For the second year in a row Red Devils dominate All Star matchup
Manchester United's Danny Wellbeck celebrates with teammates Nani and Fredico Macheda after tallying the final goal of the 2011 MLS-All Star Game. Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov and Ji-Sung Park also scored for the Red Devils. | Photo: DailyHarrison.com
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In front of a sellout crowd in Harrison, the MLS All Stars were aiming to avenge last year’s 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United. Instead the raucous crowd was treated to a dominant performance by the Champions League finalists who romped to a 4-0 victory over the All Stars.
The storied English club provided some electric moments on their march to victory Wednesday night. Their first goal, in the 20th minute, was particularly breathtaking. Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Anderson combined for a stunning passing sequence capped off by an Anderson goal.
The man of the match, Park Ji-Sung, was a menace in the MLS half, netting the Red Devil’s second goal just before the break. Park dribbled past Sean Franklin with ease before slotting his shot past Faryd Mondragon. The goal was a well deserved reward for a fantastic performance by Park.
Despite the score line the MLS All Stars played well and even controlled the game for stretches of the first half. Thierry Henry and David Beckham looked dangerous throughout the first 45 minutes. The latter was kept out of the net on a long range effort by keeper, Anders Lindegaard. Former Metrostar Brad Davis also came close on a blast from distance but Lindegaard denied Davis with a fingertip save. Omar Bravo had a number of chances throughout the game but failed spectacularly in his attempts to finish.
Hans Backe used the second half to give all of his players a chance to get some minutes against United, seemingly making more substitutes in the second period than he has all year for the Red Bulls. Although the substitutions were the right thing to do in an All Star match, United’s dominance became more pronounced as the game progressed.
Berbatov added to the advantage just after halftime. The Bulgarian sent his chip shot off the crossbar but was able to bury his own rebound. Manchester United added their final tally in the 68th minute. Danny Welbeck’s shot took a fortunate deflection off of Geoff Cameron into the MLS net.
MLS fans were given reason to cheer towards the end of the match with the subbing on of Kasey Keller and Juan Agudelo. Keller, in the last year of his career, got a roaring ovation from the New York crowd. Agudelo, the next great hope of American soccer, received similar applause with his late entrance.
The result may not have been what MLS was hoping for but the marquee matchup still provided plenty of great moments. The atmosphere at the packed Red Bull Arena was brilliant; a scene the Red Bulls are hoping will become more commonplace in the future.
Mike Vallo for DailyHarrison.com
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