Date:Thursday August 9 2007
Patrice Evra, Fraizer Campbell and Nani were on target in Belfast while Eagles, Giggs and a Rooney brace secured victory in Scotland.
Anderson, Nani, Campbell and Lee Martin all impressed against Glentoran whose fans were treated to a good Manchester United performance on the 125th anniversary of the club. As Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic played in this game, it was always going to be difficult for the hosts to find a way through and they failed to do it. On the other end of the field, United sealed the victory by half-time and could afford to miss countless chances in the second.
Over in Scotland, Chris Eagles, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs all looked in great shape but the star of the show, for me, was the returning Paul Scholes who completed the full 90 minutes and controlled the midfield with impressive composure - two weeks after an exploratory operation on his knee!
The best goal of the game was probably scored by Ryan Giggs who lobbed Rooney's delicate ball over Dunfermline's advancing goalkeeper and into the net. Wayne himself were busy delivering balls to his teammates so he could score only from the penalty spot and after a generous gift from one of Dunfermline's midfielders. Sean Evans has shown some good promise and even Magnus Eikrem played 10 minutes, replacing Ryan Giggs.
Fergie was absent from both games - as you might know, his wife put her feet down and told him in no uncertain terms that he's got to help moving houses. It seems Nani was not intimidated by Carlos Queiroz's watchful eyes: after scoring with an unstoppable effort, he did his usual backflip-celebration though Fergie openly banned him from doing it, for his own safety. It remains to be seen whether the Boss will tolerate this behaviour... Queiroz did not make a fuss about it.
'It's better for Nani not to celebrate like that, because there's always a chance of him getting injured. But that's his way of celebrating.'
The Portuguese assistant warned everyone that United are now ready to go and set for a flying start: looking at our key players' form, I tend to agree with him but you can never know in the Premiership.
Owen Hargreaves played 65 minutes in Scotland, gave a solid display and might feature against Reading on the opening day of the season. He received a warm applause when substituted so it seems all United fans are happy to see him here and eager to watch him in a competitive game. Remains to be seen whether our wish comes true this weekend.
All in all, pre-season is now finally over - the next obstacle is Reading on Sunday, 16 o'clock at Old Trafford.
Date:Thursday August 9 2007
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|1. Leicester City||13||8||4||1||+8||28|
|2. Man Utd||13||8||3||2||+10||27|
|3. Man City||13||8||2||3||+14||26|
|6. West Ham||13||6||3||4||+4||21|
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