Sun, Aug 31, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Zenit St Petersburg down United to win Super Cup


Zenit St Petersburg’s Roman Shirokov, center, and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, right, vie for the ball with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney during the European Super Cup final at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on Friday.


Zenit St Petersburg defeated Manchester United 2-1 to win the European Super Cup for the first time on Friday.

The match pitted the Champions League winners against the UEFA Cup champions from Russia, who led 2-0 and then held on.

Pavel Pogrebnyak put Zenit ahead a minute before halftime from close range after Igor Denisov flicked on a corner from Alejandro Dominguez.

Danny, signed for a Russian record 30 million euros (US$44 million) from Dinamo Moscow, added the second goal in the 59th minute when he drifted past two defenders and beat goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar with a low shot.

Nemanja Vidic pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute after good work by Carlos Tevez down the left and substitute John O’Shea almost equalized for United in the 88th minute when his header was tipped over by goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev.

United midfielder Paul Scholes was shown a second yellow card and sent off in injury time for punching the ball into the net.

United won their third European title when they beat Chelsea on penalty kicks and former Netherlands boss Dick Advocaat guided Zenit to UEFA Cup success over Glasgow Rangers, his former club.

United manager Alex Ferguson hoped to give Owen Hargreaves his first start of the season, but he pulled out. The England midfielder has been struggling with tendinitis in his knee since he last played in a friendly against the US on May 28.

Captain Gary Neville came back after sitting out two matches since United’s Community Shield win over Portsmouth and South Korea winger Park Ji-sung, recovered from a knee injury, went on in the 60th minute.

Advocaat left Andrei Arshavin on the bench for the first half.

Russia’s star midfielder at the European Championship, Arshavin has repeatedly been linked with a move to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur and almost scored immediately after coming on at the start of the second half.

Danny looked Zenit’s liveliest player and forced a scramble in United’s defense in the 20th minute when he cut through down the left. Moments later, Tevez could manage only a weak shot at goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev.

United’s best chance of the half fell to Scholes in the 36th minute. He collected a pass from Tevez, beat his marker, but his shot was blocked close to the line.

Tevez hit two shots over the crossbar as United pressed to get back in the match, but he made amends by setting up Vidic.

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