League of Ireland XI 1 Manchester United 7: Michael Owen stakes his claim but Wayne Rooney’s World Cup hangover continues

August 4th, 2010

Back with a bang: Michael Owen enjoys his first pre-season goal

Manchester United were in town to open Dublin’s new Aviva Stadium and they certainly put on a show by hitting seven goals past the Airtricity League XI.

But it was more an evening of celebration than any credible guide as to how Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad are gelling, because the opposition was not taxing.

The United defence was rarely stretched, while attacking players such as Park Ji-sung, who scored twice, Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen enjoyed plenty of space.

Mexico’s Javier Hernandez has made a good start to his United career, impressing on the tour of America and producing a sharp display here. Fergie must be considering him for when the serious stuff starts.

Michael Owen was making his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in the Carling Cup final in March which required surgery, but he looked sharp before making way for Dimitar Berbatov at half-time and took his goal well.

Ferguson has indicated that Owen will not be fit enough to face his old club Newcastle in United’s first Premier League fixture of the season but, on this evidence, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker is not far away.

Park Ji-sung also looked fresh despite his exertions at the World Cup with South Korea this summer. It was his perseverence and sense of anticipation that led to United’s first goal and one of several penetrating runs set up the second.

Chris Smalling played with Nemanja Vidic in central defence for the first time. The £10m signing from Fulham was rarely troubled.

Javier ‘Chicharito ‘ Hernandez took just 93 seconds to get on the scoresheet after replacing Wayne Rooney at half-time – evidence that the £7m Mexico striker is a

Settling in nicely: United new boy Javier Hernandez (left) got on the scoresheet

Sir Alex Ferguson said: ‘Our goals were good, some of them very good. Hernandez’s goal was fantastic – no drawback at all.

‘We’ve got good, young strikers in the club and they’re exciting me very much alongside the experience of Rooney, Owen and Berbatov.

Frustration: Wayne Rooney reacts to a challenge

‘The only injury we’ve got is Michael Carrick, who has an ankle problem which will put him out of Sunday’s game (Community Shield).

‘Rooney has only been training for six days, along with Owen and Park, and they’re definitely not ready for real games so 45 minutes was fine for them. I’ll have to play them against Chelsea on Sunday because that will help to bring them on.’


If Wayne Rooney thought the spotlight was on him after his sorry displays for England in South Africa and a much-publicised night out in Manchester, he must have wished the ground would swallow him up after 22 minutes when the goalkeeper saved Darron Gibson’s shot and Rooney blazed over an open goal from 15 yards. 

The sky's the limit: Rooney blasts over from close range

                                                                       Source:daily mail

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