Football: European Cup Final - Man For Man: How United Performed In The Nou Camp

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The Independent Online
PETER SCHMEICHEL

The weight on the captain's shoulders on his last night seemed to weigh heavily. Edgy from the start, with his kicking poor, he was wrong-footed for the Bayern goal. Credit with creating chaos at the equalising corner. Marks: 6/10

GARY NEVILLE

Pushed forward when possible

and was one of pitifully few United players to test the goalkeeper at any stage for 89 minutes. Defensively, not much happier than his team- mates when Bayern broke quickly at them. 6

JAAP STAM

Found the equally powerful Carsten Jancker a handful all night . Caught out of position after making an injudicious challenge upfield, he was in no position to prevent the quick break that led to the Bayern goal. 6

RONNY JOHNSEN

A little unfortunate to concede the free-kick for the goal, but had allowed Jancker to get goal-side. Possibly suffered from Stam's unexpected uncertainty alongside him. Grateful to his compatriot Solskjaer for getting him out of jail. 6

DENIS IRWIN

A much-need calming influence at the back, neat and tidy. Less opportunity than he would have liked, though, to push forward and help Blomqvist open up the right side of Bayern's defence before the Swede was taken off. 7

RYAN GIGGS

Forced to play on the right, tended to predictability in coming inside on his left foot on most occasions. Unable to go past his marker on the outside, but did at least look as if one of his sorties might unhinge the defence. 7

NICKY BUTT

Sweated hard in the engine-room, but had his work cut out dealing with Stefan Effenberg - which he did well - and was therefore unable to offer Beckham much assistance until his good late break and pass across the face of goal. 6

DAVID BECKHAM

Ran the midfield for long periods once the shock of conceding so early had worn off. Weighted his crosses well and whipped in some good corners - notably the last. Could have done with the chance to emulate Basler's free-kick. 7

JESPER BLOMQVIST

Given his first game in almost three weeks, but struggled to get into it. Gave Markus Babbel a much easier evening than he might have been expecting when picked to mark Giggs. No surprise that his number was up after 65 minutes. 5

DWIGHT YORKE

Those who made the Tobagan their Footballer of the Year could not offer evidence in support of him on the biggest night of the year. An occasional deft touch or lay-off outside the penalty area but nothing inside, where United needed it. 5

ANDY COLE

If anything, even more anonymous than Yorke, his striking partner. What he wouldn't have given for one of those 24 goals from earlier in the season. Could not have complained if he had been pulled off the pitch earlier. 5

SUBSTITUTES

TEDDY SHERINGHAM (above)

Replaced Blomqvist to work the Wembley magic again. Well-deserved equaliser and then a decisive flick-on. 8

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER

Belated entry in place of Cole and, like Sheringham, finished in dream- land. 9

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