AALBORG, Denmark (AFP) - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that his side's comfortable victory over Aalborg could carry a high price after two key players picked up injuries in the Champions League stroll.
Paul Scholes was carried off with knee ligament damage in the 11th minute while star-striker Wayne Rooney hobbled off in the second-half of the 3-0 win with an ankle problem.
"With Scholes it is definitely medial ligament damage, but we don't know how serious yet," Ferguson said, before offering a prediction that the midfield dynamo would be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
"There's always a price to pay and it was a bad one for us today," the United boss complained.
"Rooney felt his ankle weaken and will definitely be in doubt for the Blackburn game on Saturday."
Ferguson will be keeping his fingers crossed that Rooney's problem is not serious and he can ill afford to lose Scholes with England midfielder Michael Carrick unavailable for the next month after breaking a bone in his foot against Liverpool on September 13.
The injuries took the shine off Tuesday's entertaining 3-0 win, which will be remembered for Dimitar Berbatov's first Manchester United goals since his 30.75-million-pound deadline day transfer from Tottenham.
After Rooney had given United a first-half lead, the Bulgarian's first came in the 55th minute when he capitalised on a terrible mix-up between Aalborg defenders Steve Olfers and Thomas Augustinussen to slam home a vicious drive from the edge of the penalty area.
His second goal was created by excellent skill on the right wing by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese winger clipped an inviting cross into the penalty area but there was still a lot to do for the former Bayer Leverkusen striker as he hooked the ball from behind his body and into the goal.
Ferguson praised the Bulgarian hitman's performance.
"You always want to score early after being transferred for such an amount of money and he missed a good chance in the first half, which he was frustrated with.
"But to be fair he's taken his second goal very well, it was a real striker's finish," the Scot added.
Rooney's opener was a cool finish after a penetrating through ball from substitute Ryan Giggs.
The holders now have four points and top group E on goal difference from Villarreal, who beat Celtic 1-0 on Tuesday.
"It's a good foundation going into the double-header with Celtic and gets us nearer to that 10 points level that you feel is vital for the next stage," Ferguson added.
The Old Trafford boss sprung a surprise prior to kick-off by picking 18-year-old Brazilian Rafael instead of Wes Brown at right-back in a bold attacking starting line-up.
"I feel the boy's something special," Ferguson said. "He's got great belief in himself and he's got a great chance the kid. I am very pleased with him."
The youngster repaid Ferguson's faith with a dynamic performance which nearly resulted in a stunning long-range goal.
Aalborg manager and fellow Scot, Bruce Rioch, remained philosophical in defeat, realising that the experience and revenue gained from the current campaign far outweighs individual results.
"We were confident we could do well and the players' attitude was good. I'm pleased for them, it's a good experience for them and for the club," Rioch said.
The Red Devils' boss had generous words for his Jutland hosts, and predicted that they could make life difficult for opponents in the future.
"There's been lots of progress and developments outside the team itself and I think that's terrific," he said.
"They play nice football and gave us some problems. It's difficult to think they're going to beat Villarreal but I can see them being a difficult team to beat away from home."
