Owen and Giggs roll back the years

LEEDS UNITED (0) vs MANCHESTER UTD (3)

MANCHESTER UNITED manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Michael Owen still has a vital role to play at the club after watching the England international roll back the years with a clinical brace in last night’s Carling Cup third round win at Leeds.

Owen settled the tie with two goals inside the first 32 minutes to mark his first appearance of the season and Ryan Giggs added the gloss with a deflected strike on the stroke of half time.

“His [Owen’s] ratio of goals to games is unbelievable, and his second goal was fantastic,” said Ferguson.

“With Berbatov, Hernandez, Rooney and one or two other strikers around the place he’s not getting the games he deserves, it’s unfortunate for him, but he’s fantastic to have around.”

At the other end of the age scale, there were debuts for Ezekiel Fryers, who produced an assured display alongside Michael Carrick at centre-half, and fellow youngsters Paul Pogba and Larnell Cole.

And Ferguson said: “Young Fryers did very well, he wasn’t fazed by the occasion at all.”