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 arrived 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.
The Scottish manager praised the Bulgarian hitman's performance.
"You always want to score early after being transfered 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|
|Ramsey out for up to four weeks|
|Giroud deal done - Wenger|
|Hull City challenge FA over name change ruling|
|Rooney impressed with McNair|
|Luiz: I nearly joined Barca|
|Persipura 0 Al Qadsia 6 (agg 2-10): Visitors coast into final|
|Blanc wary of ´exceptional´ Messi|
|Dawson extends Albion deal|
|Mourinho open to move within Premier League|
|Top four the priority - Van Persie|
|Liga MX Preview: Queretaro braced for Atlas challenge|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: Sao Paulo out to arrest slump|
|MLS Preview: DC United ready to grind, Revolution host Crew|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Newell´s unbeaten run ends|
|Mignolet shrugs Valdes, Liverpool link|
|Neville blames transfers for Newcastle form|
|Mathieu applauds Messi, Neymar partnership|
|Mignolet must improve - Carragher|
|Cole hails Lampard|
|Villa may miss opener in Australia|
|Hughes thrilled with ´deserved´ home win|
|Pardew fears for future|
|Serie A Review: Djordjevic treble fires Lazio to Palermo win|
|Pardew facing ´serious conversations´ with Ashley|
|Pacos de Ferreira 2 Belenenses 0: Hosts off the mark on home turf|
|Stoke City 1 Newcastle United 0: Crouch deepens gloom for visitors|
|Garcia embracing underdogs tag|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Gekas double sinks Fenerbahce|
|Bayer Leverkusen v Benfica: Schmidt´s men seek goalscoring touch|
|Costa to start against Sporting|
|Russian Premier League Review: CSKA edge Ural thriller to close gap on Zenit|
|Ludogorets v Real Madrid: Holders out to avoid slip-up in Sofia|
|Malmo v Olympiacos: Roberto insists no hangover for visitors|
|Championship Preview: McKinlay in at Watford, Norwich host unbeaten Charlton|
|Luis Enrique expecting stern PSG test|
|Atletico Madrid v Juventus: Opening defeat puts pressure on hosts|
|Bruce staying positive despite winless run|
|Police investigating Van Dijk racism claims|
|Hazard dreaming of Champions League glory|
|Santos goes to Goa|
|Double delight for Al-Garni|
|Basel v Liverpool: Rodgers hopeful on Sturridge return|
|Arsenal v Galatasaray: Wenger facing selection headache|
|Blanc calling on others to cover for Ibrahimovic absence|
|Zenit v Monaco: Jardim sticking with style|
|Ibrahimovic out of Barca clash|
|Lucescu happy to host Porto in Lviv|
|Hart looking to bounce back against Roma|
|McKinlay replaces Garcia at Watford|
|Anderlecht v Borussia Dortmund: Hasi expecting tough test|
|Sunderland not panicking, says Jones|
|Pelle hopes for Italy call|
|Slutsky well aware of Bayern strength|
|Guardiola entering unchartered territory|
|Arsenal have a point to prove against Chelsea - Oxlade-Chamberlain|
|Irvine hails Lescott impact|
|Carlos backs Ancelotti to defend crown|
|Montoya replaces injured Douglas|
|Pearce wants permanent Hunt deal|
|Nolan targets top 10|
|Mangala reaction pleases Kompany|
|Dyche keen to emulate West Brom example|
|Irvine happy to see Hawthorns rocking again|
|San Siro ´isn´t enough anymore´ for Milan|
|Redknapp calls for temporary subs|
|Western Sydney Wanderers v Seoul: A-League side look to continue dream run|
|Hazard rules out PSG switch|
|MLS Review: Keane scores twice in Galaxy romp|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Five-star Alajuelense extend streak|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Medellin held, Santa Fe go top|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Wilstermann remain top|
|Napoli rewarded for team effort - Benitez|
|Liga MX Review: Layun scores four, Monterrey leapfrog Atlas|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: 15-year-old Diaz is Cerro´s hero|
|Uruguayan Primera Division Review: Racing leave it late, Recoba scores from a corner|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Gremio´s resurgence continues|
|Venezuelan Primera Division Review: Leaders held, Tucanes win again|
|Referee got it right - Rooney|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Melgar stay perfect|
|Bielsa: Marseille always in control|
|Newcastle will offer Tiote new deal - Pardew|
|Shakhtar Donetsk v Porto: Lucescu looks to maintain impressive home record|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille, Bordeaux continue fine starts|
|Serie A review: Inter stunned, Sampdoria derby delight|
|APOEL v Ajax: De Boer hoping to end poor away form|
|Schalke v Maribor: Draxler set for return for confident hosts|
|Al Ahly 2 Coton Sport 1 (agg 3-1): Hosts secure historic final berth|
|Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea: Hosts protecting fearsome home record|
|CSKA Moscow v Bayern Munich: Robben calls for psychological focus|
|Primeira Liga Review: Gil Vicente´s misery continues|
|Bundesliga Review: Late Piazon strike stuns Hamburg, Augsburg edge out Hertha|
|Dyche wants Burnley to bounce straight back|
|Hard work paying off for West Brom - Irvine|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona: Blanc hopeful of Ibrahimovic return|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV lose at Heerenveen, Twente win|
|TP Mazembe 3 ES Setif 2 (agg 4-4): Away goals secure final berth for Algerians|
|West Brom 4 Burnley 0: Berahino shines in routine win|
|Mazzarri accepts blame for Cagliari humbling|
|Inzaghi frustrated with Milan draw|
|Manchester City v Roma: Zabaleta ready for crucial clash|
|CSL Review: Evergrande take dramatic Guangzhou derby|
|Cesena 1 Milan 1: Rami rescues point for Inzaghi´s men|
|Inter 1 Cagliari 4: Ekdal hat-trick inspires sensational away win|
|Reading 3 Wolves 3: Late Murray leveller earns draw|
|BATE v Athletic Bilbao: La Liga side look to kick-start season|
|Luiz needs time - Blanc|
|Every day is difficult - Guardiola|
|Martinez hails Hibbert and Browning|
|Lallana getting fitter - Rodgers|
|My best is yet to come - Rooney|
|K.League Review: Pohang snatch draw against leaders, Busan I´Park claim much-needed win|
|Chadli revels in derby goal|
|Al Ain v Al Hilal: Uphill battle for Dalic´s men|
|Koeman praises Mane and Bertrand|
|Costa needs 15 days to recover - Mourinho|
|Serie A not a two-horse race - Tevez|
|MLS Review: Seattle go top, Toronto fight back to win|
|Atletico were simply better - Emery|
|Gerrard: I´m not finished yet|
|Persipura v Al Qadsia: Visitors set to reach final|
|Kitchee v Erbil: Belencoso key for hosts|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Barcelona continue good form|
|Sakho sorry for pre-game departure|
|Berahino ´lost´ after Clarke exit|
|La Liga Review: Big guns win|
|Home fans key to Atletico success - Simeone|
|Primeira Liga Review: Benfica win thriller, Braga beat Rio Ave|