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 year, scoring in the Carling Cup defeat to Crystal