21/10/2008 21:21, Report by James Tuck
Report: United 3 Celtic 0
Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney were on target again as United outclassed Celtic to stay in control of Champions League Group E.
In a game predictably billed as the ‘Battle of Britain’, the Scottish champions were overran by a dominant Red Army at Old Trafford.
Berbatov produced poacher’s finishes in each half to put United in command, before Rooney continued his prolific October scoring streak with an excellent strike from the edge of the box.
The hoardes of travelling Celtic fans had little to cheer about as United cruised to victory, recording another clean sheet to make it eight games without defeat in all competitions.
The Reds’ starting line-up had produced two major talking points. Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the side, despite suggestions that he would be rested, while Rio Ferdinand was replaced by Jonny Evans after picking up a groin strain in training on Monday.
Ronaldo had the game's first chance but blasted over from 20 yards after neat interplay involving Berbatov, Gary Neville and Anderson. Soon after Rooney’s spectacular bicycle kick from Nani's cross was blocked by Mark Wilson on the six-yard line.
Celtic had early moments of their own, with Edwin van der Sar twice called into action to save a low Aiden McGeady shot and Gary Caldwell's vicious dipping volley.
But United always looked the more likely to open the scoring and, like the last time these sides met at Old Trafford in 2006, the home side’s opener came on the half-hour.
Nani swung in a corner from the left and, at the second attempt, John O’Shea stabbed the ball forward for Berbatov to flick home on the turn from three yards.