourite free kick from the left when he brought down Denis Irwin, but Southgate was back to clear it off the line. Watson own goal Seconds later United were ahead when Scholes pushed the ball across the six yard box as Yorke ran in towards goal. The ball hit Watson, trickled towards the line and past keeper Michael Oakes, who left it to the former Newcastle defender to clear the danger. Neither men reacted and Villa's plans to frustrate the home side were in some disarray. However they responded well to the setback although United continued to enjoy nearly all the possession. Too often the final ball was not up to their normal standard, as was the defending which led to the 33rd minute equaliser. Joachim levels Watson played a ball in to Stone's overlapping right wing run and the former Forest man zipped a fierce cross into the near post. Joachim was there to turn the ball towards goal, off the covering Scholes and into the net. Villa's confidence was inevitably boosted and Dublin might even have taken a lead when he acrobatically met a delightful ball over the defence from Merson, but his lob went wide. United's momentum had been slowed by the equaliser and the flowing moves of the early part of the half were now more stuttering. They even allowed Villa another chance when Merson was allowed to line up a long range shot which Schemichel saved. But United finished the half stronger and Sheringham saw Oakes do well to turn a fierce effort wide. Early winner The second half saw them win an early free kick within Beckham's range, but Villa seemed to believe it was too far from goal to be a threat and did not bother with a defensive wall. It was a strange decision given the England midfielder's reputation and he simply curled the ball over the crowded edge of the box, away from Oakes and into the top left-hand corner. United continued to press without creating anything clear cut although Villa were offered another chance to score when Blomqvist clattered into Mark Draper on the edge of the penalty area. Referee Burge have an indirect free kick for obstruction but Draper could not find Beckham's accuracy with the eventual shot. Oakes save sets up nervy finish Twenty minutes into the half United were offered a penalty by Mr Burge, when substitute Phil Neville went down as Stone challenged for the ball. Irwin took the resulting penalty but his kick was superbly saved by Oakes diving swiftly to his right. United would certainly have welcomed the two-goal cushion as Villa did most of the pressing as Alan Thompson and Darius Vassell were introduced into the action. But they could not create a clear cut chance as United were put on the back foot almost constantly for the final 20 minutes. Man Utd: Schmeichel, G. Neville, May, Johnsen, Irwin, Beckham, Scholes, Butt, Blomqvist, Yorke, Sheringham. Subs: P. Neville, Brown, Wilson, Greening, Van Der Gouw. Aston Villa: Oakes, Watson, Southgate, Calderwood, Wright, Stone, Draper, Taylor, Merson, Joachim, Dublin. Subs: Thompson, Barry, Vassell, Enckelman, Ehiogu. Referee: K Burge (Tonypandy)
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