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Jul 20, 2013

Man United crush All-Stars 5-1

Australian fans got their wish as Premier League giants Manchester United put on a show to rattle up a 5-1 win over an A-League All-Stars side hopelessly outclassed at a packed ANZ Stadium.

The David Moyes era finally got off and running for the English giants, doubles for Jesse Lingard and Danny Welbeck and a late goal from star striker Robin van Persie handing the manager his first win since succeeding the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.

The stars came out to play as Van Persie produced a goal in a late cameo, while the man he replaced - 40-year-old Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs - came up with the final pass for the opening three goals.

While the scoreboard didn't look good for the A-League's best, in truth it could have been far worse with United spurning a host of quality chances - but their deft passing and classy touches were more than enough to entertain the 83,127 fans who turned out for the friendly.

For much of the game the 11 players in the blue and gold looked like spectators as United dominated play - the All-Stars only joy coming just after halftime when Brisbane Roar's Besart Berisha tucked the ball past the near post of keeper Anders Lindegaard just after halftime.

That reduced the deficit to 2-1 after Lingard had scored his first-ever goal for United in the 11th minute - by which stage the men in red had already had three shots on target.

Any hope of a second-half revival by the home side were quickly dashed when Lingard hit a stunning shot from the edge of the box into the opposite corner of the net.

The loudest roar of the night was saved for Dutch superstar van Persie's introduction just after the hour mark - and he didn't take long to make his mark with a curling corner setting up Welbeck's second on 70 minutes.

The moment the majority of the crowd came to see almost wasn't to be when van Persie - in the clear and facing a one-on-one with keeper Michael Theo - had his left foot shot blocked, only for the Dutch master to hammer home with the right moments later.

All-Stars coach Ange Postecoglu admitted the gulf between the two sides was obvious.

"Full credit to Manchester United, they showed why they're a world class outfit," Postecoglu said.

"There was a gulf there as much physically as anything else.

"We had our moments but overall you've got to say they were fantastic - they're a fantastic side and they proved why tonight."

Moyes was relieved to get his first win after a first-up loss in Thailand last weekend.

"It was a good performance and we could have maybe got three more goals, we hit the post as well and one or two other incidents," Moyes said.

"We stepped up - I thought we looked a bit fitter tonight, a bit more ready and possibly the temperature tonight suited us a bit more than it had in Thailand."

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