Wes Brown doubled United's lead in the 9th minute when he stretched to stab in Ryan Giggs' low cross at the far post. But again the beauty was in the build-up, a drag-back by Giggs fooling Gattuso at the near post following the Reds' short corner.
Two Europe defenders had four United attackers flying at them in the 16th minute but they breathed again when the man in possession Ronaldo drilled a shot wide instead of playing in Rooney, Ji-sung Park or Alan Smith.
Scholes almost claimed his second assist moments later when he picked out Giggs' run and floated a ball onto the Welshman's toe. Only the width of the near post denied Ryan from crowning the move, before a defender blocked Park's rebound effort.