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Manchester United Is Off to a Good Start, 4-0

July 23, 2003|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — The world's most famous sports team put on a delightful exhibition to open a four-game U.S. tour.

In its first game without star David Beckham, Manchester United beat Glasgow Celtic, 4-0, on Tuesday night behind goals by Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and David Bellion.

A near-capacity crowd of 66,722 was on hand. The attendance was a record for 1-year-old Seahawks Stadium, with only a few end zone sections noticeably sparse.

The eight-time Premier League champions decisively handled their Scottish League rivals, and the effort was sure to keep Manchester United's legion of 53 million worldwide fans as happy as the team's big-money American sponsors.

Organizers hope the seven-city tour will boost the profile of European soccer in the United States.

Manchester United plays three more games, with the next one Sunday in Los Angeles against Club America of Mexico.

And although American fans are less familiar with other Manchester stars such as Van Nistelrooy, the Red Devils didn't miss Beckham, who was sent last month to Real Madrid for $39.4 million.

The talent gap between the teams became apparent before halftime, when Manchester led, 3-0.

Celtic finished second in the Scottish League last year, losing the title on goal difference to cross-town rival Rangers on the last day of the season.

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