Whilst this was another good opportunity for our lads to get to match fitness, the main talk revolved around the appearance of our Brazilian twins, who we’ve been hearing trickles of news about every 6 months or so.
With United playing in the testimonial for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the weekend, the occasion was the testimonial of Barry Fry, who managed the club for 9 years before Duncan Ferguson took the job, then taking on the caretaker role in 2006.
Rafael Da Silva made a great impression, showing his competence in attack and in defence. He showed himself as a physical player who’s not afraid to get stuck in, but also possesses a great touch and good speed. His brother joined him in the second half, but with less experienced players on the park, wasn’t given the same opportunity to shine.
Like his brilliant display against Espanyol, Carlos Tevez was very lively, enjoying his time in the limelight in the absence of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, looking the most likely to score.
Our fans put on a great show, singing songs for Solskjaer, Best, Rooney and Anderson, amongst others. We were also treated to a very odd sounding rendition of “Ferguson’s blue and white army” from the Posh fans.
The first half action was very mixed, with United dominating the earlier stages, whilst Peterborough were the better team for the latter half.
Tevez, Nani and Da Silva were our most attractive players on the attack, playing some really nice football. A good run from Evra saw the keeper having to stretch to stop the ball reaching Tevez.
A poor passback from John O’Shea needlessly put Kuszczack under pressure, although he handled it well, as he did with all action that came his way.
With 20 mins, David Gray had shot blocked, which lead to an Evra and a shot going massively wide. Evra was impressive on the left for much of the first half though, eager to attack our opposition, as always. He worked well with Nani, apart from one occasion where a misunderstanding lead to Nani playing the ball to where he anticipated Evra to be, much the amusement of the home fans.
Morgan forced Kus in to a catch 25 mins played from corner, although it was a rather comfortable save.
Half an hour in and Peterborough were look far more competent on the ball and started to cause United some trouble. Aaron McQueen was about to break in to the box, to be one on one with the keeper, with Rio almost getting beaten. However, Da Silva made the challenge and saved our blushes.
Sergio Torres broke in to the box with just the keeper to beat, however Kus won the ball with his feet, putting in a strong tackle, and leaving the winger as successful as his namesake at Liverpool for scoring against United.
McClean had the best chance of the game moments later, but shot painfully wide as the goal gaped. Kus saved a closerange shot, with the rebound falling to McLean, who blasted high and wide. “Are you Terry in disguise?” sang our fans. Ouch.
Our keeper had to make another save moments later, although was more comfortable this time.
Peterborough showed that whilst quick on the break, they were equally fast in returning to defend, crowding out the box whenever we attacked.
However, when Posh were on the up, a Tevez ball to David Gray ended up being converted as an own goal. The keeper almost had both hands on the ball, but it slipped through his fingers. It was rather unkind, following a period of great play by our opponents.
McClean almost equalised instantly, before Scott Randell swung and was way off target.
Da Silva had a good chance just before half time, beating his man with nice skill, before shooting from a tight angle and seeing his shot saved.
At half time, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra, Campbell and Tevez made way for Lee Martin, Johnny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Tom Cleverley, and Rafael’s brother, Fabio, which John O’Shea leading the side out as catapin.
Moments after the restart, Cleverley chased ball down a ball on the wide right, playing in a good ball that was just over Nani’s head.
Next it was a Peterborough chance, with the impressive George Boyd (amusingly nicknamed the white Pele by his fans) beating Jonny Evans twice, as well as skipping past Rafael Da Silva. Cathcart did well defensively to put off his opponent from the cross though, and United escaped conceding.
Kieran Charnock synically took Rafael out when he was clear on goal, making no effort for the ball, and a freekick was awarded.
Ten minutes in to the half, a corner for Peterborough, lead to a great reactionary save from Kus, a second great chance for our opponents.
The ever impressive Rodrigo Possebon came on for Nani, who had been fairly decent thus far.
With an hour played, Rafael had a good chance following a good run from Cleverley and skilful play from Gray, but his shot went high and wide, snatching at the chance. His brother had a good chance moments later, breaking in to the box, but only finding the side netting.
With far more youngsters on the park, United began to reassert their domination on the game, with our fans in full voice.
65 minutes in and Possebon had his first chance, seeing his shot from outside the box forcing the keeper to lift the ball over the bar for a corner.
Fletcher, who hadn’t left much of an impression was subbed off for Gibson, with Kus, who’d had a good game, making way for Ziller.
Less than a minute in to being subbed on, Gibson scored a beauty on the half volley. Following a great season at Wolves, I haven’t been overly impressed with him on the pre-season, but there is no denying that it was a beautiful finish, leaving the keeper with no chance from distance.
Cleverley, after scoring for United last week in South Africa, had a good chance with 5 minutes to go, although his powerful shot was straight at the keeper.
All in all, a good day at the office for United and our youngsters, although the final scoreline is rather kind to United.
After seeing Fabio and Rafael playing together for 45 minutes, I excitedly anticipate the chants our brilliant fans will create for us when playing our Brazilian fullbacks on the left and the right.