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Jul 20, 2013

Man Utd put A-League stars to the sword

Manchester United put on a show against an A-League All-Stars squad which proved more than willing participants, the 5-1 drubbing just the entertainment the big crowd at ANZ Stadium had come to see.

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

It was a grand performance with van Persie's late cameo coming after Welsh maestro Ryan Giggs had provided the final pass in the opening three goals.

More than 83,000 fans - most dressed in the red of United - gathered for the pre-season friendly, though at times there were another 11 spectators on the pitch wearing blue and gold such was masterclass being performed.

Moyes expressed joy at his first United win, while All-Stars coach Ange Postecoglu bristled at suggestions the scoreboard was an indication of the gulf in standard between the A-League and the Premier League.

"I'm sure Manchester will beat a couple of teams by that scoreline in the Premier League this year - what does that mean?" Postecoglu said.

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

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

The All-Stars' only joy came just after halftime when Brisbane Roar's Besart Berisha tucked the ball past the near post of keeper Anders Lindegaard, but in truth the scoreboard failed to tell the whole story of a match United dominated form start to finish.

"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.

"To get Robin back on and get him started was good but I think it was impressive that Danny got a couple of goals.

"I said to him on another night he might have scored four or five goals."

There were three shots on target inside the opening ten minutes, Lingard breaking through for his first United goal in the 11th minute before Welbeck doubled the lead in the 34th.

Lingard's second, just three minutes after Berisha's, ended any hope of a home side revival before the moment all had waited for arrived with the introduction of van Persie just after the hour mark.

The moment of magic almost failed to materialise when the Dutch striker had a one-on-one with keeper Michael Theo saved, only to hammer the ball into the net moments later.

"I was a bit rusty," van Persie said.

"I had a bit of a slow start, lost a couple of balls so I wasn't really happy with that but it was ok.

"I had a good corner and a goal but like I said it doesn't really matter now, we need to get fit and get proper practice and team play as well and get ready for the competition."

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