Solskjaer late strike seals win for United

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The Independent Online

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over the Champions' League winners, Real Madrid, in the Centenary Tournament at the Olympic stadium in Munich last night.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over the Champions' League winners, Real Madrid, in the Centenary Tournament at the Olympic stadium in Munich last night.

In a scene reminiscent of United's injury-time winner over Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions' League final, the Norwegian striker pounced on a knockdown by Teddy Sheringham to put a low drive past the Real goalkeeper, Cisar, just when the tie seemed to be heading towards penalties.

The majority of the match had been played at a typically slow place for a pre-season encounter, with Real choosing to leave many of their internationals on the bench. There was no place in the starting side for their Portgual midfielder, Luis Figo, the world's most expensive player, or the Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos, and Steve McManaman was on the bench.

For their part the Premiership champions fielded a relatively strong side, with Ronny Johnsen making his return to a back four which did not include the first-choice centre-half, Jaap Stam. However, with Roy Keane, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs across midfield and the 1999 European Cup-winning pair up front, United had a much more potent-looking attack.

The only notable chances of the first half were wasted by Scholes and the Cameroon international Geremi as the match rarely lived up to its potential, but after the break the English champions seemed to find an extra yard, with Giggs looking particularly dangerous down the left flank.

Solskjaer forced a good stop from Cisar but Keane hit the rebound over the bar and the Real keeper was called into action again a few minutes later as he tipped Beckham's chip behind for a corner.

Giggs could count himself unlucky not to have broken the deadlock on 73 minutes when his jinking run into the box brought another good block from Cisar. United wasted two more good chances as Giggs' and Beckham's pre-rehearsed free-kick obviously needed more practice when the pair tried it 15 minutes from the end. Scholes should have done better when presented with the ball 12 yards out following a back-pass infringement, but the England man's effort was charged down.

United finally got the breakthrough they just about deserved when Raimond van der Gouw, handed the goalkeeper's jersey ahead of £7.8m French international Fabien Barthez, sent a long punt down the park and Sheringham nodded on. Solskjaer took the ball superbly on his chest before stabbing it under the advancing keeper.

United will meet the hosts Bayern Munich in today's final after the Germans beat Galatasaray 3-1 with goals from Roque Santa Cruz, Samuel Kuffour and Alexander Zickler. Gheorghe Hagi netted a consolation for the Turks.

The Brazilian midfielder Edu said yesterday he was rejoining Corinthians after his failed transfer to Arsenal fell through when immigration authorities refused to let him into Britain. "I had until 31 July to get my passport in order and we did not do it in time," Edu said. "So the contract I signed became invalid. I'm hungry, I want to get back and play."

The midfielder, who became a first-team regular with Corinthians only after former captain Freddy Rincon was sold to Santos at the start of the year, was stopped at Heathrow airport on 11 July when his Portuguese travel documents were found to be invalid. He flew back to Brazil immediately. Edu could not play for Arsenal as a Brazilian because he has never played for his country and would not be granted a work permit.

The women's season kicks off tomorrow with two of the top teams in the country facing each other in the inaugural FA women's charity match at Craven Cottage.

Charlton (formerly Croydon), the current holders of the FA Women's Premier League title and the FA Cup, take on London rivals and Women's Premier League Cup holders, Arsenal - the team who deprived them of the Treble.

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