Manchester United 2 Charlton Athletic 0

Last updated : 20 April 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Gary Neville's goals are like those legendary buses of yesteryear - you wait an eternity for one to come along and then two appear at once.

After his first goal in just over a year when he hit the winner against Leicester City last Tuesday, the 29-year-old England right-back was on target for United with the second of his side's goals against Charlton.

Neville's 65th minute goal was almost a carbon copy of his effort against Leicester.

Picking the ball up on the right, he played the neatest of one-twos with Louis Saha, collecting the return pass from the Frenchman on the right side of the Charlton box before drilling home his low right-foot shot from 12 yards.

It was his sixth goal since breaking into United's senior side ten years ago and virtually secured the win that put his side one point behind second-placed Chelsea.

Saha had put United ahead after 28 minutes, finishing off a glorious move instigated by Gary Neville.

Neville's raking pass from the right found David Bellion on the opposite flank.

Bellion took off from midway in his own half with a mesmerising run to within yards of the Charlton goal.

He then found Saha on the left side of the Charlton box who finished in fine style with a fierce left-foot shot from 12 yards into the opposite corner of the net - his seventh goal since moving to Old Trafford from Fulham in January.

A game which on the face of it looked tricky proved to be a comfortable stroll for United.

Charlton keeper Dean Kiely twice kept out powerful close-range shots from Phil Neville with glorious reflex saves in the 18th minute.

United dominated without creating many clear-cut chances, although Ruud van Nistelrooy saw his 71st minute 20-yard shot diverted onto a post by Kiely.

United keeper Tim Howard's only worrying moment came 14 minutes from time when Shaun Bartlett headed Claus Jensen's left-wing cross against a post from six yards out.