Old Trafford: Manchester United have a thing for last minute pyrotechnics and it wasn't any different in their Champions League game against Olympiakos at Old Trafford. United needed to win to reach the second round but nothing happened till 79 minutes.Seven minutes into the game Manchester United's Ryan Giggs came in with a nice cross to Rudd Van Nistelrooy, but the header was well saved by Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos.Ten minutes later Juan Sebastian Veron showed off some off his skills before taking a crack at goal, but the Olympiakos keeper, playing with an injured finger, pulled off another amazing save.Olympiakos never really threatened the Manchester goal till five minutes into the second half, when Elias Poursanidis charged with a shot from just outside the penalty area, but it went just wide.In the 62nd minute, Beckham found Van Nistelrooy in the penalty area and he earned his team a penalty, after one of the Olympiakos defenders handled the ball. The Dutchman took the spot kick, only to see Eleftheropouls produce a stunning diving save to deny Manchester the lead.In the 76th minute Veron had another chance to put United up, but his free kick from 30 meters out only managed to find the post. Substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came on and made the difference, after some stunning work by Van Nistelrooy. The centre forward found an unmarked Solskjaer who smashed the ball into the roof of the net as Manchester finally took the lead in the 79th minute.Nine minutes later, a long pass by Veron was well controlled by Giggs who chipped the ball over the advancing Olympiakos keeper to double Manchester's lead. The final nail in the coffin for Olympiakos came United produced a superb team goal, Van Nistelrooy getting the final touch with Manchester winning the match 3-0."You have to be patient and I think we showed that, we persevered, unlucky that we missed the penalty, hit the wood work and all these things. But a good solid performance and against a side we knew had a go at us," said Sir Alex Fergusson, Manchester United manager.The victory earned United a place in the second round. They play their last league match of the first phase against Lille on the October 31.A look at the matches aheadReal test for RomaReal Madrid have had a brilliant start to the Champions League, not having lost a game so far. They were the first team to qualify for the second stage as well. They take on Italian champions A S Roma at home whom they had beaten 2-1 in Rome. The match will be of greater significance for Roma who know a win will seal their place in the second phase. And Real will be enforced with the return of record signing Zinedine Zidane after the mid-fielder completed his five match ban.Liverpool look for win against Boavista Liverpool still without manager Gerrad Houllier and possibly star striker Michael Owen have a tricky encounter in Portugal against champions Boavista. Liverpool who drew 1-1 at Anfield, will like to come one better this time around and win to confirm their place in the next phase. Their away form in the Champions League has been a revelation, with them scoring a convincing 2-1 win in Kiev last week.Must win for Arsenal against Mallorca Arsenal take on Real Mallorca at home in their penultimate Champions League Group C match knowing anything less than a win will leave them struggling to qualify for the second group stage. The Spaniards, however, would be happy to leave Highbury with a draw as it would keep them above Arsenal in the group table. The two teams are equal on points but Mallorca are in second place by virtue of having beaten Arsenal 1-0 at home last month.Lazio must overcome GalatasarayAny result other than a victory in Rome will eliminate Lazio from the Champions' League. They face Turkish giants Galatasaray in what will be a do or die match for them. After losing their opening three games, the Italian side finally notched up a win last week against PSV Eindhoven to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the next phase.The Turkish side though know that a win tonight would seal their place in the next round. In the other matches, Anderlecht play Lokomotive Moscow at home in group A. Dynamo Kiev travel to Germany to play Borussia Dortmund in Group B. Group C leaders Panathinaikos face Schalke at home, while in group D Nantes travel to Eindhoven to take on PSV.
Topics : Football