Larsson recalls scoring on his United debut

Sunday 03 July 2022 07:00

Henrik Larsson moved to Manchester United in January 2007, and made his mark with a goal on his debut against Aston Villa.

Prior to his January 2007 loan move to United from Swedish club Helsingborg, and a  successful but injury-affected spell in Spain with Barcelona, Larsson enjoyed seven scintillating years at Scottish behemoths Celtic.

From the turn of the century, manager Martin O’Neill arrived at the Glasgow club, and the Swedish striker enjoyed his best years under the Northern Irishman.

It seemed fate then, that when Larsson made his United debut against Aston Villa, his former boss would be in the opposition dugout.

On the latest episode of the UTD Podcast - available in the United App from Monday - our former striker recalls making his Old Trafford bow against the Villans in the FA Cup.

Larsson won the Scottish title three times with Martin O'Neill.

“It’s a funny old game,” he said. “I always had a feeling that I would get a goal in that game, and to be honest I should have scored another two in the first half really.

“It was just the first game. I wanted to show myself so much that I maybe went in a little bit too much into the game. I should have had a little bit more calmness.”

The 2006 Champions League winner started the fixture and scored the opener on 55 minutes, lashing a volley into the top corner, as United ultimately won 2-1 and proceeded to the next round, on the way to reaching the final that season.

“In the end I managed to score a goal and was really happy,” he said. “There’s nothing better than scoring a goal on your debut.

“It happened to be against Martin O’Neill, and yeah that was pleasing in a sense, but he knew what kind of player I was, and I think that somewhere in the back of his mind, he expected me to score as well.”

Larsson's unstoppable volley broke the deadlock against Aston Villa.

Larsson went on to score his first Premier League goal later that month, in our 4-0 win over Watford, and scored three times in 13 appearances during his two months at United.

The Swede made his mark in England, and certainly set the tone for his stay in his first appearance for the Reds.

The latest episode of the UTD Podcast available in the United App from Monday.