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.