Manchester United bounced back from a surprising preseason loss to the Singha All-Stars with a 5-1 victory over the A-League All-Stars. Jesse Lingard and Danny Welbeck scored two goals apiece to pace the Red Devils' attack.
Ultimately, results in preseason matches don't matter. Still, it's hard to imagine that the loss in David Moyes' first match at the helm of United didn't leave a sour taste in the club's mouth. The squad did well to score a better result on the tour's second stop.
Moyes once again mixed and matched his lineup. Showcasing rising stars like Wilfried Zaha while also making sure the veterans shake off any remaining rust is the balancing act he'll work in the coming weeks.
Starting xi : Lindegaard; Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra; Zaha, Cleverley, Carrick, Giggs; Lingard, Welbeck.— United Indonesia (@UtdIndonesia) July 20, 2013
United took control of the match within the first few minutes. The squad, which struggled to create scoring chances with any level of consistency in the preseason opener, was much more active in the early going, and it eventually paid off.
Lingard found the net in the 19th minute after a nice play by Welbeck, who was very solid throughout the match.
The goal by the 20-year-old attacking midfielder also marked United's first under the guidance of Moyes.
One of the A-League All-Stars' best chances came in the immediate aftermath of the opening tally. United let their guard down for a minute, allowing Thomas Broich to unleash a dangerous strike. But he couldn't hit the target.
United quickly regained control of the match. They had several chances that lacked the necessary clinical finish, which isn't a surprise since players are still working their way back into top form.
Welbeck finally stretched the lead to 2-0 after a nice ball from veteran Ryan Giggs.
Lingard and Welbeck, who were on the same page throughout the match, almost connected on a highlight-reel goal near the end of the opening half, but goalkeeper Ante Covic got the necessary touch.
Amid some shaky play from United early in the second half, Besart Berisha broke free to pull the A-League All-Stars back within one, beating Anders Lindegaard to the near post.
Conceding a goal seemed to re-energize the Red Devils. They didn't allow the Australian League's top players to gain any momentum after getting back within one.
Instead, Lingard restored the lead to two goals just a few minutes later. He really had the type of breakout performance these preseason games are designed for and deserves a lot of credit for taking advantage of the opportunity.
With United back in firm control of the match, Robin van Persie entered as a substitute just after the hour mark, much to the delight of the crowd.
Less than 10 minutes later, United stretched the lead to 4-1 when Welbeck found the net again. This time, he flicked a perfect header past the keeper off a corner for van Persie.
Who was the Man of the Match?
From there, United slowed the pace. Moyes' first win was secure, and the squad didn't want to risk any unnecessary injuries with the new campaign on the horizon. It was the type of dominant showing United needed after a lackluster opener.
Although Welbeck was a constant threat before exiting late, the most impressive performance came from Lingard. He was able to make a statement with strong play from start to finish, which should earn him more playing time during the tour.
Finally, van Persie wrapped up the scoring in the closing minutes. He broke free behind the defense, but couldn't bury his first chance. He didn't make the same mistake when he got the ball back, though, pushing the lead to 5-1.
GOAL! A fifth for Manchester United - Robin van Persie needs two chances but drills one home to make it 5-1 over the A-League All-Stars— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) July 20, 2013
Manchester United continue their preseason tour on Tuesday with a friendly against Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos. And the new campaign is less than a month away.