Goal of the Day: Seba Veron's volley

Wednesday 13 November 2019 10:18

Juan Sebastian Veron's wonderful volley in Manchester United's Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen is Wednesday's Goal of the Day.

Date: 13 November 2002, Old Trafford, Champions League.

Background: After a disappointing defeat in the last-ever Manchester derby at Maine Road, United needed a reaction when Bayer Leverkusen visited for the final match in the first group phase of the Champions League. With qualification secured but top spot still up for grabs, Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a strong team as we sought revenge for the previous season’s exit at the hands of the Germans.
The goal: After a sluggish start, during which Jan Simak sent a spot-kick high over the bar for the visitors, the Reds machine suddenly sprang into life just before half-time. John O’Shea’s first-time pass was held up by Ruud van Nistelrooy, who laid the ball off to Juan Sebastian Veron, lurking on the edge of the area. With one deft touch of his right boot, the Argentinian flicked it up to knee height before volleying into the bottom corner, beyond the dive of Hans-Jorg Butt.
What happened next: The strike, Veron’s fourth goal in seven European games at a time when the midfielder was being criticised in the press for his domestic performances, put United in the driving seat and van Nistelrooy secured all three points with 20 minutes to play. The Reds could look forward to the draw in Geneva, which would ultimately pair us with Juventus, Deportivo La Coruna and Basel.

The reaction: "Juan seems to be inspired by European football, he seems to revel in it," said Ferguson post-match. "It wasn't an easy chance to take. His timing of the shot was terrific.”