Zenit down Manchester United to lift Super Cup

August 30th, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Monaco, Aug 30 (DPA) Russia’s Zenit St Petersburg defeated European champions Manchester United 2-1 to lift the UEFA Super Cup here.Pavel Pogrebnyak headed the UEFA Cup winners ahead in the 44th minute before Portuguese midfielder Danny bagged a second in the 59th with a fine solo effort Friday night.

United defender Nimanja Vidic pulled one back from close range in the 73rd for the Premier League champions but Zenit were the more incisive side and were full value for the victory.

United ended the match with 10 men when midfielder Paul Scholes was sent off in the 89th minute for a second booking after he used his hand to put the ball into the net.

Zenit showed they could be a force in this season’s Champions League with another demonstration of the precise counter-attacking football which earned them their UEFA Cup triumph.

Coach Dick Advocaat left star midfielder Andrei Arshavin on the bench for the first 45 minutes as Zenit dealt comfortably with United’s laboured attempts to create a chance.

Pogrebnyak was a handful for the United defence and scored with a header virtually on the line after a corner by Alejandro Dominguez was headed on by Igor Denisov.

After Danny’s second, Sir Alex Ferguson saw a bit more urgency from his side and substitute John O’Shea saw a header tipped over the bar by keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev.

But Zenit could have scored a third when Arshavin fed Danny and the midfielder, signed for a Russian record 30 million euros ($44 million) from Dynamo Moscow, fired over the bar with only Edwin van der Sar in goal to beat.

Zenit’s victory is the first for a Russian side in the annual match between the Champions League and UEFA Cup winners.

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