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“When he first came to United two years ago, the one thing that stuck in your mind about him was that in the one-on-one situations against the goalkeeper, he was terrific. The question you’re never sure is: can he play in such an occasion? He proved he’s ready.”

- Sir Alex Ferguson

How do you assess Kiko's contribution to the season? Have your say on Talking Reds.
26/06/2009 08:00
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08/09 Review: Macheda

“A collection of good young strikers,” is how the boss describes United’s burgeoning strike force, and after Danny Welbeck made an impact on his debut, Federico Macheda followed suit.

Start to finish:
Macheda's first-team call up was preceded by a prolific spell for the Reserves - eight goals in eight games, including a hat-trick away to Newcastle on the Monday before the Sunday of his stunning senior debut. Even with Berbatov suffering from an ankle injury and Rooney suspended, Macheda’s inclusion on the bench against Aston Villa was a gamble but it paid off spectacularly.

In position: Kiko bears some hallmarks of Dimitar Berbatov in his playing style, but also has more than a hint of the classic Italian goal-poacher about him. He truly comes alive inside the area, with no situation too tight to get in the way of a pop at goal.

Season highlight: On the back of two straight defeats and being held at 2-2 by Villa, United needed a goal as injury-time began. Three minutes into the added period, Macheda pounced for arguably the season's defining moment. The Italian controlled Ryan Giggs’ pass with a swift turn and without looking up, curled the ball instinctively into the far corner to start a title-clinching run of seven successive wins. "To come on and score a goal

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