Manchester United beat Celtic 3-2

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Louis Saha scored two goals and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added another in Manchester United's 3-2 win over Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Louis Saha scored two goals and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added another in Manchester United's 3-2 win over Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday. Celtic got first-half goals from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Shunsuke Nakamura in the high-tempo Group F match at Old Trafford before 74,041 fans. Saha scored twice in the first half, the first from a penalty. Solskjaer, who has been injured for most of the last two seasons, came on for Ryan Giggs and chipped in a rebound in the 46th. "Celtic had a go all night which is typical of the history of that club," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. "But in fairness to our lads, some of our attacking play was really good and we could have had more goals. "We could have scored 10 to be honest with you." Celtic took the lead in the 21st minute when Rio Ferdinand missed a clearance and Vennegoor of Hesselink ran forward to score past diving United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. Seven minutes later, United leveled when Saha converted a penalty, earned when Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc ran off his line to challenge Giggs running through the box. Boruc, who was also shown a yellow card, dived correctly to his right, but Saha scored into the corner. "It was not a penalty," Celtic manager Gordon Strachan said. "There's no mistake there. The referee's made one mistake, we've made numerous." Strachan said his team was let down by poor passing. "Our problem is going to be waking up tomorrow and living with regrets," he said. "We thought we could get them on the counterattack, but the biggest problem of the night was we gave ourselves the problem with unnecessary bad passing." Vennegoor of Hesselink headed over Nakamura's free kick before Saha scored his second goal in the 40th, taking a through ball from Paul Scholes to score under Boruc. Scholes and Wayne Rooney were playing their first matches after serving three-match domestic suspensions. "I thought he was the man of the match," Ferguson said of Scholes. "His passing won us the game. Scholes is 31, in the same situation as Wayne, but he was phenomenal (with) his composure and passing awareness." Saha was United's main threat, heading a cross from Gary Neville wide and sidefooting another chance over the bar in the first half. Nakamura made it 2-2 with a curling free kick in the 43rd, earned when Jiri Jarosik was fouled by United defender Wes Brown. Solskjaer chipped in the winner after Saha's attempt was parried by Boruc. Saha missed a hat trick when his header was saved by a diving Boruc in the 63rd. "It was one of those games where you get so many opportunities but two goals is not so bad," Saha said. Rooney's lack of match fitness showed and his best chance was in the 70th, but Boruc saved. In the 79th, Van der Sar saved Gravesen. In the final minutes, Boruc made an acrobatic cross to keep out an own-goal, pushing the ball onto the post after Celtic defender Paul Telfer had tried to clear an attempt by Darren Fletcher. Saha missed with the rebound. Ferguson said Giggs had a hamstring injury and would be sidelined for three to four weeks. United's three goals were more than it scored in total in last season's group stage, where it finished bottom. It was the earliest United had been eliminated from the Champions League since the 1994-95 season. It was the first time the English and Scottish powerhouses have met in a competitive match. Ferguson coached Strachan at Scottish club Aberdeen - it won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983 - and later, in his first three years at Manchester United. And Ferguson once played for Celtic's rival Rangers. (AP)

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