David Moyes tasted his first success as a Manchester United manager as Jesse Lingard and Danny Welbeck scored two goals each to lead Manchester United to a romping 5-1 pre-season victory over a combined A-League 'All Stars' team on Saturday, with Robin Van Persie scoring on late to add to the sheer delight of more than 83,000 fans watching the proceedings at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
Teenage midfielder Adnan Januzaj had a chance to make it 6-1 in the closing moments of regulation time, but his strike hit the post. In all fairness it could have been more, except for bad finishing and Wilfried Zaha’s woeful luck in front of goal.
This is pre-season mind-you, but to all those who worship this magnificent football club would not have been surprised at the size of that crowd. Even without the likes of Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Vidic, Nani and Javier Hernandez, England's football royaly put on a great show. As if this wasn’t enough, some 20,000 people turned up when the players trained on Friday. This is why Manchester United are the champions of England and one of the true powers in world football.
While pictures began surfacing from various parts of Sydney, one could easily tell that the whole town was painted in red. Supporters from all around Australia flocked to the ANZ Stadium, for what looked like regular pre-season match at the start of the week but finished more like a carnival at the end of the match. David Moyes, who started his Manchester United managerial career on a losing note last week (just like the man he replaced which sounds like a good omen) was obviously pleased to get first victory under his belt.
"It was a very special night to get my first victory as Manchester United manager," David Moyes said.
"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.
"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." Moyes added.
All stars coach Ange Postecoglou, while banging his drums all through week that his side won’t get awe-struck by United’s presence, finally managed to acknowledge the obvious gulf between the two sides.
"Full credit to Manchester United, they showed why they are world class,” said Postecoglou after the game.
"There was a huge gulf in class as much physically as anything else. We looked really like we had just started pre-season and they looked fitter and sharper than us. "Look, I wasn't expecting miracles. I think we gave the ball away too easily and when you do that against a team like them you will get punished” he added.
United now travel to Japan for the third stop of its Asia Pacific preseason tour for friendlies against Yokohama F Marinos and Cerezo Osaka next week, where Shinji Kagawa will link up with team. As again, this club once again reminded everyone why they’ll always remain a cut above the rest. Blue Moon rising…Nah…never, it’ll always be Red!!!