Manchester wins in Champions League

MANCHESTER, England, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scored twice and defender Laurent Blanc headed one in Wednesday as Manchester United outclassed Boavista Porto, 3-0, in Group A of the Champions League.

Van Nistelrooy tucked in a close-range ball from a low right side cross by defenseman Phil Neville in the 31st minute. Blanc doubled the lead 10 minutes into the second half when he leaped above all off a corner kick cross by Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, who also was involved in the build-up on the first marker.


Van Nistelrooy completed the scoring in the 62nd minute with his sixth goal in the Champions League, finishing a perfect through ball from Dwight Yorke with a clinical shot to the far post.

United tops Bayern Munich in Group A on goal differential. The German side won, 1-0, at French champion Nantes on Wednesday. Brazilian striker Paolo Sergio scored the lone goal at 65 minutes. Sergio and countryman Giovane Elber wasted other scoring chances.

The result left Nantes at the bottom of the standings. It also lost to third-place Boavista on Nov. 20.


The two Portuguese clubs in the tournament, Boavista and FC Porto, did not have good weeks as both dropped home matches. On Tuesday, Porto lost 1-0 to surprising Czech Republic champion Sparta Prague in a Group C meeting.

In Group B on Wednesday, Barcelona kept possession of first place after rallying for a 2-2 draw against Turkish champion Galatasaray.

Umit Karan and Uruguayan forward Fleurquin slotted the Turks to a 2-0 halftime lead. Argentine striker Javier Saviola, who turns 20 next week, pulled one back just three minutes into the second half. The diminutive Argentine avoided defeat for the Catalan giant with his second goal from close range in the 66th minute.

Galatasaray finished with nine players after Brazilian Capone was red-carded for a rough tackle on countryman Rivaldo in the 62nd minute. Hakan Unsal was ejected in injury time for kicking away the ball. He received a yellow card earlier for a foul on Saviola.

Italian champion AS Roma and defending UEFA Cup champion Liverpool of England played to a scoreless tie at the Stadio Olimpico.

Liverpool had the better play in the first half while the home side pushed forward more in the second but was unable to beat Polish goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.


Also Tuesday, Arsenal topped Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen beat Deportivo Coruna in Group D. All four teams are even at three points apiece.

In the other Group C match, Real Madrid rolled over Panathinaikos of Greece, 3-0, and controls the group with six points.

The tournament breaks for more than two months and resumes Feb. 19, 2002.

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