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Michael Owen
Michael Owen marks his return with a goal… one of seven !

Match Report – Airtricity League XI 1-7 United

Competition: International Friendly
Kick-Off & Date: 7:45pm, Wednesday 4th August
Aviva Stadium (Away)

Attendance: 49,861


Manchester United ended their pre-season tour on a very high note in Dublin, as Sir Alex’s men hammered an Airtricity League XI by 7 goals to 1. Michael Owen and Ji-Sung Park marked their comebacks with goals, as Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic all returned from various World Cup campaigns.

Goals from Park (two), Owen, Javier Hernandez, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Luis Nani topped-off a solid Red Devils performance.
John O'Shea
John O’Shea holds the Airtricity Challenge Cup…

The Reds traveled to Dublin’s new landmark – the brand new 50,000-seater ‘Aviva Stadium’ – playing host to the FAI and IRFU, Irish football and rugby union respectively. The Aviva replaces the old Lansdowne Road – which was known as the World’s oldest sporting venue.

Park had an early chance when Rooney crossed a ball into the box, however the South Korean captain just missed the header. Rooney then had his own chance after a re-bound, but his shot blazed over the bar. Moments later Park attempted to block a clearance, but instead scored. As he deflected the ball into net back of the net.

With 25 minutes gone, and a few chances missed, Owen scored a fantastic chip over the head of Gary Rodgers, marking his return from an injury picked-up last season in Wembley.
Wayne Rooney
Rooney back in action !

The highlight from Airtricity’s first half performance was a somersault throw-in from Ryan Guy – which got the fans cheering loudly. Carrick was then replaced by Darren Fletcher after he walked down the tunnel with a twisted ankle.

Sligo Rovers striker Joseph Ndo was odds-on to score, but he couldn’t hit the target despite mountains of possession. After the break, Owen came-off for Chicharito, as Rooney left the field for Dimitar Berbatov.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Hernandez scores AGAIN !
Within minutes, Hernandez found the net – bagging his third goal in three games. The 22-year-old Mexican sensation blasted the ball into the top corner of the net from the six-yard box after a low drive from Valencia.

10 minutes later Valencia turned from provider to goalscorer, with a great single effort leading to a goal. The Ecuadorian winger twisted and turned inside the box, before shooting past three defenders and beating the goalkeeper at the right post.

With the sky darkening, and the lights switched on – the atmosphere became even better inside the stunning architectural marvel – the Aviva Stadium. Park grabbed his second with over an hour gone – running into the box and curling a shot into the right hand corner – showing why he is Asia’s best player.

Airtricity’s attacks were few and far between, and ended-up defending, defending, and defending. A short corner from The Reds resulted in a headed goal from Northern Irish center back Jonny Evans – scoring his first goal for the World’s biggest club.
Jonny Evans scores his first goal for The Red Devils…

99.9% of the 49, 861 fans were up for United and despite six goals from Sir Alex’s men, the biggest roar was when the Emerald Isle scored. The Airtricity League XI broke from a United attack, with the ball ending-up in the back of the net, as David Mulcahy fired past substitute keeper Ben Amos.

Chicharito was fouled inside the box with less than 10 minutes to go, with Luis Nani stepping-up and scoring a very calm spot-kick. It was celebration galore for the fans at the Aviva in Dublin, as United became the first ever football team to win at Ireland’s new national venue – with Park becoming the first scorer !
David Mulcahy
Davey Mulcahy the only Airtricity scorer !



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