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Football: CALAMITY CARROLL; `Man Utd....0 AC Milan.... 1 United sunk by keeper howler.. now they need a San Siro miracle.

Byline: ALAN NIXON

COCK-UP keeper Roy Carroll put Manchester United on the brink of a Champions League exit last night.

Carroll failed to hold Clarence Seedorf's 79th- minute shot and the ball rebounded off his body to Hernan Crespo, who gave AC Milan a precious away goal.

The blunder mirrored Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek's horror mistake 24 hours earlier, but Carroll's clanger will be even more costly.

The Northern Ireland international let the side down when it mattered - as he has a few times this season.

Most memorably he blundered against Spurs, but then he escaped when a linesman amazingly ruled Pedro Mendes' shot had not crossed the line.

Now United need a miracle in the San Siro on March 8.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We'll attack them there in the second leg because we always attack.

"We lacked the composure to take our chances and the big mistake was failing to close down Seedorf before the goal."

CAPTION(S):

OH CARROLL: United keeper Roy Carroll hangs his head in shame after spilling Clarence Seedorf's shot, which allowed Hernan Crespo to net the winner{ Picture: BRADLEY ORMESHER
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2005
Words:188
Previous Article:Football: THE GRIM KEEPER; CHAMPIONS LEAGUE knockout stage first leg: Man Utd 0 AC Milan 1 Carroll's howler is a Euro sickener.
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