Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Premier League

San Siro strike my 'worst ever' admits Scholes

Paul Scholes has admitted his match-changing equaliser against AC Milan three weeks ago is probably the worst goal he has ever scored.

Trailing to Ronaldinho's early opener and lucky not to be out of the tie after being completely outplayed, Manchester United managed to reach the interval level at the San Siro after an outrageous piece of good fortune.

As he attempted to get on the end of Antonio Valencia's cross, Scholes completely missed his kick and was as amazed as anyone to see the ball shoot off his standing left leg and fly past Dida into the far corner.

It proved to be the catalyst for an imperious second-half display which saw United charge into a 3-1 lead before Clarence Seedorf gave the Italian giants some hope of recovering the position at Old Trafford tomorrow night.

"That goal was probably the worst one I have ever scored," said Scholes, who bagged his 100th in the Premier League on Saturday with a late winner at Wolves.

"It is easy enough to admit. I meant to hit it with my right foot and the ball came off my left.

"But a goal is a goal and I will take it. It was a goal we needed because after the first 20 minutes we could have been three or four down.

"From then on it always looked like we were going to win the game."

As Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to confirm the extended absence of Wes Brown with a broken metatarsal suffered in that win at Wolves, following on from the season-ending hamstring injury to Michael Owen, plus the knee injury that threatens to rule Wayne Rooney out of tomorrow's contest, United's build-up has hardly been trouble free.

Yet Ferguson does appear to have found a winning formula in his three-man midfield, which will be lacking Michael Carrick through suspension on this occasion, supplemented by two wider players and a single striker, who will be Dimitar Berbatov if Rooney is ruled out.

"The three central midfielders has worked well in Europe for the last few years," said Scholes.

"We have got some good results away from home in Europe and hopefully that will continue.

"Whether we play that way in the home leg I don't know but as long as we get the same result, I don't mind."

Just as with the first leg, David Beckham will be the centre of attention.

As a fellow member of that famed 'Class of 92', Scholes knows Beckham well.

And he is certain the former United star will receive a warm reception from the Old Trafford faithful, even if, once the real action starts, both men will be fully committed on behalf of their present clubs.

"I am sure he will get a good reception," said Scholes.

"United fans still love him for what he did for this club and he will get a fantastic ovation.

"After that, we want to put him out. That is the plan.

"He will need to be watched though. If you give him time and room on the ball there is no doubt he will pick players out.

"From free-kicks as well, his delivery is as great as ever."