Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice on his return to action as United cruised to a 4-1 win over Nationwide Conference side Oxford United at Kassam Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The predicted rough ride for the Portuguese winger, in the wake of his unedifying episode with Wayne Rooney in the World Cup, was quick to materialise as the locals joined in a chorus of jeers as he got his first touch of the ball.
Ronaldo appeared totally unfazed by the derision aimed in his direction, although he can expect the vitriol to increase in volume when the serious stuff begins in twelve days' time.
Three other World Cup stars, Mikael Silvestre, Louis Saha (both France) and Gabriel Heinze (Argentina) were also in the side to acquire match fitness ahead of the new season.
This match was originally billed as a reserve team friendly and then appeared to have been added to the first team’s already lengthy list of pre-season appointments. Ultimately, it could probably be best filed under United XI, taking into account the make-up of the which finally trotted out to take on Jim Smith’s lads.
The Kassam Stadium was almost full to its 12,000 capacity as the game kicked-off on a pleasant evening in Oxford. The local fans were in good voice and equally good heart ahead of the start of the Conference season at the weekend. They dropped down from League Two at the end of last season.
There was a measured expectancy from the Oxford supporters as the game sparked into life, but it was soon stifled as United exploded into early scoring action.
Seven minutes gone and United were 1-0 up thanks to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fifth goal of the pre-season campaign. Heinze crossed the ball from the left and chested it down to Solskjaer who, without