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|
|Everton profited from ´harsh´ refereeing, claims Delaney|
|We will get much better, Guardiola warns rivals|
|Ibrahimovic turned down €100m China deal - Raiola|
|Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1: Benteke cancels out Lukaku opener|
|Rashford looking to emulate Ronaldo at Manchester United|
|Managers given bad name by Allardyce scandal - Moyes|
|Pagliara claims he lied to Telegraph over bungs|
|Dyche excited by Arsenal challenge|
|Mazzarri wary of unleashing Success until he is fully fit|
|Moyes stands by criticism of players|
|Guardiola marvels at amazing Ryder Cup experience|
|Mathieu and Deschamps ´exchange´ gives Mangala recall|
|Retirement threat just ´erratic´ Tevez being dramatic - Joorabchian|
|Dani Alves wants Champions League glory with Juventus|
|Guardiola: Football fans can enjoy Tottenham|
|Ranieri calls for consistency from Leicester|
|Low missing out on ´dream´ player in Castro - Tuchel|
|Mata: I never had problems with Mourinho|
|Conte wants failures to motivate Chelsea|
|Pochettino rules out ´impossible´ England switch|
|Emery pleased with Ben Arfa attitude|
|Gundogan returns for Germany after lengthy absence|
|Terry out again as Chelsea prepare for Hull|
|Hasselbaink refutes corruption allegations|
|Robben to start against Cologne, suggests Ancelotti|
|Prolific Callejon called into Spain squad|
|Hull City offer ´keeps changing´ - Phelan|
|Krueger: Black allegations do not directly affect Southampton|
|Wenger optimistic over Coquelin recovery|
|Hughes focused after Mourinho backing|
|Wenger open to England job|
|Klopp eyes retirement before 60|
|Wenger the pioneer battles on within his own legacy|
|Lukaku: I am not on Suarez´s level yet|
|Ibrahimovic is tremendous even if he does not score - Mourinho|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Olimpia, Honduras Progreso claim key wins|
|Astra expected hungover Roma - Spalletti|
|United fixture list a ´poisoned gift´ - Mourinho|
|Ronaldo back for ´stronger´ Portugal|
|Dembele can be next Drogba - Rodgers|
|Mourinho wanted Pogba at Chelsea, says Raiola|
|Puel pleased with ´good point´ in Israel|
|Mourinho not ´over the moon´ with United wins|
|Southampton investigating Eric Black allegations|
|Rodgers: Celtic would challenge at the top in England|
|Ibrahimovic expects more from United|
|Manchester United 1 Zorya 0: Ibrahimovic header earns Mourinho´s men narrow win|
|De Boer blasts Inter for lack of focus|
|Zarate reveals message to ill wife after goalscoring return|
|Raffael suffers fresh injury setback|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 0 Southampton 0: Saints´ winning run comes to an end|
|Sparta Prague 3 Inter 1: De Boer´s side humbled in Europa League again|
|Police to review corruption allegations after Telegraph sting|
|Brady hails Wenger as ´possibly the best ever´ Gunners boss|
|Yacob signs new West Brom deal|
|Guidolin prioritising Swansea improvement over his future|
|Sakho outburst has been dealt with – Klopp|
|Bilic sorry for Allardyce in ´very sad´ week for English football|
|Laporte saga nears conclusion as defender earns France call-up|
|Everton are exceeding expectations – Koeman|
|Wenger could be tempted by an international offer, says ex-assistant|
|No excuses for Liverpool this time, says Klopp|
|Rashford left out of England Under-21 squad|
|Boro must pick up where they left off - Karanka|
|Matuidi could still join Juventus, says Raiola|
|Pardew anticipates battle of the Belgians|
|Legia Warsaw to face Real Madrid behind closed doors|
|England job would be the pinnacle - Pardew|
|Wright sacked by Barnsley|
|Bilic defends West Ham team night out|
|Ramsey withdrawal was Arsenal´s call - Coleman|
|LMA demand ´immediate full disclosure´ of corruption evidence|
|´My answer would be a big fat no´ - Coleman rules out taking England job|
|Leeds dismiss Cellino sting as ´non-story´|
|Gabigol, Rashford and Sanches among Golden Boy nominees|
|Keane slams Arsenal: Half their players will have gloves on soon|
|´Special´ Man City draw a career highlight, says Gordon|
|Southgate admits England situation is ´not ideal´|
|England should have gone for O´Neill, says Shilton|
|PSG´s powers of recovery impress Cavani|
|Howe ´absolutely committed´ to Bournemouth amid England links|
|Man City proved character against Celtic, says Zabaleta|
|Walcott: Sanchez partnership bodes well for Arsenal´s season|
|MLS Review: DC, Impact on track for play-offs|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres, Dallas left waiting|
|Central Sanchez pleases Wenger|
|Barca felt Messi absence - Busquets|
|Martino knew Messi would come out of retirement|
|Shilton never convinced by Allardyce|
|Degenek replaced by Giannou for Socceroos|
|Griezmann will still take penalties - Simeone|
|Simeone proud of ´one of the best´ wins|
|Godin suffers sprained ankle ligament|
|West Ham receive positive news over injured duo|
|Robson: Four wins for Southgate and he´s an England contender|
|Gunes rues Besiktas´ inability to see off Dynamo|
|Sarri: Late goals leave bitter taste|
|Borussia Monchengladbach were exceptional against Barcelona, feels Schubert|
|PSG must be patient, says Emery|
|Celtic are lucky to have Dembele - Rodgers|
|I´m completely focused on Arsenal, insists Wenger amid England talk|