SPORTS

Man Utd silence 70,000 fans

David Beckham and substitute Andy Cole scored Wednesday to give Manchester United a 2-0 win over Olympiakos and the club’s first away win in the Champions League in 11 attempts. Beckham – hero of England’s World Cup qualifying game against Greece on Saturday – scored in the 66th minute in front of a crowd of more than 70,000 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Cole scored shortly after he came on in the 82nd minute. After an evenly contested first half, United pushed forward more in the second and if not for the goalkeeping of Dimitris Elef- theropoulous could have further increased its score. United manager Alex Ferguson had earlier claimed he would leave Beckham on the bench. But the England captain started Wednesday to help end Olympiakos’s record of 13 unbeaten home games in the Champions League. It was also United’s first win in Greece. Juan Sebastian Veron, back from World Cup duty with Argentina in Paraguay, showed no signs of jet lag as he spotted United’s best chances in the first half and helped set up the first goal. Veron passed to Ryan Giggs near the corner flag, who crossed into the box for Beckham to escape his marker, connect and score. Minutes later Eleftheropoulos stretched to save a Giggs header as United began a flurry of attacks. Eleftheropoulos then pushed away a Ruud van Nistelrooy attempt and the Dutch striker later hit the goalpost. Giggs had another attempt, but sent it wide. Van Nistelrooy had been alone up front until Veron was substituted for Cole. His presence made an immediate impact. With Eleftheropoulous off his line, van Nistelrooy passed to Cole, who scored. United last won an away game 10 months ago, when it beat Austria’s Sturm Graz 2-0. The game was postponed from September 12 out of respect for those who died in the attacks on the United States the day before. Olympiakos had its best chances in the first half. Midfielder Predag Djordjevic had curled a free kick into the United box but unmarked striker Stelios Giannakopoulos headed wide from seven meters out. The Olympiakos captain again missed when he kicked a volley from a Djordjevic free kick into the arms of United keeper Fabien Barthez. Greece had dominated Saturday’s World Cup match in Manchester and was leading 2-1 when Beckham tied the score from a free kick in injury time. A draw was enough for England to win the group, at the expense of Germany, and qualify for next year’s World Cup finals. In Group 7’s other game, also played Wednesday, Lille was restricted to a 1-1 draw at home by Deportivo. Manchester now leads with six points from three games, Deportivo follows with five, Lille with four, while OLympiakos is at the bottom with just one point. (AP)