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Manchester United on top of the world

Latest update : 2008-12-21

Wayne Rooney scored the winning goal as ten-man Manchester United beat South American champions LDU Quito 1-0 in the Club World Cup final, capping an unprecedented treble for the Red Devils after the Premiership and Champions League titles.

REUTERS - Wayne Rooney's superb 73rd-minute strike gave 10-man Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Ecuador's LDU in the Club World Cup final on Sunday.

United became the first British winners of the FIFA tournament following Liverpool's failure in 2005 when they were beaten 1-0 by Brazil's Sao Paulo.

The European champions overcame a moment of madness from defender Nemanja Vidic, sent off four minutes into the second half for elbowing LDU striker Claudio Bieler in the face.

The Serb's red card sparked United into life and Rooney smashed home the winner in Yokohama after a magical flick from Cristiano Ronaldo.

"We're the best team in the world," said Rooney, who was named player of the tournament after scoring twice in United's 5-3 semi-final win over Japan's Gamba Osaka.

"It's a great achievement for the team and something we're all really proud of. It was a tough game, especially after going down to 10 men."

The England striker added: "It's been a long road. To score the winning goal is a great feeling. I'm sure our fans will be really pleased to be supporting the best team in the world."


Ronaldo, the victim of persistent rough treatment from Libertadores Cup holders LDU, was a constant threat as United dominated a match watched by almost 69,000 fans.

Rooney, Park Ji-sung and Carlos Tevez, who was sacrificed for defender Jonny Evans after Vidic's dismissal, all went close in a one-sided first half.

United still had to survive late LDU pressure, goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar forced into an excellent fingertip save from Alejandro Manso's fierce drive in the 89th minute.

Alex Ferguson's side won the tournament's forerunner, a one-off match between the champions of Europe and South America, with a 1-0 win over Brazilian side Palmeiras in 1999.

"We knew they could create problems if we let them," said United captain Rio Ferdinand. "But we kept them down to very minimum chances, just long shots really.

"I thought we created very good chances and on another day we could have had three or four goals."


Date created : 2008-12-21