Thursday, July 29, 2010
All-Stars v United highlights: Goals give fans' growing confidence about young guns...
Well, after losing somewhat controversially against Kansas City Wizards earlier this week United have bounced back in fine style when trouncing the MLS All-Stars by winning 5-2 in Houston last night. The result is a good one, because no one likes losing and no matter if this is just another meaningless pre-season friendly; players need confidence and looking ahead to the Premier League season this is exactly the level of performance we fans' expect from United.
Going into the All-Stars game, Ferguson had insisted this was by far the most difficult looking fixture of the summer tour, but as things turned out it was a rout.
United raced into a first-half two-nil lead thanks to the sharpness of Kiko Macheda. The Italian's first goal saw the young striker latching on to a poor All-Stars pass and following an incisive run at the heart of the All-stars defence, the United striker finished coolly from just inside the box.
Macheda's second goal came about from a Nani corner from the left and once again there was a lapse of concentration in the All-Stars rear guard as the Italian was left unmarked inside the penalty area; but, take nothing away from Macheda whose quick movement in the box enabled him to divert the ball into the corner of the rigging with a well headed effort.
United were not having it all their own way though and Edwin Van der Sar had to be at his best when making several good saves to deny the All-Stars. Former Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel took the eye and caused United's defence problems throughout.
Obertan picked up an injury and was replaced by Cleverley on just 23 minutes; going into the game there was injury fears concerning Darren Fletcher, but the Scot started alongside John O'Shea in central midfield.
The second-half started brightly when the All-Stars nearly opened their account and only another fine stop from United's Dutch 'keeper denied Marshall's point blank header.
Rafael went close following a trademark run but his finish was disappointing. The MLS finally got the goal they'd deserved following another lapse in concentration, this time by Darren Fletcher who was beaten too easily when failing to track his man inside the box as Brian Ching headed home.
On 70 minutes Darron Gibson scored with an impressive 25-yard curling effort over the All-Stars defensive wall that gave Rimando no chance. United fans will be hoping to see a lot more of those from the Ulsterman should he be given the opportunity this season.
Just a few minutes later, Tom Cleverley scored undoubtedly the goal of the game with a brilliant piece of skill from just inside the All-Stars penalty area; the move started when Darron Gibson collected the ball just outside the All-Stars box then he passed it to Fletcher who in turn played it over the top first time - what followed was reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne at his very best - Cleverley controlled the ball with his first touch and at the same time he turned away from a defender and with his second touch he coolly slotted it over Rimando's legs into the corner - it was simply quite brilliant.
United's new Mexican striker Chicharito wasn't to be out done and he got his name on the score-sheet on his debut when making it 5-1 with a well taken effort that looked suspiciously offside.
Dwayne De Rosario scored a late consolation goal to make it 5-2 on what was a very entertaining night. While the goals were great, Ferguson will be concerned about some of United's defending which will have to improve greatly based on what we've seen on this tour. On the positive side, the manager will be absolutely delighted with the performance of his young players against the All-Stars.
Attendance:70728 - A record for a "soccer" fixture.
Venue: Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas.
United: Van der Sar; Rafael, Brown, J.Evans, Fabio (Scholes 72); Obertan (Cleverley 23), Fletcher, O'Shea, Giggs (Gibson 52), Nani (Chicharito 62); Macheda (Welbeck 62). Subs not used: Amos, Kuszczak, Berbatov, De Laet, Diouf, C.Evans, Smalling. Booked: J.Evans
MLS All-Stars (4-1-4-1): Ricketts (Rimando, ht); Alston (De Rosario, ht), Olave (Gonzalez, ht), Marshall (Conde, 63), Pearce (Donovan, 74); Joseph (Davis, 74); Le Toux (Convey, ht), Morales (Moreno, 63), Schelotto (Ferreira, ht), Pappa (Larentowicz, ht); Angel (Ching, ht).