Wednesday, July 20, 2005

[manchesterunited_rulez] Digest Number 283

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1. Man United thumped Peterborough
From: Larry Cai <>


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 05:45:26 +0800 (CST)
From: Larry Cai <>
Subject: Man United thumped Peterborough

Ruud Treble Fires Reds To Impressive Win

Pre-Season Friendly
Peterborough United 0
Manchester United 6
London Road, Peterborough

Ruud van Nistelrooy grabbed a brilliant second half hat-trick as Manchester United romped to an impressive 6-0 win over Peterborough United in Barry Fry’s Testimonial at London Road on Tuesday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo (2) and Giuseppe Rossi were also on the mark with all the goals coming in an action-packed second half.

Sir Alex Ferguson opted for the format used against Clyde in Scotland in Saturday, that of fielding two completely different elevens in each half. There was something of a general shuffle in the line-ups with two players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Phil Neville coming into the squad for Liam Miller and Mikael Silvestre.

This was Manchester United’s first ever visit to Peterborough’s London Road ground and the occasion certainly caught the imagination of the local fans for there wasn’t a seat to be had in the 15,400 capacity enclosure.

Barry Fry, one of football’s most colourful characters, started his long career in the game back in the early 1960s as an apprentice under the guidance of Matt Busby and Jimmy Murphy. He never made the first team, but stayed for four years appearing in the club’s reserve and junior sides alongside the likes of George Best, David Sadler and Bobby Noble.

He moved on to Bolton Wanderers in 1964 making his league debut against Coventry City in a side that included Francis Lee, Eddie Hopkinson, Wyn Davies and current PFA supreme Gordon Taylor. It was the start of a senior career in the game which has spanned more than four decades.

The first half unfolded in what could be best described as typical pre-season fare. Posh, (that’s Peterborough’s quaint nickname for the uninformed), did their level best to match their illustrious visitors and for the best part they succeeded. United’s chances in front of goal were limited although their approach play was generously applauded by the home supporters on more than one occasion.

Hopes were raised for the Posh fans when Jamie Day sent over a cross from the right, in the 28th minute, which found skipper Mark Arber, but his header went wide of the post.

United looked to have taken the lead a minute later when Peterborough’s Sean St Ledger headed past his own keeper from Kieran Richardson’s cross, but the linesman had already hoisted his flag to signal offside.

Much travelled striker Trevor Benjamin was given two opportunities to put his side into the lead as the first half drew to a close, but first a header and then a shot on the turn failed to trouble Edwin van der Sar in the United goal.

Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooy were given a terrific welcome when they were introduced to the crowd ahead of the second half, which could have opened on a high note for Giuseppe Rossi who found himself clear with just the keeper to beat, but Mark Tyler spread himself well to foil United’s young striker. Ryan Giggs took possession of the captain’s arm-band for the second half after Wayne Rooney had worn it for the opening forty-five.

United were inches from taking the lead in the 51st minute when young defender Adam Eckersley sent over a centre which van Nistelrooy headed against the post.

The Dutch master had more luck three minutes later when he took a short pass from Rossi before firing a low shot past Tyler. The goal was greeted with loud celebrations all around the ground and not just amongst the 3,800 United fans packed behind the Moyes End goal.

Benjamin was given a glorious chance to level the scores in the 65th minute after taking a pass from St. Ledger, but his shot went wide of the frame when it appeared easier for him to beat Tim Howard.

United conjured up a fabulous goal to increase their lead in the 69th minute. Ronaldo linked up beautifully with Giggs and van Nistelrooy to open up the Posh defence before firing home an angled drive.

Van Nistelrooy grabbed his fourth goal in as many days when the Peterborough defence found themselves in a state of confusion.

Rossi punished another lapse in the Posh backline to score United’s fourth goal in the 80th minute and van Nistelrooy completed his hat-trick with six minutes remaining. Ronaldo rounded off a highly satisfactory night for the Reds when he blasted the sixth goal in the first minute of injury time.

PETERBOROUGH UNITED: Tyler (Harrison, 70), Holden (Semple, 72), Carden (Boucard, 70), Burton (Morgan, 61), Arber (Plummer, 78), Gain, Benjamin (Duffy, 75), Crow (Logan, 77), St. Ledger, Fry (Newton, 61), Day (Farrell, 75).

MANCHESTER UNITED (First half): Van der Sar, Bardsley, Richardson, Pique, Ferdinand, Jones, Kleberson, Rooney, Saha, Fletcher, Park.

MANCHESTER UNITED (Second half): Howard, Eckersley, Neville P., Smith, O’Shea, McShane, Ronaldo, Scholes, Rossi, van Nistelrooy, Giggs.

Report by Cliff Butler.

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