AALBORG, Denmark (AFP) - Dimitar Berbatov dashed hopes of a Danish fairy tale with his first two goals for Manchester United as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over Danish champions Aalborg here on Tuesday in their Champions League clash.
Home manager Bruce Rioch had promised that an Aalborg win would trigger an "earthquake" in the 10,800-capacity Energi Nord Arena.
But a first-half strike from Wayne Rooney and Berbatov's second-half brace secured a comfortable victory that kick-starts the holders' Champions League campaign after a disappointing goalless draw in their opener against Villarreal.
The win was marred however by injuries to Paul Scholes, who suffered suspected knee ligament damage, and Rooney, who limped off with an ankle problem.
"We are happy to get three points but we missed a lot of chances and Paul Scholes could be out for about three weeks," United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said afterwards.
"Rooney and young Rafael got injured as well so maybe there was a price to pay for the victory but four points now is where we want to be."
Ferguson was also pleased to see 30-million-pound striker Berbatov open his United account.
"Two fantastic goals and that will help his confidence - always when you get transferred for that amount of money you want your first goal as quickly as possible."
Berbatov himself said he had not been worried about his failure to break his United duck in his three previous appearances.
"I knew they would come sooner or later but I'm happy it was today (Tuesday). I helped team to win and that is the most important thing."
United took charge of the game from the outset, nearly scoring twice within the first 10 minutes.
Rooney's back-heeled through-ball to Cristiano Ronaldo forced home 'keeper Karim Zaza into a hurried clearance which hit the Portuguese winger and ballooned into the air.
Berbatov was the first to react but sliced his volley wide.
Two minutes later Nani swung a dangerous corner into the penalty area which reached captain Rio Ferdinand unmarked at the far post.
The England defender caught his volley sweetly but found Zaza equal to the task once more, the linesman waving away suggestions that the ball had crossed the line.
Scholes was carried off after 11 minutes and the home fans were heartened by a dangerous incursion into the visitors' half.
AaB left-back Thomas Enevoldsen made an adventurous surge down the left wing before curling a wicked low ball across the six-yard area.
Polish striker Marek Saganowski failed narrowly to connect but the ball fell to winger Jeppe Curth, whose shot was blocked by an alert Patrice Evra.
The home fans' respite was brief and it was no surprise when United went ahead in the 22nd minute, with Rooney keeping a cool head to register his 12th goal in the Champions League proper.
Veteran winger Ryan Giggs, Scholes's replacement, slipped a cute pass inside defender Michael Beauchamp which Rooney collected before finishing neatly under Zaza.
The Danes responded immediately and would have scored had Ferdinand not produced a last-ditch tackle to deny right-back Kasper Bogelund.
Any thoughts of a giant-killing act were dashed 10 minutes after half-time when Berbatov showed why Ferguson had been prepared to break the club's record transfer fee to get him.
The former Bayer Leverkusen striker had defender Steve Olfers to thank after a suicidal pass across his own 18-yard line presented him with the ball, but his thunderous drive into the bottom corner of the goal was all his own work.
Rioch's men seemed resigned to their fate as United continued to create chances, Ronaldo and substitute Carlos Tevez both coming close to scoring a third before Berbatov claimed his second with a fine volley.
Ronaldo jinked his way down the right-wing before delivering a floated cross which the Bulgarian guided expertly into the goal.
