Following a shock 1-0 defeat in Bangkok seven days earlier (admittedly in sticky, stifling conditions), Manchester United registered the first win under new manager David Moyes with a sparkling 5-1 victory against the Foxtel A-League All Stars in Sydney.
Jesse Lingard and Danny Welbeck produced brilliant performances and both bagged braces, while Robin van Persie, on as a second-half substitute, added the icing to the cake in the closing minutes.
Unlike many pre-season friendlies, this fixture was full of action and, for much of the 90 minutes, played at a pulsating pace.
A colossal 83,127 fans packed into the ANZ Stadium and were treated to a host of early chances. Phil Jones headed straight at Ante Covic after just six minutes before Giggs and Lingard combined well to create a chance for Danny Welbeck a minute later. The young striker, who’d been challenged by David Moyes to “add more goals to his game” this season, struck the ball sweetly but Covic saved well.
Four minutes later, Welbeck played a crucial role in the Reds’ opener, cleverly stepping over a pass to release Lingard. The 20-year-old kept his head and finished calmly to net the first goal of David Moyes’ reign.
United should have been 2-0 up shortly afterwards when Patrice Evra headed over from almost underneath the crossbar, although Anders Lindegaard had to be at his best to prevent Pedj Bojic levelling scores at the other end.
By that point, the Reds were playing with the shackles off and the game’s second goal was a joy to behold. A neat exchange of passes