Date:Monday July 23 2007
A six-star performance saw United destroy Chinese side Shenzhen, with new signing Nani grabbing a great goal.
Sir Alex Ferguson has handed his first start to the Portuguese winger, signed from Sporting Lisboa and he did not disappoint. Though I did not expect a lot from him, he did well, especially after finding the rhytm of the game.
However, he was still quiet when we were already 2-0 up. First, a move of delicate passing resulted in Rooney breaking clear on the left then squared the ball for the oncoming Giggs who passed it into the empty net.
After 20 minutes, Giggs turned provider: his fantastic pass found Rooney in the area who looked up then lobbed the ball into the net over the hapless keeper.
Giggs was not to be left out of the third goal, either: he flicked Rooney's pass into the path of Nani who slotted home from 20 yards.
Shezhen, probably the weakest opponents of this tour, provided no threat at all, thus condemning Van der Sar to utter boredom.
Young Darren Gibson, starting for the first time during the tour, played quite well but was still replaced at half-time, giving way to John O'Shea who scored United's fourth. A rare unselfish moment saw Ronaldo slipping the ball in his path after some good work on the left side and the Irishman fired home coolly.
But of course a game was just not complete without Ronaldo scoring and he did that with an easy tap-in after a great pass from Rooney who's been impressive throughout the tour. The sixth goal was a miracoulus bonus: substitute Chris Eagles' magnificent 30-yard strike found the net - it was a shot of such amazing power that it made me gasp.
All in all, it was a nice run-out for the team. United created plenty of chances, Carrick and Ronaldo hit the bar, Smith missed an unmissable opportunity (and generally disappointed I'm afraid). Dong, I must say, is simply not up to the scratch: he's slow, clumsy and predictable.
On the basis of today's performance, these attributes are fitting for Smith, too but I still retain a tiny hope for him though it's smaller and smaller... Chris Eagles, on the other hand, looks like a late developer with great promise. Hopefully he won't be the second Kieran Richardson.
Nani found his feet and grew in stature as the game went on, it was as good a debut as he could have asked for. The defense van solid though rarely troubled and Jonny Evans managed to show glimpses of his talent again. Giggs may not torment full-backs any more but his passing and vision is just terrifying, he's still unbelievably good.
Keep it up guys, the asian tour finishes on Friday when we take on Guangzhou Pharmaceutical.
Date:Monday July 23 2007
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