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Despite taking the lead through Andy Cole, Rovers went out of the Worthington Cup last night, 1-3 (2-4 on aggregate) to Manchester United.

The Rovers supporters hopes were raised in the 12 min, when Cole collected a through ball from Tugay, and chipped Barthez. However joy was short lived when Scholes got a lucky bounce of the ball to equalise on the half hour.

Within 4 min Rovers hopes where further dented when Damian Duff limped off, with a reoccurance of his hamstring injury, and was replaced by Gillespie.

With half time in sight, Rovers went behind in the 42 min, when Scholes again popped up to score from Nevilles cross.

For a period after the break Rovers attempted to put the pressure on United, but lacked the killer instinct to beat Barthez. In the other goal mouth Friedel was kept busy making top class saves. With United dominating the game and relying on attacking breaks, they got their third goal in the 76 min. From a Keane through ball Van Nistelrooy out paced Rovers defence and was brought down down in the area as he attempted to go round Friedel. The resultant penalty being put away by Van Nistelrooy.

Whilst Rovers defence had dealt with the striking partnership of Nistelrooy and Giggs they failed to pick up Scholes sitting in the hole behind the forwards and in his post match interview Souness admitted: "We didn't deal with Paul Scholes. He's a very, very special player particularly playing in that position behind the frontmen."



Friedel, Neill, Todd, Taylor, McEveley, Thompson, Flitcroft, Tugay, Duff,(Gillespie) Cole, Yorke

Subs Not Used: Short,Jansen, Ostenstad, Robinson.


Barthez, G.Neville, Veron, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre,Beckham, Giggs, Keane, Scholes,(Butt) Van Nistlerooy(Forlan)

Subs not used. P.Neville, Ricardo, Oshea.


Jeff Winter

Attendance 29,048

Result. 1-3 (2-4 on aggregate)

The biggest worry for Rovers now is how long Irish international Damiam Duff will be out. As Souness said in his post match interview. "That's a double whammy for us. Damien has got another hamstring and losing him is frankly worse than losing a semi-final.

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