Manchester United beat Lille 1-0

Henrik Larsson said farewell to Old Trafford by heading in the winning goal for Manchester United on Wednesday.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Henrik Larsson said farewell to Old Trafford by heading in the winning goal. The Swede, who is on loan from Helsingborgs through the weekend, headed in a cross from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 72nd minute on Wednesday to ensure Manchester United reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League after beating Lille 1-0 and 2-0 on aggregate. Within a minute of scoring, Larsson left the field to a standing ovation. "I started off the first game here at home scoring a goal and the last game scoring a goal. I'm very pleased but the most important thing is we're through to the next round," said Larsson, who also scored for United in the FA Cup and Premier League. "It's nice to score in all three competitions." Larsson will make his final appearance for the Red Devils in the FA Cup at Middlesbrough on Saturday. "It's been great here for me and we said all along it's until March 12 and you have to remember that the Swedish season is starting in the first week of April," Larsson said. "That doesn't give them much time to get a replacement striker either. You can't forget that. I'm very proud of being part of this team but unfortunately I have to go home." United manager Alex Ferguson wishes he could keep him longer. "It was a fantastic header. He's been absolute credit," Ferguson said. "It's been a real joy to have him. We'd love to him but obviously he made his promise to his family and Helsingborg and we should respect that. We'd do anything to keep him but it doesn't look like it." Finding form Wayne Rooney had the game's first chance as he looked for his first European goal since a hat trick on his Champions League debut against Fenerbahce in 2004. In the 14th minute, the England forward connected with Paul Scholes' cross at the back post but his half-volley deflected wide. John O'Shea hit the bar from the resulting corner after goalkeeper Tony Sylva missed the cross. "I think we played a pretty solid match. What was missing was that little spark," Lille coach Claude Puel said. "We had a few good situations from free kicks and started the second half well." Lille came close to scoring in the 23rd when Jean Makoun had a header off a free kick from Gregory Tafforeau, but he couldn't beat goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. As United struggled to take control of the match, Ronaldo had a penalty claim dismissed in the 41st. Instead, he was booked for overreacting to the challenge from Chalme. In the final minute of the half, Lille squandered its best chance. "I think we could have pushed the team back and created more chances," Puel said. A neat through ball from Chalme only required just a slight touch from Peter Odemwingie to score his third goal of the competition but he failed to make contact. Immediately after the break it took a combination of the post and Van der Sar to deny Odemwingie's near-post header after United failed to clear a free kick.