The first ever A-League All-Star Game certainly was a financial success but on the field it was an embarrassing result for the A-League as Manchester United destroyed the A-League All-Stars 5-1 on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the A-League All-Stars with their best players either choosing to be unavailable, away with their club under contractual obligation or away with the Socceroos who played at the exact same time.
The match marked the first win for new Manchester United manager David Moyes in just his second match and they dominated proceedings.
Ante Covic was peppered with chances with two coming early, first from a Phil Jones header and then coming out quickly to deny Danny Welbeck after a Jesse Lingard through-ball.
But Covic wasn’t so lucky 11 minutes in as Ryan Giggs won possession and sent the ball for Welbeck who let the ball run for Lingard who took one touch and shot home easily past Covic.
It was almost an instant equalizer as the Brisbane Roar combination of Thomas Broich and Besarat Berisha linked up but Broich’s strike from 20 yards went just over the bar.
That started a decent spell for the A-League where they played well but were still coming off second best with set-pieces giving Manchester United plenty of chances as Patrice Evra headed wide twice.
It took until the 27th minute for the A-League to get their first shot on goal as Broich found Pedj Bojic who forced a Anders Lindegaard in to a save.
Just moments later Manchester United made it two as Lingard ran at the A-League defense and found Giggs who played Welbeck through allowing him to bury the shot past Covic.
Manchester United continued to attack and moments later it should have been three as Welbeck rounded Covic but saw his shot cleared by Beauchamp, making the English Champions have to settle for a 2-0 lead at the break.
Just seven minutes in the A-League got back in to the game as Berisha got around his defender and shot from the edge of the area that snuck in between Lindegaard and his near post.
That seemed to anger Manchester United who made it 3-1 just three minutes later as Lingard received possession on the edge of the box and hit a powerful shot to manage his brace.
Robin Van Persie came off the bench and was a big part of Manchester United’s fourth goal as he sent in a coner for Welbeck who hit a slight glancing header to make it 4-1 in the 70th minute.
With less than ten minutes to play Van Persie made sure he got on the scoresheet as he hit an impressive strike of his own for a final score of 5-1.
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