Red cards for goalscorers Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes marred United’s 3-1 victory over FC Porto in the Amsterdam Tournament on Friday night.
The lingering concern is that Rooney and Scholes could now miss the start of the Premiership season. If the referee includes the incidents in his report to the FA then both could receive suspensions.
The Reds were made to work for the win in the team’s toughest test so far in pre-season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer capped off the win with United’s third before Pepe grabbed a late consolation. United earned six points for the victory at the Amsterdam Arena due to the competition’s scoring system, in which points are awarded for each goal scored.
United were forced into a change before the match had started, with Rio complaining of a sore ankle during the warm-up. John O’Shea replaced him alongside Wes Brown in the centre of defence and performed well.
Porto began the game brightest, with 18-year-old midfielder Anderson dictating play in the middle of the park. But, after 11 minutes United took the lead. New signing Michael Carrick’s corner found Scholes on the edge of the box. The in-form midfielder controlled the ball, feigned to shoot, shifted the ball onto his left foot and cracked his shot into the bottom corner. Porto keeper Helton didn’t even move.
United were fortunate to be in front, but were even more fortunate after 19 minutes when Brown needlessly put van der Sar in trouble with a weak backpass. Only a sliding challenge from the Dutch goalkeeper prevented an embarrassing equaliser.
A minute later, United doubled the lead thanks to Wayne Rooney’s determination. He lost the ball but regained possession and raced through on goal. Helton went to ground early and Rooney delicately lifted the ball over the despairing keeper’s reach.