United run out of petrol against Bayern

Bayern Munich 0 Manchester United 0
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The Independent Online

Sir Alex Ferguson has many achievements to his name but preventing a German team from winning a penalty shoot-out is not among them. Bayern duly won the Audi Cup when Daniel van Buyten, once of Manchester City, a club that Ferguson has given plenty of attention to this summer, drove past Edwin van der Sar. Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra had failed with their spot-kicks and the Audi Cup was paraded around as if it was the trophy Bayern and United had competed for a decade ago in the Nou Camp.

This well-organised and attractive tournament may have been designed to celebrate Audi's centenary but given the quality of the final, it might as well have been sponsored by Lada. The two squads had warmed up watching Boca Juniors overcome Milan in a shoot-out to secure third place and a little under two hours later, they were doing the same.

Both sides struck the post in the first half. Mario Gomez drove against Van der Sar's post. Moments later, Dimitar Berbatov returned the favour with an overhead kick. There were not many more highlights. Nevertheless, United were probably the better side after the break and Michael Owen, who was playing as deeply and looked as lost as he sometimes did at Newcastle, managed to burst through only to drive his shot into Michael Rensing's body. Owen was then substituted which confirmed one of the more curious statistics of this pre-season tour. United have played six games in which Wayne Rooney and Owen have not shared the pitch for a minute.

United's summer has been a considerable success. Only in the second game in Kuala Lumpur did they fail to sell out and that game was arranged at two days' notice because of the bombing of their hotel in Jakarta.

But once the serious business began here in Munich, United began to look a little ordinary. Ferguson admitted that they had been outplayed by Boca in the second half of Wednesday's semi-final and in the opening 45 minutes here they seemed desperately lethargic.

In part the weariness was understandable. Even by United's standards this has been a long tour and in the Far East the adulation was such that they were unable to leave their hotel except to train or play. They were due to fly back to Manchester immediately after the game and take-off would have been eagerly awaited. Ferguson did not bother with the post-match press conference.

Bayern Munich: Rensing; Lahm (Van Buyten, 63), Digitalis (Gorlitz, 63), Breno (Sosa, 63), Braafheid; Van Bommel (Altintop h-t), Baumjohann, Tymoshchuk (Ottl, h-t), Schweinsteiger (Pranjic 63); Muller (Sene, 77), Gomez (Badstuber, 63).

Manchester United: Van der Sar; Fletcher, Ferdinand (Cathcart, 70), Evans, Evra; Gibson, Giggs, Scholes, Gibson (Valencia, 63); Berbatov (Anderson, 78), Owen (Rooney, 78).

* Fulham made an emphatic Europa League debut with a Bobby Zamora inspired defeat of FC Vetra in Vilnius. Zamora scored the opener, won a penalty converted by Danny Murphy and set up the third for substitute Seol Ki-hyeon.

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