|Coach: B. Rioch|
|Galatasaray reclaim title as Fener implode|
|Ancelotti bears no grudge after Real sacking|
|Porto complete Bueno capture|
|Lazio 1 Roma 2: Yanga-Mbiwa settles Rome derby|
|Real sack Ancelotti|
|Route to the UEFA Europa League final: Sevilla|
|Derby sack McClaren|
|Eredivisie play-offs Review: Eagles relegated, NAC Breda earn reprieve|
|Inzaghi eager for Van Ginkel stay|
|Route to the UEFA Europa League final: Dnipro|
|Dani Alves plays down Champions League favourites tag|
|Middlesbrough 0 Norwich City 2: Jerome and Redmond send Neil´s men up|
|Renard takes over at Lille|
|Cancelo completes permanent Valencia move|
|Dnipro v Sevilla: Emery embracing chance at history|
|Kuchuk leaves Kuban Krasnodar|
|Desailly hails Terry and urges calm over Zouma|
|Guardiola has built on Heynckes´ Bayern legacy - Muller|
|Falcao thanks United fans|
|Zorniger takes Stuttgart role|
|Dani Alves to clarify Barca future after Champions League final|
|Pazzini in the dark over Milan future|
|Barzagli a doubt for Champions League final|
|Clough sacked by Sheffield United|
|Pardew eyeing ´quality´ signings|
|Carver encouraged by Ashley´s Newcastle promises|
|Gutierrez revels in Newcastle ´fairytale´|
|Relegation will haunt Hull - Chester|
|Crouch delighted by headed goals record|
|El Shaarawy eyes Italy call-up|
|Ancelotti all but confirms Real exit|
|Platini: FIFA will lack credibility if Blatter remains president|
|Bilbao duo pen new deals|
|Rooney: United can win title next season|
|Argentine football rocked by second death|
|Leicester must aim higher next season - Pearson|
|Monk negotiating new Swansea contract|
|Ox can play in cup final, says Wenger|
|Century of MLS goals ´surreal´ for Wondolowski|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: River not giving up hope|
|Cahill returns for Australia´s World Cup qualifier in Kyrgyzstan|
|MLS Review: Wondolowski joins 100-goal club|
|Toni on track for Hellas Verona´s maiden golden boot|
|Amid Ancelotti speculation, Galliani confirms Madrid trip|
|Berlusconi targets Ancelotti, Inzaghi remains committed to Milan|
|Serie A Review: El Shaarawy at the double in Milan victory, Fiorentina edge five-goal thriller|
|Taylor close to signing new Swansea contract|
|Milan 3 Torino 0: El Shaarawy grabs brace as Inzaghi´s men ease to victory|
|Bruce expresses sympathy with Hull owner and fans following relegation|
|Preston North End 4 Swindon Town 0: Beckford hat-trick seals promotion|
|Darmstadt promoted back to the Bundesliga after 33-year exile|
|Sherwood to assess Given injury ahead of FA Cup final|
|Europa League qualification would cap ´special´ season - Koeman|
|South Africa 0 Botswana 0 (6-7 on penalties): Hosts exit COSAFA Cup at first hurdle|
|Pearson hopeful of Cambiasso stay|
|Ings emotional after victorious ´last game´|
|Pochettino happy to finish fifth|
|West Brom release Mulumbu|
|Monk: Palace defeat not a reflection on season|
|LVG awaits news on ´minor´ Di Maria injury, refuses to comment on Falcao exit reports|
|Pulis accepts blame for West Brom´s Arsenal collapse|
|Toure and Milner were not saying goodbye - Pellegrini|
|Ramsey calls for patience in QPR rebuild|
|Allardyce: Time is right for West Ham exit|
|Mourinho already preparing for title defence|
|Eredivisie Review: Heerenveen to play Vitesse for Europa League place|
|Hughes hails Stoke showing|
|Carver still hoping to land Newcastle job|
|Sunderland squad needs better balance, says Advocaat|
|Pardew ´never dreamt´ of top-half finish at Palace|
|Survival Sunday: How the final-day Premier League relegation battle played out|
|Arsenal wanted Walcott stay regardless of hat-trick - Wenger|
|Bruce: Hull have not been good enough|
|De Gea has to say something - Van Gaal|
|Rodgers apologises after ´embarrassing´ defeat|
|Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1: Remy double secures win as Drogba bids farewell|
|Stoke City 6 Liverpool 1: Gerrard nets consolation in final-game thrashing|
|West Ham confirm Allardyce exit|
|Newcastle United 2 West Ham 0: Gutierrez on target as Carver´s men stay up|
|Crystal Palace 1 Swansea City 0: Chamakh earns season-closing win|
