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|
|Chelsea are already Premier League champions, says United boss Mourinho|
|Barcelona 2 Leganes 1: Late Messi penalty spares Ter Stegen´s blushes|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Toulouse 0: Champions spill valuable points|
|AC Milan 2 Fiorentina 1: Deulofeu strike keeps European hopes alive|
|Attitude got Man United through - Mourinho|
|Roma 4 Torino 1: Dzeko strikes again|
|Lincoln face Sutton or Arsenal in FA Cup quarter-finals, Chelsea host Man United|
|Neuer slams Jarstein after brawl|
|Blackburn Rovers 1 Manchester United 2: Substitutes Pogba and Ibrahimovic combine for late winner|
|Inter insist Perisic going nowhere, rule out move for Verratti|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 1 RB Leipzig 2: Forsberg and Werner reignite title bid|
|Training-ground meetings paid dividends - Pochettino|
|I´m trying to find a team - Berbatov open to offers|
|Inspired by Zeman´s return, Pescara hammer Genoa 5-0|
|Gabigol wants to make history after Inter breakthrough|
|Chievo 1 Napoli 3: Sarri´s men bounce back from Champions League disappoitment|
|Alfonso Perez calls for Pique to quit international football over political beliefs|
|Benatia refuses to question Allegri´s decisions|
|Fulham 0 Tottenham 3: Kane hat-trick fires Spurs into quarter-finals|
|Oblak return boosts Atletico ahead of Leverkusen trip|
|Gabigol and Inter ready to feast on success after late winner|
|Bologna 0 Inter 1: Gabigol gets belated lift-off in Serie A|
|Still no Mascherano or Arda for Barcelona|
|Bielsa appointed Lille boss from next season|
|Janssen determined to make the grade at Tottenham|
|Stones missing Kompany influence at Manchester City - Ferdinand|
|Central Coast Mariners 0 Melbourne Victory 3: Muscat´s men cruise to win|
|David Villa sent off after video replay|
|Favre not blaming Balotelli for latest red card|
|´It is my future at stake´ – Isco could leave Real Madrid|
|Smalling desperate for Ibrahimovic stay|
|´He will be here for sure´ - Mourinho rules out Shaw exit|
|Wenger not ready for retirement, wants Arsenal stay|
|Pogba will soon look cheap, claims Manchester United boss Mourinho|
|Casilla defends under-fire Navas|
|Isco ´happy and committed´ at Real Madrid – Zidane|
|Middle finger gesture was because I was spat at - Ancelotti|
|Leicester must learn from Millwall´s ´gladiators´ – Ranieri|
|Sevilla 2 Eibar 0: Sampaoli´s side move up to second|
|Lorient 0 Nice 1: Balotelli sent off as visitors go second|
|Too early to talk about Chelsea double – Conte|
|Conte delighted with Chelsea´s fringe players|
|Foreign players don´t expect cup upsets – Terry|
|Bale eyes top form and titles after scoring on Real Madrid comeback|
|Watzke received death threats after Leipzig match|
|Wolves 0 Chelsea 2: Pedro and Costa send Conte´s men through|
|Zidane reveals what he whispered to Bale before comeback goal|
|Dardai hits out at ´Bayern bonus´ after late equaliser|
|Ancelotti adamant Bayern deserved controversial equaliser|
|Ronaldo was not getting anxious, insists Zidane|
|Kompany injury not serious, says Manchester City boss Guardiola|
|Kompany injury not serious, says Manchester City boss Guardiola|
|Ranieri: 10-man Millwall were better than us|
|Piszczek represents everything Borussia Dortmund stand for - Tuchel|
|Championship Review: Brighton back top, Wednesday capitalise on Norwich slip|
|´Vamosss!!!´ - Bale ecstatic after scoring on Real Madrid return|
|Favourites tag weighed heavily on Burnley in Lincoln loss, says Dyche|
|Simeone delighted with Gameiro´s ruthless cameo|
|Millwall 1 Leicester City 0: Cummings wins it for 10-man Lions|
|Middlesbrough 3 Oxford United 2: Stuani rescues Boro after minute of mayhem|
|Real Madrid 2 Espanyol 0: Bale scores on comeback as hosts extend lead|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester City 0: No pep from Guardiola´s men in cup stalemate|
|Hertha Berlin 1 Bayern Munich 1: Lewandowski rescues champions with last kick|
|Barton denies trying to force Rhead red and accuses Lincoln of play-acting|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Wolfsburg 0: Piszczek stars with Yellow Wall absent|
|Cowley brothers marvel at Lincoln´s FA Cup heroics|
|Violence in the stands mars Tigres victory|
|Raggett ´lost for words´ after sending Lincoln into FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Gameiro dedicates hat-trick to grandmother|
|Burnley 0 Lincoln City 1: Raggett puts non-league heroes in FA Cup dreamland|
