United ease into Champions League knockout stages

Manchester United secured their place in the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League in style by thrashing Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 at the BayArena yesterday evening.

Antonio Valencia put the Premier League champions in front on twenty-two minutes, turning in Wayne Rooney’s cross before Emir Spahic turned in to own net to double the visitors advantage on the half hour mark.

Second half goals from Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Nani helped put the result beyond doubt, and wrap up Group A for David Moyes’ side, who will now turn their attention to Sunday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

By the time the game kicks off, veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs will have turned forty, and ex-United defender Denis Irwin has joined in the tributes by saying that he believes the Welshman’s achievements will not be matched.

He made his 953rd club appearance in Germany yesterday evening, and has announced that he has no plans to retire just yet.

He has won thirteen league titles and two Champions Leagues, as well as a host of other club and individual honours since making his debut in 1991.

Meanwhile, both Michael and Will Keane have both secured loan moves away from Old Trafford, joining Derby County and Wigan Athletic respectively.