|Coach: B. Rioch|
|Guardiola hails ´legend´ Hart as Bravo wait in the wings|
|Emotional Hart edges towards City exit|
|Manchester City 1 Steaua Bucharest 0 (6-0 agg): City ease through amid Hart-felt goodbyes|
|Ronaldo working hard for Madrid return|
|Pique warns of European Super League dangers|
|AFC Champions League: Damjanovic inspires Seoul, Wanderley puts Al Nasr in charge|
|Rauball re-elected as German league president|
|Cillessen returns for Ajax despite Barcelona talk|
|Surgery for Pereira after De Rossi horror challenge|
|Hart set for City farewell against Steaua|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad draw at ZESCO to earn top spot|
|Retiring Keane in Republic of Ireland squad for final time|
|Sion in talks to sign Liverpool outcast Balotelli, claims club president|
|Athletic´s Laporte not distracted by Barcelona visit|
|Keane announces international retirement|
|Clarke named FA chairman|
|Neuer: Schweinsteiger remains one of world´s best|
|Bielsa would call me before coming to Marseille - Passi|
|Watford bring in Janmaat from Newcastle|
|FIFA opens adjudicatory proceedings against disgraced African football officials|
|European Super League could cause ´war´|
|Sampdoria pounce for Praet|
|Zaza agent confirms Napoli talks but rules out loan move|
|No Grigg in Northern Ireland´s World Cup qualifying squad|
|Cahill reflects on ´amazing´ Melbourne City debut|
|Europa League must take priority, Recoba tells Inter|
|Saint-Etienne swoop for Saivet and Veretout|
|Ronaldo: Pepe was the best player at the Euros, not Griezmann|
|Schweinsteiger: Manchester United my last club in Europe|
|Dante sees Nice as a positive move|
|Pique: Barcelona by far the best in Spain|
|Pique backs Stones for success under Pep|
|Coleman dismisses Premier League talk|
|Spurs want Calhanoglu, claims agent|
|Bony an ´option´ for Bilic|
|Leverkusen cannot challenge Bayern, says Ballack|
|Pallotta blasts ´disgusting´ referee after Roma defeat|
|Badstuber taking his time after injury nightmare|
|Conte: Terry return between him and Allardyce|
|We beat Bayern to Dembele - Watzke|
|Wanderers bring back Bulut|
|Moyes rules out Kone exit|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Whitecaps, Pachuca win big|
|Bale: I´ll never forget this year|
|Griezmann: I deserve Best Player in Europe Award|
|No surgery for Ayew as West Ham target December return|
|Villarreal did all they could to make it through - Escriba|
|Spalletti rues lack of Roma discipline|
|Conte: Chelsea must learn to kill matches|
|Watford and West Brom crash out of League Cup|
|My longest 90 minutes as a coach - Rodgers|
|AFC Champions League: Goalless draws leave quarter-finals on a knife edge|
|Klopp hopeful over Can injury|
|Champions League play-offs: Nine-man Roma crash out as Monaco edge Villarreal|
|Henderson hails ´outstanding´ Mane after Burton thrashing|
|Chelsea 3 Bristol Rovers 2: Conte´s side survive scare thanks to Batshuayi double|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 2 Celtic 0 (4-5 agg): Visitors survive Israeli scare|
|Burton Albion 0 Liverpool 5: Sturridge at the double in Reds rout|
|Leverkusen sign Austria star Dragovic|
|Sakho in the clear as WADA opt against appeal|
|Enyimba 3 Mamelodi Sundowns 1: Udoh brace secures CAF Champions League win|
|Pulisic and Ramos on target as Dortmund wrap up Bundesliga preparations|
|Calleri hoping for Tevez advice|
|Defour hoping for Belgium recall|
|Alaba warns against complacency as Bayern begin Bundesliga defence|
|Bravo arrives in Manchester ahead of City move|
|Dyche backs Gray after striker´s apology for homophobic tweets|
|Gray charged by FA over homophobic tweets|
|Pique: Olympic gold proves Neymar is one of world´s best|
|Marin makes Olympiacos move|
|Zidane arrival the catalyst for one of my best seasons - Ronaldo|
|Moyes ´worried´ about Mannone elbow injury|
|Sidibe rejected Arsenal over playing-time fears|
|Guardiola: Toure could feature against Steaua|
|Hernandez out for two weeks after falling down stairs|
|Bravo nearing City move, admits Guardiola|
|Ballack impressed by Dortmund signings but still backing Bayern|
|Lucescu questions De Boer tactics|
|Milan reject Chelsea bid for Romagnoli|
|Dortmund know how to treat Gotze - Ballack|
|Shevchenko: Bacca must improve consistency|
|´If you heed 100 idiots you will go crazy´ - Bauza on Messi return|
|Valdano relieved over Messi U-turn|
|Nordfeldt in line for loan move after signing fresh Swans deal|
|Dante joins Nice from Wolfsburg|
|De Boer expects fierce fight for Barca number-one spot|
|Newell´s confident over Messi return|
|Stoke confirm Jones interest|
|MLS ´attractive´ to Rooney - Timbers owner|
|Burke re-signs with West Ham|
|Sassuolo rejected Balotelli - CEO|
|Valencia coach Ayestaran rules out Mustafi sale|
|Allardyce plans Guardiola talks over Hart|
|Cahill warns rivals over City attack|
|Allardyce open to Terry England return|
|Drogba dismisses Villa rumours|
|Tuchel pleased despite Dortmund wastefulness|