MLS All-Stars 2 Man Utd 5: ‘Little Pea’ Javier Hernandez nets on his debut as Reds run riot in Houston

July 29th, 2010

On target:Javier Hernandez completes the Manchester United goalfest against the MLS All-Stars

The ‘Little Pea’ was a big hit on his first appearance for Manchester United as Javier Hernandez came off the bench to steal the show at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been talking up his £7m signing from Chivas on United’s tour of North America and the young man they call ‘Chicharito’ lived up to expectations when he was sent on for Nani in the 63rd minute to the biggest cheer of the night from a largely Hispanic crowd.

The Mexico striker has played no football since the World Cup and only met his new teammates for the first time on Monday, but you would never have known it from the way he settled in to the game.

Hernandez had already seen one effort saved by All-Stars substitute goalkeeper Nick Rimando and earned the free-kick that enabled Darron Gibson to restore United’s two-goal lead with a wonderful free-kick, when he struck in the 84th minute.

Paul Scholes’ throughball invited the man who was officially the fastest player at this summer’s World Cup in South Africa to race clear, and Hernandez showed not the slightest hint of nerves as he lobbed the ball first time over the advancing Rimando. It was an instinctive goal from a 22-year-old clearly high on confidence, and Ferguson was delighted.

‘The one thing defenders worry about is players with speed, who get into the space behind them,’ said the United boss.

‘When you see his goal it is an indication of that speed. The timing of his run, coming towards the ball spinning, he is going to be a threat to defenders, no question.’

No stopping that one: Nick Rimando is beaten by Darron Gibson's free-kick

Ferguson’s insistence that his new generation guarantee a bright future at Old Trafford was rewarded with two first-half goals from Federico Macheda – the first after just 22 seconds – Gibson’s strike, and a superbly taken goal from Tom Cleverley as United cruised through what the manager thought would be their toughest test in the United States.

In truth, the All-Stars had never played together before, and that much was evident straight from the kick-off when defender Kevin Alston attempted a square pass to Jamison Olave. But he placed it wide of his teammate who did not seem to be expecting the ball and Macheda was onto it in a flash, racing clear into the box to beat Donovan Ricketts.

Ferguson added: ‘We always think about Macheda that going through on the goalkeeper he is probably the best we have.

‘He is outstanding in those positions. You always feel very confident.

‘When he went through I expected him to score. It was a well-taken goal.’

More poor defending allowed Macheda to score his second in the 12th minute when he was left unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box to meet Nani’s corner from the right with a well-placed header.

He could even have had a first-half hat-trick when Guillermo Barros Schelotto allowed the ball to run past him and into Macheda’s path in the 36th minute, but this time Ricketts was able to get a touch to the youngster’s effort and deflect it just past the post.

Darren Fletcher also went close to a third goal for United when Cleverley’s perfect return pass set the Scotland midfielder free on goal just before half-time but his fierce effort came back off the underside of the bar.

The All-Stars made six changes at the interval, and two more later in the second half underlined the problems they faced.

Former Everton midfielder Landon Donovan and Dwayne De Rosario had both played the full 90 minutes in CONCACAF Champions League ties for the LA Galaxy and Houston 24 hours earlier but were called into action by coach Bruce Arena.

The All-Stars still managed a reply in the 64th minute, ironically as Hernandez was making his long-awaited appearance off the bench.

The Mexican had only just taken up position as United defended a free-kick on the left and David Ferreira’s cross picked out Brian Ching who took got in ahead of Fabio and Edwin van der Sar to head home.

Gibson hit back with a curling 25-yard free-kick and Cleverley scored an even better goal, skilfully lifting the ball over two defenders before beating Rimando from close-range with a side-footed volley.

Then came Hernandez’s big moment and there was still time for De Roasrio to pull back another goal and Brad Davis to hit the post in a lively finale.

It was entertaining stuff for the fans at the Reliant Stadium, a superb roofed arena which offered welcome respite from the oppressive heat and humidity of a Texas summer.

An official crowd of 70,728 was the fourth largest for an All-Star Game in any major US sport, even though the number of empty seats suggested it was in fact some way short of that.

But this was not an occasion to find fault. Not with Major League Soccer’s showpiece game, and certainly not with Hernandez.

                                                                                     Source: daily mail

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