United saved their best performance until the last leg of the Asia Tour, winning an entertaining game 8-2 against Hangzhou Greentown in China.
Ryan Giggs grabbed a second-half hat-trick and was joined on the scoresheet by Michael Owen (2), Nani, Zoran Tosic and arguably the man of the match, Dimitar Berbatov.
In truth, it probably wasn’t the most useful pre-season test but Sir Alex Ferguson will still take plenty of encouragement into the more arduous Audi Cup fixtures against Boca Juniors and either AC Milan or Bayern Munich. Apart from the obvious glut of goals, he will reflect positively on the creative play of Berbatov and Nani who tore the opposition apart.
The Bulgarian striker sprayed the ball out wide for the Portuguese winger to create the first goal for Owen after 23 minutes; United's number seven hovering in line with Greentown’s last man before sliding into the six-yard box to prod home Nani's low centre. Moments earlier, Paul Scholes had uncharacteristically missed with a volley, when Nani teased a ball to him from the right flank.
The same architect was at it again for United’s second goal on the half-hour mark, following an initial surging run from right-back by Fabio. Although the Brazilian’s first attempt at a cross was poor, so too was Greentown’s attempt to clear it; when Nani regained the ball, he dinked it cleverly over the keeper and two defenders to slightly beyond the far post where Berbatov was lurking, ready to volley in from close range
With a goal to his name, the other side of the Bulgarian striker’s game – the sublime creativity – came to the fore as United doubled the lead with arguably the best two efforts of the Asia Tour. For 3-0, Berbatov backheeled to Evra earlier in the flowing move that led to him bringing down Fletcher’s flighted pass with one touch and laying off to Tosic