Thursday, November 3, 2005

Lille wins over Manchester United 1-0

Lille got an historical victory over Man. United when Acimovic ran onto a pass from Gregory Tafforeau that split United's defense, took a touch to control the ball and struck it into the roof of the net. Lille has five points from three matches in Group D, the same as United. Villarreal, which won 1-0 at Benfica, leads the group with six points.

"We deserved the win in terms of the way we played and the spirit we showed," said Lille coach Claude Puel. "We've been on a learning curve in the Champions League. We had to play at our best level tonight, and we did that."

Tafforeau nearly added a second-half goal for Lille in the 54th, but United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar tipped his curling free kick over the crossbar.

Ruud van Nistelrooy had the best chance for United when his 58th-minute header rebounded off the crossbar and dropped close to the goalline.

"It was a difficult game, whoever scored first ... it would be hard for the other team to come back," United coach Alex Ferguson said. "The pitch was poor, it's hard to pass on it. The ball jumped around a lot."

Ferguson felt his team "didn't deserve to lose" and dismissed talk of a confidence crisis in the team following a 4-1 loss to Middlesbrough last weekend.

"I think the pitch was more of a problem than the confidence," he said. "We just have to regroup and not feel sorry for ourselves."

The match was played at Stade de France because Lille's temporary stadium at Villeneuve d'Ascq was considered too small.