Rafael da Silva played 45 minutes at Old Trafford, but neither United nor Juventus could find the net in the Reds’ final pre-season friendly.
After a storming performance against Peterborough on Monday night, the Brazilian teenager impressed again at right back… and this time against world-class opposition. Countryman Rodrigo Possebon also got 21 minutes under his belt in the 0-0 draw and did enough to suggest he can play a part in United’s Double defence this season.
In the Reds’ final run-out before Sunday’s Community Shield, Sir Alex fielded a strong side. In fact, of the starting XI, only Lee Martin played less than 24 times last term.
The winger had a claim for a penalty turned down by referee Mark Halsey in the third minute before John O’Shea’s goalbound effort was blocked two minutes later. Darren Fletcher blazed over shortly afterwards under pressure from Juventus shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon, while Carlos Tevez also had an early shot blocked.
And yet United almost fell behind on 20 minutes when Mauro Camaronesi played in Alessandro Del Piero. The Juventus captain cut inside onto his left foot and his shot looked destined to find its mark until O’Shea intervened with a desperate, sliding lunge.
After such a lively beginning, the tempo slowed as both sides looked to consolidate possession. Fletcher had a header on target just before the interval, but United had to settle for 0-0 at half-time, despite dominating proceedings early on.
Rafael Da Silva came on at the start of the second half and made an immediate impression, crossing for Paul Scholes, who headed into the ground and over the bar from close range. It turned out to be the best chance of the match.
Just as Rafael did against Darren Ferguson’s side at London Road, he showed composure on