TOUR NEWS & FEATURES

Saturday 20 July
ANZ Stadium, Sydney

FOXTEL A-LEAGUE ALL STARS 1
(Berisha 52)

MANCHESTER UNITED 5
(Lingard 11, 55; Welbeck 34, 70; van Persie 87)

20/07/2013 21:30, Report by Nick Coppack in Sydney
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A-League 1 United 5

That combination was in full effect again just before the break, when Welbeck sold his marker a dummy and spun off him to collect Evra’s cushioned return pass. Danny’s shot beat Covic in the All Stars goal but trickled agonisingly past the far post.

Michael Keane replaced Rio Ferdinand at the break and almost added a third goal inside five minutes of the restart when he headed over from a corner after Welbeck had again gone close.

It was the home side that found the net next, though, Besart Berisha sneaking a low shot through Keane’s legs and inside Lindegaard’s right-hand post to make it 2-1.

Three minutes later, United’s two-goal cushion was restored courtesy of a cracking finish from Jesse Lingard. The Warrington-born forward, finding himself near the corner of the penalty area, shaped to pass to Evra on the overlap but instead jinked inside and rifled a shot into the far corner.

That prompted Moyes to send on Robin van Persie – much to the crowd’s delight – but it was Welbeck who was in the thick of the action again, rounding substitute goalkeeper Michael Theo only to see his shot cleared off the line.

Never mind, though: from the resulting van Persie corner Welbeck rose high to glance home and bag his second of the night.

Zaha could have added another but it was left to van Persie to complete the scoring, driving home a low right-footed effort after Theo had done well to smother his initial effort.

Adnan Januzaj, the star of United’s pre-season opener in Bangkok, should have made it 6-1 in injury time but there were few complaints from the capacity crowd. After all, they’d already been treated to a terrific display of attacking football from the English Premier League champions.

Granted it was only a pre-season friendly, but United, now up and running in 2013/14, looked a formidable force.

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