showed stunning judgement to introduce him against Aston Villa just when the Reds needed a goal most.
Just six days later, the Italian's stock grew further as he reprised his match-winner status when it mattered most. Within a minute of entering the fray against Sunderland, with United chasing a winner, Macheda diverted home a vital winner to further aid the Reds' defence of the Premier League title.
Sadly, injuries hampered Kiko's 2009/10, restricting him to just 10 first-team appearances (five starts, five substitute appearances). One of those was as an impact sub against Chelsea in the league – his introduction changed the game and the Italian even netted
a late consolation goal. But it was for the Reserves where Macheda made the biggest mark in 09/10, scoring four goals in eight appearances as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team marched to league and playoff glory.
Twelve more first-team appearances – and another stunning strike against Aston Villa – followed at the start of 2010/11, before Macheda returned to his homeland on loan at Sampdoria until the end of the season. Kiko made 14 appearances for the Serie A outfit but was unable to prevent them from being relegated.
Macheda began the following season at United and made six appearances before the turn of the