Manchester United started their pre-season tour with a comfortable victory over New England Revolution. It was the first time United played since losing the Champions League final (47 days) to FC Barcelona in May. We also got a glimpse of new signing, Ashley Young, who I will talk about at a later stage.
With all the Sneijder rumours floating around the internet yesterday, it was far too difficult to write up a match preview. I was too busy refreshing my Twitter timeline waiting for respectable journalists to pop up with the latest gossip. We apologise. However, we held a live commentary during the match via Twitter. The majority of you loved the idea and want to see us do it again, in the near future.
Before kick off, Nemanja Vidić lead the team out of the tunnel holding the Barclays Premier League trophy. The players were also showing off the new home strip for the first time, just two days before the club launch our new away kit.
However, the match started and United were ready to go, especially Anderson who worked his socks off from the minute the referee blew his whistle. Revolution are currently sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and their lack of pedigree was evident. United’s £15million summer signing Ashley Young made his debut on the left wing, opposite to Nani. We dominated possession and created the only clear chances in the opening period.
After 34 minutes Wayne Rooney attempted to repeat his overhead goal against Manchester City, but he didn’t connect with the ball properly so the result wasn’t what he hoped for. All United’s chances came from crosses in the first half, with the majority of them coming from Ashley Young. The 26-year-old impressed with his direct style of player, running at defenders and placing the cross. The England international linked up brilliantly with Fabio Da Silva, who ran up and down the wing like a mad man.
I’ve already expressed how well Anderson played but we shouldn’t forget about Michael Carrick. The English midfielder that was harshly criticised last season, looked sharp throughout the game. Himself and Ando kept the ball under control and executed their passing with class. Who needs Sneijder? Joke!
United did well defensively, despite being largely untested. Vidic and Evans pressed at the back, so New England couldn’t find a way inside the box. This forced the ‘Revs’ (not the Irish indie rock band) to shoot from far out but Lindegaard was always alert.
The first 45 minutes didn’t see a single goal, which means we had an entertaining second half with a total of five goals scored. Manchester United made three substitutions before the game kicked off for the second time: Rio Ferdinand replaced Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney was taken off for Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov came off for Federico Macheda.
Michael Owen opened the scoring for Manchester United on 50 minutes when he received a pass inside the penalty area from Michael Carrick. The 31-year-old finished brilliantly from a difficult angle with his right-foot. Paddy Crerand corrected himself when he said it was “Michael Owen of the past” – “more like the new version.”
We didn’t have to wait long for United’s second. Federico Macheda scored before Carrick squared it across the box. The Italian finished with ease and it certainly got the monkey off his back. The 19-year-old spent six months in Italy with Sampdoria and only managed to score once. Apparently their manager wasn’t interested, so his playing time was limited. So much for gaining experience, eh?
The goals came quick, and New England pulled one back after been awarded a free kick. Sainey Nyassi, a Gambian winger, took the free kick that was deflected off Benny Felihaber before going past Anders Lindegaard, who had already dived to his right-hand side. The Danish goalkeeper did extremely well between the sticks last night, so there’s no way David De Gea will walk onto the team when he arrives in Seattle.
On 61 minutes Kiko Macheda scored his second after a corner that New England failed to clear convincingly. The Italian U-21 was in a good position when the ball bounced in front of him before slotting it into the back of the net. The curtains were almost closed at 3-1, but United weren’t finished…
United were in full control throughout the game thanks to Michael Carrick and Anderson, who made way for Park Ji-Sung and Mame Biram Diouf. Ryan Giggs and Gabriel Obertan also got a run, while Nani and Young got a rest after being substituted.
The four goals all came from substitutes as Park got the forth for United. A beautiful passage of play started thanks to Gabriel Obertan saw a flick from Ryan Giggs, who set the South Korean up with an incredible goal.
United’s next stop is Seattle for their second game of the tour against the Sounders next week. Phil Jones and De Gea are expected to make their debuts, so make sure you follow us on Twitter for more commentaries.
After the match Macheda spoke to MUTV. He said:
“I feel very happy; it’s a welcome back for me because I had a very difficult six months on loan last season.
I hope to score more in the coming games as well. It’s always good to score for me. The US seems to bring luck for me.”
The Italian had a few words to say regarding his, not so pleasant, loan spell in Italy:
“At the start I played well. I scored one goal, and then the manager didn’t choose me in the starting XI and it was hard for me to get back in the team. It was an experience though, and it was good to learn.
When I come back here, I really realised that Manchester United are the best club in the world. When you see the other teams, you can see the difference. So I’m really happy.”