he was nervous in this, his first involvement in a senior fixture, he certainly didn’t look it.
Alexander Büttner left the pitch on 34 minutes with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and the disruption to the Reds’ back four – Rafael came on and Fabio switched to the left – allowed Winothai space behind the central defenders again.
This time he was more positive and lashed the bouncing ball goalwards from 15 yards. Amos was equal to the task, however, and produced a stunning one-handed save to keep the score at 0-0.
Although the Thai fans – 50,000 of them – had largely come to see United, the stadium erupted five minutes after the interval when Winothai, who’d looked far and away the liveliest All Star, broke the deadlock.
Welbeck and Fabio both tested goalkeeper Narit Taweekul shortly afterwards before Ryan Giggs found the net on 63 minutes. His effort was ruled out for offside in the build-up, however, and that was Giggs’ (and Anderson and Cleverley’s) last involvement in the game, as they made way for a trio of changes.
Among them was winger Wilfried Zaha, making his first appearance in a Reds shirt after his move from Crystal Palace. But it was Januzaj who next came close, forcing Taweekul into a fine stop when he attempted to curl a low shot inside the stopper’s right-hand post.
Zaha and Welbeck both missed presentable chances before the new recruit smacked a stunning effort against the far post with just eight minutes to play. That sparked a mini onslaught on the Thai goal in the closing stages, but Taweekul and his defenders stood firm to notch a famous victory and lift the Singha 80th Anniversary Cup.
United: Amos; Fabio (Evra 78), Ferdinand, Evans, Büttner (Rafael 34); Carrick, Anderson (Zaha 63), Cleverley (Jones 63), Giggs (Lingard 63);