Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Manchester United win in Hong Kong

Jesse Lingard scored Manchester United's fifth and final goal against Kitchee

Jesse Lingard set the seal on an impressive pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia with a superb curling finish as Manchester United eased to a 5-2 victory against Hong Kong outfit Kitchee FC.

It meant Lingard finished top scorer on tour with four goals as Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Fabio all scored before the break with half-time substitute Adnan Januzaj adding another five minutes into the second half.

And on the 'killer' pitch, the 40,000 fans inside Hong Kong Stadium got what they wanted 10 minutes from time with the introduction of Robin van Persie. Given the playing surface, it was hardly a surprise Manchester United manager David Moyes left a number of key men on the bench. Van Persie was omitted, as were Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.

In their place Michael Keane was given a chance, plus Wilfried Zaha, who has been one of the success stories of a five-match tour that had yielded just a single victory prior to kick-off.

United were not enjoying their day on the beach that much either in the early stages as Anderson's effort sailed wide. But Hong Kong football is hardly the most competitive despite Nicky Butt having a few months here in 2011 and it was not long before Kitchee began to crack.

Moyes has demanded Welbeck improves on last season's dreadful goals tally and with his third on tour he was eclipsing last term's total, the striker ramming home the rebound after Ashley Young had struck a post.

Even with one-time Fulham defender Zesh Rehman in their line-up, Kitchee were no match for United in the air and Smalling duly rose at the far post to float a header across goal and into the corner.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez Belencoso spurned a glorious chance to pull one back for the hosts when he put an eight-yard effort over the bar. It was a costly mistake, as United immediately went down to the other end and scored again.

This time Fabio was the man on target, much to the embarrassment of Rehman as the Brazilian full-back prodded a shot through his legs and into the corner.

Two of the other tour success stories, Lingard and Januzaj, were introduced at half-time, as was Alex Buttner. Within four minutes of the restart, Buttner had created a goal for Januzaj who finished with a precise header.

A capacity crowd may have been overwhelmingly wearing United shirts but they were on their feet to acclaim Lam Ka Wai when he gave United goalkeeper Ben Amos no chance with a thunderous shot into the top corner.

After United had failed to take a succession of opportunities, Alex Alkande pulled another one back midway through the half.

Immediately before that, Moyes had responded to an audible chant of 'RVP' by sending the £24million Dutchman to warm up with Ferdinand.

To huge cheers, Van Persie was eventually introduced, immediately after Lingard's superb curling finish.

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