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Win a piece of turf from 25 great OT moments in the #thisisyourturf competition, delivered by DHL. Here, we relive Federico Macheda's remarkable debut against Villa in 2009...
Few Manchester United players can boast as dramatic and emphatic an introduction to life at Old Trafford as Federico Macheda, whose debut on Sunday 5 April 2009 is etched indelibly in United folklore.
The Reds, chasing an 18th title with then league record holders Liverpool in hot pursuit, were 2-1 down against Aston Villa at Old Trafford with ten minutes to go. What followed was one of the great comebacks. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second of the afternoon to level matters but United needed another to snatch a crucial win.
Never afraid to roll the dice, Sir Alex Ferguson had thrown on 17-year-old Italian kid Macheda, who'd earned his bench spot after a hat-trick in the Reserves earlier that week. As the clock clicked into the 93rd minute, United's unlikeliest hero stepped up and, not burdened by the occasion as only confident young players can be. 'Kiko' received a pass from Giggs in the area, pirouetted on the spot to beat Luke Young and then curled home the sweetest of winners past the despairing dive of Brad Friedel.
Cue pandemonium in the stands as United's fans celebrated an unforgettable victory. After being mobbed by his team-mates, Macheda ran to his dad in the stands to celebrate. "I've dreamed of a day like this," he said. "I just turned and shot and ran to my family."
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