None of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will have been sleepless in Seattle after United were forced to work hard on an energy-sapping pitch to procure a 7-0 victory in the Reds’ second US Tour clash.
The scoreline suggests a stroll in the park, but for the first 45 minutes the sides were evenly matched for long periods. Then, an explosion of second-half goals – including three in four minutes – put the game way out of sight.
Fitness is always the main aim during pre-season, although Sir Alex will certainly be pleased with the Reds’ performance and composure in front of goal during an entertaining game played before a packed and passionate crowd at CenturyLink Field.
Streamers cascaded down from the stands as the referee signalled for the game to begin and it was the home side who almost provided the fireworks in the opening minutes as fans’ favourite Freddy Montero twice attempted to chip Anders Lindegaard.
Unusually for a United game in pre-season, the crowd wanted the opposition to win; Seattle is the biggest “soccer city” in America and the Sounders are the best supported side.
So the natives were naturally disappointed when United took the lead, 15 minutes into the match. Ashley Young fed Patrice Evra on the overlap down the left and the defender whipped in a pinpoint cross for Michael Owen to nod home from close range. It was the striker’s second goal in as many tour games.
That signalled the start of a period of Reds dominance: Young forced a fine save from veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller, Owen had an effort cleared off the line and Macheda, who looked particularly sharp up front,