Manchester United 2 v 0 Charlton Athletic

Old Trafford, Manchester
20th November 2004

United entered the day's game without knowing that both Chelsea and Arsenal would be slipping up later that day, but in their hearts they knew that only a win would keep their Pemiership hopes and dreams alive.

It wasn't the warmest of days, with some snow on the hills around Manchester, but the tempo and atmosphere was hot enough.

United started well, keeping possession well but failing to really threaten the keeper. the team was far from full of its regulars, with Brown and Fortune covering for Gary Neville and Gabriel heinze in defence and Fletche replacing our hero, Ronaldo, who was dropped to the bench. All three are believed to be being saved for Tuesday's must-win home match against Lyon, which would see them qualify for Europe without having to get a result from the Fenerbache fortress in Turkey.

The team took time to click but managed to get there eventually. In the end it was a lucky Giggs goal, his first of the season, that saw United go 1 - 0 up in Fergie's 999th game in charge at the club.

Giggs ran at the centre backs before unleashig a tame shot at goal. luckily for him, and us, it bounced off one of the defenders and sailed past Keily in nets, to put us one up just before the interval.

Charlton strugled to contain Rooney, with his deep drawing runs causing trouble and confusion every time.

Four minutes into the second half the game was secured. Paul Scholes managed his first of the season - a thunderous volley fom a wicked Fletcher cross after some nice interplay with Wes Brown on the right hadn side. it was the Ginger talisman's firast goal of the season also, and it is a good omen that both he and Giggs have started scoring.

With our rivals slipping up we're now just 9 points of Chelsea and 7 off Arsenal. the comeback continues, and the odds of Us winning the Premiership fell from 10-1 back down to 7-1.

Man Utd: Carroll, Brown, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Fortune, Fletcher, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, van Nistelrooy. Subs: Howard, Phil Neville, Ronaldo, Smith, O'Shea.

Charlton: Kiely, Young, Perry, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Kishishev, Holland, Murphy, Thomas, Bartlett, Johansson. Subs: Euell, Jeffers, Andersen, Konchesky, Fortune.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire)