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Scholes suspended for opening Champions League match

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Aug 2008


Paul Scholes is suspended for Manchester United's opening Champions League match next month after being sent off in their 2-1 European Super Cup defeat to Zenit St Petersburg here on Friday.

The Red Devils midfielder was given his marching orders by referee Claus Bo Larsen in the final moments of the match following his second yellow card for deliberate handball.

United manager Alex Ferguson said afterwards: “It was a pity Scholes was sent off and he will miss the first Champions League match. It was a bit unfortunate but it happens.”

Scholes will miss the Group E home match against Spaniards Villarreal on September 17. Scotland's Celtic and Aalborg of Denmark are the other teams in the pool.

Ferguson added England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who has been struggling with tendinitis and hasn't made a first team appearance for United since helping win the Champions League in May, had been doing speed work in training for the last 10 days and had been disappointed he was not able to play in the match.

St Petersburg were the better team on the night in this annual battle between Champions League and UEFA Cup winners.

Ferguson had promised the Red Devils would not take the match as lightly as in 1999, when Lazio beat them 1-0, and his star players were on the pitch with the exception of Cristiano Ronaldo who was in the stands, still recovering from surgery.

Dick Advocaat's players went two goals ahead through Pavel Pogrebnyak a minute before the break and Danny with a half hour to go while Nemanja Vidic pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute for United.


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