|Gameiro hits fastest LaLiga hat-trick in 22 years|
|Big-money signing Krychowiak to play with PSG reserves|
|Sporting Gijon 1 Atletico Madrid 4: Stunning Gameiro hat-trick snatches victory|
|A-League Review: Derby defeat for Sydney, Melbourne City cruise to victory|
|Barcelona results ´irrelevant´ to Luis Enrique´s future|
|Montella backs Donnarumma for Ballon d´Or|
|Bournemouth congratulate Arter on birth of daughter|
|Loftus-Cheek confident his Chelsea chance will come|
|Rashford still part of Mourinho´s plans - Brown|
|Klopp confirms Liverpool transfer plans are already underway|
|No chance of Jesus joining Inter, says agent|
|Dani Alves: If anyone can come back, it´s the Barcelona machines|
|Purslow stepping down from Chelsea role|
|Redknapp: Tottenham will win Premier League within four years|
|Buffon one of the greatest of all time - Casillas|
|Winning over happiness for Chelsea´s Conte|
|Manchester City can still win Premier League - Gundogan|
|Ferdinand backs Keane to re-sign with United like Pogba|
|Pochettino: Janssen must do more at Tottenham|
|Marotta: Juve signing Verratti unrealistic|
|Guardiola: I will never return to Barcelona|
|Allegri jokes ´how is my English?´ as Arsenal rumours intensify|
|We did not play well – Juventus hero Dybala fires Porto warning|
|Mourinho to ´go serious´ against Blackburn in FA Cup|
|Bastia 1 Monaco 1: Silva hits equaliser as leaders are held|
|Juventus 4 Palermo 1: Dybala haunts former club as hosts go 10 clear|
|Leverkusen´s Bellarabi scores 50,000th Bundesliga goal|
|Aubameyang won´t be rested, insists Tuchel|
|Barcelona are the best in the world - Guardiola warns critics famous comeback is possible|
|Germany to choose from 18 stadiums for Euro 2024 bid|
|Ozil and Sanchez will go – Merson sees Arsenal as also-rans for years without Champions League|
|Be brilliant, earn respect and master your man stare - Zlatan´s advice for wannabe superstars|
|WATCH: David Luiz showcases WWE skills with body slam on unsuspecting Chelsea TV reporter|
|Bournemouth receive FA anti-doping charge|
|Vasco da Gama sign Luis Fabiano|
|Balotelli has responded to a kick up the backside, says Nice team-mate Cardinale|
|Guardiola impressed by ´amazing´ Mooy|
|Sampaoli on Barca job: You never know|
|Pioli insists Inter not worried about potential suspensions|
|Oblak still out but Simeone hopes for imminent return|
|Saint-Etienne facing UEFA rap for Old Trafford flares|
|Guardiola unsure if Jesus will return this season|
|We are all to blame - Suarez defends under-fire Luis Enrique|
|Don´t forget Wenger´s achievements - Conte|
|Dortmund stand closure convenient for Wolfsburg - Ismael|
|Conte expects Solanke to leave Chelsea|
|Morata to start against Espanyol as Zidane aims to convince striker to stay|
|Mancini, Trapattoni, Matthaus apply for South Africa job|
|Napoli can turn it around against Madrid - Insigne|
|Ribery close to Bayern comeback, Boateng needs three more weeks|
|Bale to return against Espanyol, confirms Zidane|
|Sturridge leaves Liverpool training camp with virus|
|Ancelotti: Thiago and Muller are compatible|
|Mourinho to ´go serious´ against Blackburn in FA Cup|
|Herrera backs United to defend ´most amazing cup in the world´|
|Barcelona´s time at the top is over - Sacchi|
|Adelaide United 1 Newcastle Jets 0: Champions finally back to winning ways|
|More injury woe for Roma´s Florenzi|
|Barcelona go to CAS over Suarez Copa del Rey final ban|
|Watford announce Taylor statue plans|
|Italy should be proud of Sarri´s Napoli - Sacchi|
|Wenger denies dressing-room row after Bayern thrashing|
|Manchester City forward Jesus recovering after surgery|
|I will manage next season, at Arsenal or elsewhere - Wenger insists he will not retire|
|Aubameyang explains Lisbon woes: I´m tired after AFCON|
|Kimmich backed to succeed Lahm by Rummenigge|
|Ibrahimovic: I am like Indiana Jones|
|Dybala is the new Messi and worth €150m - Zamparini|
|Burnley replace child mascots with older generation|
|Real Madrid aren´t LaLiga favourites, insists Barca´s Digne|
|´It is fantastic for him´ – Mourinho hails Ibrahimovic|
|Robson: Rooney is a Manchester United great|
|´Terrific´ Ibrahimovic has elevated United – Robson|
|Chilean fans to march, asking Sanchez to leave Arsenal|
|#LaPogbance - Pogba brothers revel in family affair|
|´It´s not a surprise´ - Dzeko expects goals|
|Mourinho slams United´s lack of concentration in Europa League win|
|Pogba: Facing brother Florentin was a magical experience|
|Mourinho masterminds a very defensive success|