|Manchester City 2 Southampton 0: Lampard bids Premier League farewell with goal|
|Hull City 0 Manchester United 0: Bruce´s men relegated|
|Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1: Ings heads winner|
|Everton 0 Tottenham 1: Kane header seals fifth place|
|Leicester City 5 QPR 1: Vardy celebrates England call-up in style|
|Arsenal 4 West Brom 1: Wilshere screamer and trio for Theo secures third|
|Drogba carried from the pitch by Chelsea team-mates|
|Scottish Premiership Review: United take Dundee derby spoils, Celtic smash Inverness|
|Ashley not leaving Newcastle until club wins something|
|Klopp urges fans not to draw comparisons with Tuchel|
|Dortmund complete Castro capture|
|Stevens leaves Stuttgart after securing safety|
|Alves ruled out of Copa with serious knee injury|
|Drogba to leave Chelsea|
|Ashley is from another planet - Keegan|
|Sydney withdraw Janko offer amid talk of Toni|
|Cameron pens Stoke extension|
|Wimmer: I´m going to Tottenham|
|Returning Grabban ready for play-off final - Neil|
|Ferdinand ´overwhelmed´ by support following wife´s death|
|Odegaard enjoys ´nervous´ Real Madrid debut|
|Bamford fit but may be overlooked for play-off final|
|Barcelona´s best better than Real´s - Luis Enrique|
|Ancelotti laments key injuries in title failure|
|AFC Champions League Preview: Evergrande, Al Hilal desperate for wins|
|MLS Review: DC United deny nine-man Revolution, Rapids break drought|
|Bielsa hints at Marseille departure, congratulates Ligue 1|
|Silva, Matuidi eye fourth trophy|
|Jonas deserved golden boot - Jorge Jesus|
|Primeira Liga Review: Benfica celebrate title with home win|
|Ligue 1 Review: Monaco seal final Champions League spot, Marseille take fourth|
|Ancelotti to take sabbatical if sacked by Real|
|Mancini annoyed by ´absurd´ Inter mistakes|
|Simeone hails ´incredible season´|
|Replacing Xavi will be impossible - Luis Enrique|
|Ronaldo hopes Ancelotti will stay|
|Guardiola: We´ll be back stronger|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Reims 2: Cavani double sees champions celebrate title with routine win|
|Garitano stands down following Eibar relegation|
|Genoa 3 Inter 2: Kucka strikes blow to visitors´ Europa quest|
|Real Madrid 7 Getafe 3: Ronaldo nets treble and Odegaard makes history|
|Southend United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (aet, 7-6 on penalties): Last-gasp Pigott and Bentley the hero|
|Odegaard becomes Real´s youngest player|
|Gargano omitted from Uruguay Copa America squad|
|La Liga Review: Depor save themselves with stunning comeback at Barca|
|Barcelona 2 Deportivo La Coruna 2: Salomao saves visitors as Xavi bids Camp Nou farewell|
|Granada 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Atleti secure third as hosts survive|
|Juventus 3 Napoli 1: Champions turn on the style|
|Tearful Klopp struggled to say goodbye|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Rangers to meet Motherwell in play-off final|
|Bundesliga Review: Freiburg and Paderborn relegated|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Werder Bremen 2: Dortmund seal European spot as Klopp says farewell|
|Bayern Munich 2 Mainz 0: Schweinsteiger nets as champions celebrate title|
|Championship play-off final Preview: Karanka and Neil eye swift ascent to Premier League|
|Volland commits to Hoffenheim|
|Monk: Michu likely to move on|
|Allardyce not interested in Newcastle revenge|
|Sherwood confident of Benteke Villa stay|
|Rodgers calls on Liverpool fans to support Sterling|
|Khedira ´frozen out´ by Real|
|Hamstring injury rules Suarez out of Deportivo clash|
|Former Southampton managers hail ´excellent season´|
|Mourinho wants to remain in England after Chelsea|
|Rodgers ´150 per cent sure´ his job is safe|
|Maldini would ´love´ to help Milan|
|Doyle set for Rapids debut versus Whitecaps|
|MLS Review: Champions end winless run on day of late drama|
|Jemez doubted Rayo future|
|Zenga could replace Mihajlovic - Osti|
|Blanc wants to avoid Chelsea-like finish|
|Menez happy in Milan|
|Sherwood: Vlaar wants to stay|
|Arsenal v West Brom: Wenger calls for focus|