FC Seoul 2 United 3
UNITED battled to a hard-earned victory over FC Seoul today but for the home crowd at this pre-season friendly there was only one story worthy of their attention. That United came from behind to beat the hosts thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Federico Macheda and Dimitar Berbatov was a fact almost irrelevant to a capacity crowd, who wanted only to see Park Ji-sung playing in Korea in a United shirt for the first time. Time and again when Park?s face was flashed on big screens at both ends of the stadium, the home supporters made it perfectly clear what they wanted to see. They even booed when Park?s face disappeared to be replaced by the match taking place in front of them. Park is the embodiment of South Korea?s passion for the beautiful game, and after a knee injury robbed him of the chance to play on tour two years ago, this time, despite his delayed start to pre-season, he did not let them down, entering the fray after 73 minutes as a substitute. Some players on this tour have more to gain that others. Rooney for instance is an automatic choice in any strong United line-up, so his first-half equaliser was merely confirmation of his well-being. Macheda on the other hand, has some proving to do. At 17, nobody is expecting the Italian to be the finished article. Trust However, Ferguson will be placing an immense amount of trust in the young Italian if, as has been pledged, he hands him the fourth striker?s berth this season. In these warm-up games, Macheda has done his cause no harm at all, particularly in the latest and undoubtedly most competitive of the four matches United will complete in the Far East. After delivering a decent left-wing cross that Ryan Giggs completely missed and failing to control an astute pass from the Welshman that would have set him up for the type of spectacular curling effort that he announced his arrival with against Aston Villa last season, Macheda found the net just after half-time. Strike partner Rooney supplied the killer cross field pass, which sent the teenager scampering clear of a static Seoul defence. The cool way he took his chance justified Ferguson?s belief that Macheda is the best finisher at United, better even than Michael Owen. The goal brought the Red Devils level, just as Rooney had done earlier when he headed home John O?Shea?s cross after Dejan Damjanovic had opened the scoring. Macheda?s goal allowed him to draw level with Rooney and Owen as tour top scorer on two. Rather embarrassingly, Berbatov did not have any to his name before he popped up with the winner. A patchy debut season from United?s £30.75million record signing has left a lot of supporters unconvinced. The fact his arrival coincided with Carlos Tevez?s disenchantment and subsequent departure for Manchester City only makes the situation worse. Yet Berbatov does have talent, although getting the best of him has taken Ferguson longer than he would have liked. Nevertheless, his neat headed finish from Darron Gibson?s cross was very welcome on a personal level, in addition to giving United a deserved victory. What did you make of the performance? Have your say.
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