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  • Glasgow Celtic 1-3 Manchester United: Berbatov great-strike

    Manchester United kicked-off their tour of North America with a hard fought 3-1 victory over SPL giants Celtic in Toronto, Canada on Friday,16/07/2010.

    Dimitar Berbatov proved the difference in a tight first half, controlling Mame Biram Diouf's low cross superbly before clipping the ball past Lukasz Zaluska in the 33rd minute.

    The Bulgarian's vision and awareness was a constant nuisance to the Celtic defence and he should have opened his account as soon as the 10th minute, when he met Diouf's high ball into the box with a firm header at the far post.

    With Ryan Giggs waiting on the line to see the ball home, Berbatov instead went to power the ball towards the near post, and instead sent his header flying over the crossbar.

    Berbatov and Gabriel Obertan proved a constant menace in the final third for United, and both came within inches of scoring on the half-hour mark.

    Obertan - who used his electric pace on the right flank to repeatedly skin Celtic left-back Charlie Mulgrew - failed to hit the target when Fabio released him clean through on goal, before Berbatov rifled the ball wide from the edge of the area mere seconds later.

    Celtic almost made United pay for their profligacy in the dying minutes of the half, with Mulgrew slamming the ball into the post from an acute angle.

    United made a host of changes at half-time, while Celtic brought on a single player - Georgios Samaras - and instantly saw the Greek striker make a game-changing impact.

    Samaras had the ball in the back of the net just three minutes after his introduction, but saw the goal rightly chalked off for offside.

    He got a second chance in the 60th minute, however, when Manchester United debutant Chris Smalling hauled down Joe Ledley in the box to concede a penalty.

    Samaras stepped up and confidently slammed the ball into the top-right corner, giving the Scottish side an unlikely equaliser.

    With the Rogers Centre's sticky playing surface and summer heat sapping both sides' strength, the match looked to be heading for penalties until Berbatov again provided the crucial breakthrough in the 78th minute.

    The Bulgarian drew Zaluska out to the right of the area, before squaring for substitute Danny Welbeck to tap into Celtic's empty net.

    If the goal was harsh on Celtic, who had battled manfully throughout the second half to stay on level terms, then United third was simply cruel.

    20-year-old substitute Tom Cleverley played a lovely one-two with Berbatov on the edge of the area, before his shot took a massive deflection to deceive Zaluska and nestle in the bottom corner of his net.

    Manchester United travel to the USA tomorrow, before facing MLS new boys the Philadelphia Union on Thursday.

    Celtic, meanwhile, face a tough Champions League Qualifying match against Braga, on Tuesday.



    Time Line-up:

    Glasgow Celtic: Zaluska; Wilson, Rogne, O'Dea, Mulgrew; Brown, Crosas, Ledley; Forrest, Fortune, and Maloney.

    Manchester United:Van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Fabio; Obertan, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs; Berbatov, and Diouf.


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