Thu, Sep 30, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Roony shines in debut as Red Devil

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL Manchester United's purchese is paying quick dividends as Wayne Rooney picked up three goals during a mauling of Fenerbahce in Group D

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Real Madrid's Luis Figo battles AS Roma's Daniele de Rossi in Madrid, Tuesday.

PHOTO: AP

Champions LeagueWayne Rooney scored a hat trick in his debut for Manchester United.

Not too bad. Just wait until the 18-year-old striker rounds into shape.

That's how Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson summed up Rooney's first game for the Red Devils -- and his first in three months since breaking his right foot in the quarterfinals of the European Championship.

"Considering it was his first game, I think it's magnificent," Ferguson said after Manchester United hammered Fenerbahce 6-2 Tuesday in Group D of the Champions League

"He was obviously tired in the last 25 minutes. But his job had been done. Everyone has seen the potential the boy has."

"We want to develop him and mature him, get him to maturity," Ferguson added. "He's just a young boy, don't forget."

Nine-time champion Real Madrid and four-time champion Bayern Munich also scored impressive victories in the second rotation. Madrid rallied in Group B to beat AS Roma 4-2. In Group C, Bayern won 4-0 at home over Ajax.

Rooney, who was leading Euro 2004 with four goals before he was injured on June 24, scored two in the first half; one on a long-range left-footed shot, and the other with his right from a similar distance.

He capped it off with a curving free kick from 20m at Old Trafford, giving United the lethal look it lacked in a 2-2 come-from-behind draw two weeks ago against French champion Lyon.

Man United spend about ?30 million (US$54.2 million) buying Rooney last month from Everton, which club officials said wiped out the transfer budget for next summer.

It looks like it's worth it.

Real Madrid, the biggest spending team in world soccer, fell behind 2-0 but got back into it with a first-half goal from Raul Gonzalez and an early second-half penalty equalizer from Luis Figo.

Raul and Roberto Carlos scored two in seven minutes late in the match to seal the victory.

It was the first Champions League game for new Madrid coach Mariano Garcia Remon, who took over after Jose Antonio Camacho stepped down following a humiliating 3-0 loss two weeks ago to Leverkusen.

"This is the prefect script that we dreamed of to reconnect with our fans," Garcia Remon said. "With everything that is going on, it is tough for a team to react the way we have. This lifts the spirits, beating an Italian team with eight players attacking in the area."

Roma also just changed coaches, fill-in Ezio Sella stepping in when Rudi Voeller resigned over the weekend.

Netherlands international Roy Makaay scored three for Bayern -- in the 29th, 43rd and 52nd -- and Ze Roberto added the other in the 55th. Bayern leads Group C with a perfect six points.

Last year's losing finalist Monaco got goals in the first 10 minutes from Mohammed Kallon and Javier Saviola to beat Deportivo 2-0. Deportivo, a semifinalist last season, is winless in the Champions League and has won only once in La Liga.

Liverpool, after opening with a 2-0 win over Monaco, fell 1-0 to Olympiakos on Ieroklis Stoltidis' strike in the 17th.

Diogo Rincon and Florin Cernat scored two goals apiece as Dynamo Kiev held off Bayer Leverkusen 4-2.

Mauro German Camoranesi headed in a first-half goal as Serie A leader Juventus beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0 in an almost deserted Delle Alpi stadium, giving Juventus a perfect six-point start.

Sylvain Wiltord scored his first goal for Lyon since returning home from Arsenal as the French champions beat Sparta Prague 2-1. Michael Essien answered an early goal by Tomas Jun.

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