9 September 1998
Manchester United 4:1 Charlton Athletic
FA Premiership
Old Trafford


"Utd weren't put off by BSKYB's 623.4 million bid as they swept Charlton aside but not without a scare, Kinsella putting Charlton ahead after 31 minutes. Oh yea, Yorke started and scored twice in his home debut for Manchester United."


By David Anderson, PA Sport

The day may have belonged to BSkyB and their 623.4million takeover of Manchester United, but the night was Dwight Yorke's. Much was expected of United's 12.6million record signing on his home debut and he did not disappoint as he produced a sparkling performance.

He scored twice, including his 100th career goal, and was at the heart of nearly everything for United. Yorke was duly conferred with hero status by the United fans and he came off midway through the second half to a standing ovation from the home supporters.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ably supported Yorke on his first start of the season as the Norwegian also bagged a brace. The Old Trafford faithful were delighted by United's first league win of the season and they directed just the odd chant of abuse at chairman Martin Edwards over the takeover.

The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, though, has vowed to fight the takeover and has organised a rally for next Tuesday. That is of little concern to Charlton, who after making a bright start to life in the Premiership, were brought down to earth with a hefty bump.

They had not conceded a goal in their first three matches as boss Alan Curbishley won the August Manager of the Month award, but Yorke and Solskjaer combined to make a substantial dent in their goals against column. The Addicks arrived at Old Trafford full of confidence and they gave United a scare after nine minutes when Andy Hunt got a touch to Neil Redfearn's shot, but he directed his effort past the post with Peter Schmeichel beaten.

Paul Scholes then wasted a glorious opportunity to give United the lead after 11 minutes when Yorke played him through only for the England midfielder to shoot wide. United went close again when Yorke fed David Beckham on the right and he sent over a teasing cross to the back post where Sasa Ilic made a point-blank save from Solskjaer's header.

Hunt then had a strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Paul Durkin when he went down in the box under a challenge from Jaap Stam.

The impressive Yorke was just inches away from scoring when he slid in to knock Beckham's cross over the bar. Charlton then stunned United when they took the lead after 31 minutes thanks to a huge slice of luck. Captain Mark Kinsella's 25-yard shot took a deflection as it passed through a pack of players, wrong-footing Schmeichel before ending up in the back of the net.

Their lead was shortlived and seven minutes later Solskjaer repaid manager Alex Ferguson for giving him his first start when he equalised with a terrific finish from just outside area. Scholes almost added a second with a 25-yard drive which Ilic touched away brilliantly for a corner.

United were not to be denied and two minutes into stoppage time Yorke paid off the first instalment of his 12.6million transfer fee. Beckham curled in a tempting free-kick from the right and Yorke came in at the back post to head home his first goal for United.

Yorke picked up where he left off after the interval and the second half was just three minutes old when Yorke sidefooted home his second and United's third. Scholes found Beckham on the right and Solskjaer missed his cross, but the Trinidad and Tobago international striker made no mistake to score from close range.

Chris Powell denied Yorke a hat-trick opportunity when he headed debutant Jesper Blomqvist's cross away with the former Aston Villa man lurking. Charlton replaced Shaun Newton with Paul Mortimer, while United brought Henning Berg on for the injured Denis Irwin.

A male streaker then ran onto the pitch after 58 minutes to provide an amusing interlude before he surrendered to the stewards.

By now Charlton had also hoisted the white flag and Solskjaer stole in unmarked to head home his second of the night from Berg's right-wing cross on 62 minutes. From here on it was just a matter of how many United wanted to score, but in the final quarter they eased up as Teddy Sheringham came on for Yorke and Andy Cole for Solskjaer.


Dwight Yorke scored twice on his home debut for Manchester United as his side romped to a 4-1 win over Charlton - and then beamed: "This is what I dreamt of." United's record signing was sensational as he netted two goals to get off the mark for his new club and afterwards he had an even bigger smile that usual on his face.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also hit the target twice on his first start of the season after Mark Kinsella had given Charlton a shock lead.

Yorke said: "This is what I dreamt of, and I am looking forward to having more nights like this. I had nine fantastic years at Villa, but this is why I came here. If someone had said to me before the start of the game that I was going to score I would have taken that, but to get two was superb. It's just such a pleasure and joy to play with such talented players. Everywhere I look there is just quality, whether it is Beckham on the right, Jesper on the left or Keane in the middle."

"He was excellent," said manager Alex Ferguson. "It is always nice to score on your home debut, and apart from that, his whole contribution and ability to turn on defenders gave us something extra."

Ferguson was also pleased to record United's first League win at the third attempt. "It was a really good performance from us and I could not have asked for better," he said.

The curse of the manager-of-the-month award struck Charlton boss Alan Curbishley, and after keeping three clean sheets, the Addicks conceded four goals. Curbishley felt his side had paid the price for poor defending. "I don't care if Dwight Yorke cost 12.6 million, but you can't give him a free header 30 seconds before half-time in front of goal," he said. "I was disappointed with the way we defended, and someone should have got a head on it. It is hard enough scoring goals, but if you defend like that you deserve to get beat.

"We came up against a good side, and the result is no disgrace, and I am sure a few clubs will come here and get beaten 4-1."

Ferguson revealed Jesper Blomqvist made his debut because Ryan Giggs was suffering from a virus, while Denis Irwin had to come off with a dead leg.

The expected fan's protest against BskyB's 623.4 million takeover of United did not happen, and there were just one or two isolated chants directed at chairman Martin Edwards.


Manchester United: Schmeichel, P Neville, Irwin, Johnsen, Stam, Keane, Blomqvist, Scholes, Beckham, Solskjaer, Yorke.
Subs: Berg for Irwin, Sheringham for Yorke, Cole for Solskjaer
Scorers: Solskjaer (38, 63), Yorke (45,48)

Charlton Athletic: Ilic, Mills, Powell, Redfearn, Youds, Newton, Robinson, Kinsella, Hunt, Brown, Mendonca.
Subs: Mortimer for , Jones for Mendonca, K Jones for Kinsella.
Scorers: Kinsella (32)

Referee: P Durkin

Attendance: 55,147

© Sporting Life 1998. Page maintained by Patrick Eustace, last updated Thursday, 27-Jan-2000 18:24:46

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