The first game of the pre-season tour ended as we all expected, we came away with a slender 1-0 win against South African side AmaZulu FC. Kiko Macheda provided the only goal as the Manchester United players began their bid to get fit for the new season.
Starting XI: Lindegaard; Veseli, Ferdinand, Wootton, Brady; Carrick, Scholes, Lingard; Macheda, Berbatov, Hernandez
Subs: Johnstone, Vermijl, Blackett, Petrucci, Tunnicliffe, Powell, Valencia, Anderson, Bebe, Kagawa
It was widely reported that Shinji Kagawa would be starting just behind the strikers, however that role was given to Dimitar Berbatov. Youngster Jesse Lingard started in midfield alongside Carrick and Scholes, whilst at the back, Brady started at left-back, Veseli at right-back, and Wootton partnered Ferdinand at the heart of our defence.
The first half was fairly one sided, Dimitar Berbatov pulled the strings throughout and linked up the play excellently, the chances are that SAF wanted to put him in the shop window to try and find the Bulgarian a new club as soon as possible.
The goal came in the 20th minute, Berbatov picked out Macheda who cooly slotted home to give us a lead we deserved. You feel it’s a big season for the young Italian, getting a goal in the first game of the tour certainly helped his chances of making his mark in the first team.
The move of the match came from a set-piece, young Robbie Brady picked out Dimitar Berbatov from a corner, in Scholes-esque fashion, he struck it on the volley and forced a fine save out of AmaZulu keeper.
The second half saw a few changes made, Vermijl was introduced at half-time in the place of Veseli, whilst Blackett, Anderson, Tunnicliffe, Anderson and new signing Shinji Kagawa all got some playing time.
My Man of the Match has to be Jesse Lingard, the 19-year old was excellent throughout, he shown what a great footballing brain he has with some intelligent passes and through balls. He didn’t seem out of place alongside the likes of Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes, I wouldn’t be to surprised to see him feature in the first team at some point in the upcoming season.