David Moyes presumably has bigger moments ahead in his reign at Old Trafford, and the first “official” victory is yet ahead. (Twenty-seven days and counting to the Premier League kickoff … and even less to Manchester United’s Charity Shield clash on Aug. 11.)
But this still counts among the Moyes’ firsts, the initial time he walks off the field victorious: Manchester United had a fairly easy time of it Saturday in Sydney, Australia, dispatching the A-League All-Stars by a 5-1 tune.
It was actually the second go on the sidelines for Moyes; the Scotsman saw his team fall 1-0 to the Singha All Stars last week.
Still no starting appearance from Robin van Persie, but Moyes did assemble a representative lineup, with Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Danny Welbeck all in the starting 11 (and all figures who should play meaningful roles in Moyes’ debut campaign).
Also among Saturday’s starters: Wilfried Zaha (pictured from Saturday), appearing in the lineup for the first time since his $23 million move from Crystal Palace. Zaha did appear off the bench last week against the All-Stars from Thailand, and neither outing from the heralded young winger has disappointed.
Notable moments for the PL champs:
- Jesse Lingard became the first player to score for a Moyes-led Manchester United bunch. Did you have him in the pool? … He grabbed another later in a zippy performance that had tongues a waggin’.
- Giggs, a little more grey on the sides still, had a nice assist on a Welbeck goal. Welbeck hit a second later in the evening. That’s got to help the man shed some of those confidence issues. Er, Welbeck, that is … not Giggs. Presumably, he’s a bit past all that.
- Van Persie came on for Giggs for the last half hour, supplying the Red Devils’ punctuating goal in the 86th minute.
It’s a big on the low-quality side, but here are the highlights from Sydney on Saturday.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday