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Will Roma again beg for mercy from Man. United?
by Paul Kennedy, October 2nd, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  england, italy, uefa champions league


[MARQUEE MATCHUP] Manchester United hosts Roma at Old Trafford Tuesday in a repeat of their memorable UEFA Champions League encounter last spring.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson doesn't expect a repeat of the match that ended with a 7-1 victory for United in one of the most spectacular displays of attacking soccer in recent history.

"It was a one-off," Ferguson said. "It won't happen again. European football is just not that way these days. It was an exceptional performance. I think it will be difficult because Roma are playing well. It's a big occasion for them after the defeat they suffered last year. They will want to turn that scoreline around."

Comments by Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the architects of the rout, wouldn't sit well with Roma players. The Portuguese winger said Roma players were begging for mercy during the game, asking him to stop his dribbling moves with United up 6-0.

"I often get some comments from opposition players that bring a smile to my face," Ronaldo said.

Roma is also reeling from a 4-1 loss to Inter Milan last Saturday in a clash of Serie A leaders.

"We must forget our defeat to Inter and bounce back straight away," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said. "We are jumping into a completely different reality on Tuesday and we must be strong mentally. Let's not forget we had to play for an hour in numerical inferiority [after Frenchman Ludovic Giuly was red carded].

United will have Pole Tomasz Kuszczak in place of the injured Edwin van der Sar (toe) in goal. Defenders Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic are also questionable after being injured in the 1-0 win over Birmingham City on Saturday.

Manchester United -- Kuszczak, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tevez, Giggs, Rooney.
Roma -- Doni, Cicinho, Mexes, Juan, Tonetto, De Rossi, Pizarro, Giuly, Perrotta, Mancini, Totti.
Referee: Mejuto Gonzalez (Spain).

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