Man United, Reading play out goalless draw

Updated: 15 August 2007 16:11 IST

Wayne Rooney fractured a bone in his left foot Sunday, leaving Manchester United to settle for a 0-0 draw with Reading in the Premier League.


Wayne Rooney fractured a bone in his left foot Sunday, leaving Manchester United to settle for a 0-0 draw with Reading in the Premier League.

The England striker picked up a hairline fracture trying to force the ball home just before halftime. Although he was able to continue playing, he was limping badly. United manager Alex Ferguson said the foot began to swell and he had to replace at halftime.

"He couldn't really stand on it," Ferguson said. "But it started to swell so there was no point in trying anything with the second half with him."

United States goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann denied the defending champions at Old Trafford from beginning its new campaign with a victory, making five key saves.

"All credit to the lad. He made some fantastic saves," Ferguson said. "He's experienced, he's confident. It was just one of those days."

Earlier, Arsenal scored two goals in the last seven minutes to beat Fulham 2-1 and make up for an embarrassing blunder by goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. Chelsea also conceded an early goal against Birmingham but bounced back to win 3-2 and set a record of 64 games unbeaten at home, moving ahead of the Liverpool team that went 63 unbeaten from 1978-81.

Ferguson didn't start either of his four new signings - Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tevez, Nani and Anderson - as United began its defense with a familiar lineup. After the loss of Rooney, the Red Devils struggled to break down Reading's well-organised defence.

"The loss of Wayne Rooney was obvious," Ferguson said. "I think if he'd have been on the pitch we'd have won the match. We were just lacking that central striker and the experience of a central striker and it cost us."

Hahnemann made saves from John O'Shea and Michael Carrick and, after Reading was reduced to 10 men following the 73rd-minute sending off of Dave Kitson for a lunge at Patrice Evra, he made three more standout blocks.

He dived to his right to stop a 25-meter free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo and then recovered to save Paul Scholes' header. In injury time, he dived to his left to block a low shot from Carrick.

"What an unbelievable team they are to go 10 men down and keep a clean sheet as well," Hahnemann said of his team. "It's a great result for us.

"(Manchester United) have got so many different options. Up front they've got six or seven world-class players. For me the goal is to keep a clean sheet which we and the back four strive to do."

Arsenal beat Fulham

At the Emirates Stadium, the match was only 52 seconds old when Lehmann gave Fulham a goal.

The Germany goalkeeper collected a back pass from Gael Clichy and failed to control the ball as he tried to pass it to the left back. The ball rolled to David Healy and he stabbed the ball into the net.

Fulham continued to stifle Arsenal's talented midfield, but the Gunners finally equalised when Carlos Bocanegra blocked Kolo Toure and conceded a penalty. Robin van Persie hit the spot kick into the roof of the net.

There was a flare-up as Arsenal tried to retrieve the ball quickly from the back of the net and three players - Fulham's Tony Warner and Papa Bouba Diop and Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini - were shown the yellow card.

Warner was only on the field because Fulham's first-choice goalkeeper, Antti Niemi, injured his hand during the warmup.

Arsenal chased the winner and it came from Alexander Hleb's 12-meter shot in the final minute.

Former Chelsea striker Mikael Forssell gave Birmingham the lead at Stamford Bridge in the 15th. The Finn's header sent Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech the wrong way after Liam Ridgewell had flicked on a free kick by Gary McSheffrey.

Signed from Bayern Munich, Peru striker Claudio Pizarro equalized in the 17th with a low shot from Shaun Wright-Phillips' cross despite Birmingham goalkeeper Colin Doyle getting both hands to the ball.

Florent Malouda, another of manager Jose Mourinho's new signings, made it 2-1 in the 31st after Salomon Kalou put him clear of the defense. But Birmingham leveled five minutes later when Olivier Kapo easily beat Glenn Johnson and cut inside to hit a powerful rising shot inside the far post.

Michael Essien made it 3-2 with a 20-meter shot in the 50th, although Doyle was again at fault.

Back from injury, Didier Drogba replaced Pizarro midway through the second half and almost scored an amazing fourth goal. With Doyle caught well out of his area after a poor clearance, the Chelsea striker tried a shot from just inside the Birmingham half but the ball sailed wide.

When the season kicked off Saturday, former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson marked his first game in the Premier League with a victory when Manchester City won 2-0 at West Ham.

Sunderland upset Tottenham 1-0 at home after an injury-time goal by Michael Chopra, and Steven Gerrard's 25-meter free kick earned Liverpool a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa. Sam Allardyce guided Newcastle to a 3-1 victory at former club Bolton, Everton edged Wigan 2-1, Blackburn won 2-1 at Middlesbrough, and promoted Derby drew 2-2 with Portsmouth.

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
Related Articles
Cristiano Ronaldo Will Remain Real Madrid Player For '2-3 More Years', Says Zinedine Zidane
Cristiano Ronaldo Will Remain Real Madrid Player For '2-3 More Years', Says Zinedine Zidane
Picture This! Pensive Neymar Stirs Renewed Paris Saint-Germain Fever
Picture This! Pensive Neymar Stirs Renewed Paris Saint-Germain Fever
Alvaro Morata Completes Chelsea Move, Targets Silverware
Alvaro Morata Completes Chelsea Move, Targets Silverware
Show Comments