x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Berbatov takes spotlight from Rooney-Beckham in United win over MLS All-Stars

The Bulgarian shows he intends to fight his way back into Sir Alex Ferguson's good books with a goal and an assist in the 4-0 victory.

The match against the MLS All-Stars had two Manchester United stars, one former and one present, providing the main attraction.

David Beckham, the former England captain, may be looking at one or two years to retirement while Wayne Rooney is the leading light for United but it was Dimitar Berbatov who chose the occasion to take centre stage in the 4-0 victory.

After pledging his short-term future to United, Berbatov served notice he intends to fight his way back into Sir Alex Ferguson's good books with an excellent performance in the one-sided romp.

The Bulgarian played a major role in a superb one-touch move that also involved Rooney as Anderson put the visitors in front.

Then, after Park Ji-sung had added a second, a combination of skill, agility and brute force allowed Berbatov to lash home United's third, his first goal of the tour.

It was rather disappointing for All-Stars captain Beckham, who tried hard enough and went close on a couple of occasions, including a curling free-kick that crashed into the side-netting near the end, but lacked sufficient support.

United took some time to get going. However, it was not long before they were scoring one of those beautiful goals Berbatov said earlier this week that he likes so much.

Picking up possession 10 yards outside the box, Berbatov surged forward, fed Wayne Rooney to his left, then flicked a sublime return pass back to the England striker, who had completed the initial one-two.

Rooney spotted Anderson's midfield burst, laid the ball into the Brazilian's path and he slotted home with ease.

It was a marvellous goal by any standard and worthy of Berbatov's view of the game.

Beckham brought a fingertip save out of Anders Lindegaard, who was preferred to new arrival David de Gea, and the Dane did well once more as he pushed Brad Davis' long-range shot wide.

For all their hosts' industry, it was United who struck again just before half-time when Park collected Ashley Young's square ball and showed some neat skill inside the area before rattling a left-foot shot into the far corner.

Having claimed one brilliant assist, Berbatov then broke his duck for the tour in quite magnificent style too.

Set free by Rooney, the Bulgarian deftly lifted the ball over Tally Hall, then, when it bounced back off the bar, he controlled with his chest before volleying home from point-blank range.

Ferguson made six changes on the hour, with Berbatov one of the men replaced, although he gave his £30.75million record signing a big smile and a handshake as he came off.

Danny Welbeck did not take long to mark his appearance, although his 20-yard effort did require a massive deflection off Geoff Cameron before it flew past Hall.

It maintained United's 100 per cent record, although the stiffest test is still to come, against a Barcelona side that defeated them so conclusively in last season's Champions League final and have already landed more silverware, beating hosts Bayern Munich overnight to lift the annual Audi Cup.

There was some distraction before the game as Javier Hernandez had to be sent to the hospital after suffering from concussion during a practice session earlier but there was no damage done.