Derby 2 Manchester Utd 2

Paul Scholes

Der­by Coun­ty 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2, Pride Park, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Mar­ch 3, 2002. Man­chester Uni­ted were denied their fifth con­sec­ut­ive Pre­mier Lea­gue win as they were held to a 2-2 draw by re­leg­a­tion bat­tling Der­by Coun­ty. The Rams had the ball in the net for the third time wi­th just sec­onds left, but it was ruled out for a foul on Fa­bi­en Barthez. 

Af­ter win­ning their four pre­vi­ous Pre­mier Lea­gue ga­mes, Man­chester Uni­ted had to settle for a draw ag­ainst Der­by Coun­ty, a te­am they had beaten 5-0 in the re­verse fix­ture of the 2001-02 sea­son. More or less ag­ainst the run of play, The Reds were a goal down af­ter a mere nine min­utes as Der­by stri­ker Mal­colm Christie ma­naged to find the back of the net wi­th an op­por­tun­ist­ic clo­se ran­ge ef­fort. The Old Traf­ford men gradu­ally took full con­trol of pro­ceed­ings, tho­ugh, and Paul Scho­les re­stored par­ity when the per­petu­al mid­field en­gine si­de-footed the ball from the edge of the six-yard box pa­st Coun­ty shot stop­per Andy Oakes and in­to the goal in the 41st min­ute of the tussle. Man­chester Uni­ted con­tin­ued their dom­in­ance in the sec­ond ha­lf and the vis­it­ors went in­to the lead for the fir­st time in the mat­ch thanks to a mag­ni­fi­cent eight­een-yard shot from Ju­an Se­basti­an Ver­on on the hour ma­rk, on­ly for Christie to equal­ise for the ho­me out­fit as the Eng­land U21 in­ter­na­tion­al con­ver­ted a dan­ger­ous cross ball from Lu­ciano Za­vagno on 77 min­utes. Wi­th the ga­me ap­proach­ing its end, Christie look­ed to have sco­red his third goal of the clash in stop­page time, but ref­er­ee Ste­ve Dunn ruled that he had kicked the ball from Fa­bi­en Barthez´s hands. Der­by Coun­ty Te­am: Andy Oakes, War­ren Bar­ton, Dan­ny Hig­gin­botham, Lu­ciano Za­vagno, Chris Rig­gott, Paul Bo­er­tien, Pierre Ducrocq, Georgi Kink­ladze, Rob Lee, Mal­colm Christie, Fab­riz­io Ravan­el­li. Sub­stitutes: Lee Mor­ris, Simo Valakari, Branko Strupar, Ste­ve El­li­ott, Patrick Fo­letti. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Fa­bi­en Bar­thez, Ga­ry Ne­ville, De­nis Ir­win, Ronny John­sen, Mi­kael Sil­vestre, Da­vid Beck­ham, Ry­an Gig­gs, Paul Scho­les, Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer, Ruud van Nistel­rooy, Ju­an Se­basti­an Ver­on. Sub­stitutes: Nicky Butt, Phil Ne­ville, Diego For­lan, John O’Shea, Roy Carroll.

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