Manchester U 3 Millwall 0

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Mill­wall 0, Mil­len­ni­um Sta­dium, Eng­lish FA Cup Fi­nal, May 22, 2004. The FA Cup Fi­nal at Mil­len­ni­um Sta­dium in Car­diff in 2004 turned out to be a some­what one-sided af­fair as Man­chester Uni­ted cruised to a com­fort­able vic­tory ag­ainst Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion club Mill­wall. Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo head­ed Uni­ted in front one min­ute ahead of the in­ter­val be­fore Ruud van Nistel­rooy struck twice in the sec­ond pe­riod to make it 3-0.

Hav­ing ac­coun­ted for cup spe­cial­ists Sun­der­land in the semi fi­nal at Old Traf­ford, there was a great an­ti­cip­a­tion among the Mill­wall sup­port­ers. In­spired by play­er-man­ager De­nis Wi­se, Mill­wall played wi­th great spir­it in the fir­st ha­lf and wing­er Paul Ifill al­most put the East Lon­doners ahead, but his power­ful shot was bloc­ked. Then, in the 44th min­ute of ac­tion, a bril­liant cross from de­fender Ga­ry Ne­ville fou­nd goal ace Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo who head­ed the ball pa­st Mill­wall goal­keeper Andy Mar­shall and in­to the back of the net to give Man­chester Uni­ted a 1-0 lead. The Reds doubled their ad­vant­age four min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk when Ry­an Gig­gs gain­ed a pen­alty-kick which was sub­sequently con­ver­ted by Neth­er­lands in­ter­na­tion­al Ruud van Nistel­rooy. And, wi­th nine min­utes re­maining on ref­er­ee Jeff Winter´s watch, Man­chester Uni­ted had their third goal as Gig­gs cros­sed for Van Nistel­rooy who tap­ped the ball in­to the net from on­ly three yards out to se­cure a 3-0 win which bro­ught the FA Cup back to Old Traf­ford af­ter a five-year ab­sence. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson ev­entually made a triple sub­sti­tu­tion in the 84th min­ute of the tie when he bro­ught on Nicky Butt, Roy Car­roll, and Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer for Dar­ren Fletch­er, Tim How­ard, and Ron­aldo re­spect­ively, but they nev­er really had enough time to make an im­pact on the mat­ch. Now, Van Nistel­rooy may very well have be­en voted Man of the Mat­ch, but it was Ron­aldo who was the main prot­ag­on­ist of the 2004 FA Cup Fi­nal. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ti­monthy How­ard, Ga­ry Ne­ville, Wes­ley Bro­wn, John O’Shea, Mi­kael Sil­vestre, Paul Scho­les, Ry­an Gig­gs, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo, Roy Ke­ane, Ruud van Nistel­rooy. Sub­stitutes: Nicky Butt, Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Phil Ne­ville, Roy Car­roll. Mill­wall Te­am: Andy Mar­shall, Matt Law­rence, Rob­bie Ry­an, Dar­ren Philip Wa­rd, Mar­vin El­li­ott, Paul Ifill, Da­vid Liv­er­more, Pe­ter Sweeney, Den­nis Wi­se, Tim Ca­hill, Neil Har­ris. Sub­stitutes: Alan Dun­ne, Curtis We­st­on, Bar­ry Cogan, Ma­rk Mc­Cam­mon, Willy Gueret.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Tom­my Re­id hit a hat-trick as Man­chester Uni­ted be­at Mill­wall 7-1 in a Sec­ond Di­vi­sion ga­me at Old Traf­ford on the 22nd of Oct­ober 1932. Uni­ted ended the sea­son sixth in the stand­ings wi­th 43 points, thir­teen points be­hind win­ners Sto­ke City and twelve adrift of run­ners-up Tot­ten­ham Hotspur.


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