United’s first visit to Mexico ended in disappointment as the Reds lost 3-2 to Club Deportivo Guadalajara - aka Chivas - at the newly-opened Estadio Omnilife.
As expected, the night was all about one Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez. He began the evening in the red and white of his former team and gave the home fans the perfect farewell gift with a brilliantly-taken goal after just 10 minutes. Chicharito changed teams at the break to make his second appearance for United, and therefore finished on the losing side after further Chivas goals from Adolfo Bautista and Hector Reynoso. Chris Smalling - with his first goal for the club - and Nani were the Reds' scorers.
A spectacular opening ceremony (the party continued at half-time as well) preceded the game with an on-pitch ‘show’ akin to what we’re used to seeing before the World Cup kick-off with lasers, dramatic music, dancers and fireworks all involved to mark the first game at Chivas’ hugely impressive, spaceship-like arena.
The pre-match performers eventually made way for the evening’s main acts – kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes - with Sir Alex opting to give youth a chance against Chivas’ first choice eleven which included, of course, Chicharito. A sprinkling of experienced heads also lined up for United with Tomasz Kuszczak, John O’Shea – captain for the night, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov all starters.
Deafening screams greeted Chicharito’s every touch, the loudest of which came on 10 minutes when he found the net. A lovely knock-down from Adolfo Bautista, who was a menace all night for United’s young back four, dropped perfectly into the path of Chicharito who hit a first-time shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner. Cue the madness in the stands.