x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Giggs and Scholes prove old is still gold for Manchester United

Best and worst: The ageing pair continue to deliver for Ferguson's side despite their advancing years. Sports round-up audio

Ryan Giggs scored the match winner on another career milestone, his 900th appearance for Manchester United.
Ryan Giggs scored the match winner on another career milestone, his 900th appearance for Manchester United.

Best oldies - Manchester United

So much for this being a young man's game.

Manchester United's two match winners at Norwich City yesterday have a combined age of 75.

Firstly, Paul Scholes, who has been playing like an 18 year old since coming out of retirement, produced a trademark run to put United 1-0 up.

Then, with barely 90 seconds left and United looking like they would drop two points further behind Manchester City in the title race, Ryan Giggs snuck in at the back post for the winner.

That was Giggs making his 900th appearance for the club and Scholes with his 102nd league goal. Put the pipe and slippers away for now!

Best restraint - Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor has caused plenty of trouble in the past with his celebrations.

The Togo striker was fined but escaped a ban when he ran the length of the pitch in 2009 to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans after scoring a goal against his former club for Manchester City.

Needless to say, Adebayor was already in the bad books of the Arsenal supporters, and that was before he joined their bitter rivals Tottenham on loan this season.

Sentiments were sufficiently stirred for both clubs to issue a statement ahead of yesterday's north London derby, asking fans to refrain from abusing the forward.

He got plenty of boos during yesterday's thriller at the Emirates Stadium, but got his chance to have his say after converting a penalty for Spurs in the first half.

In his head, he probably wanted to run around the pitch waving his arms in a re-creation of his moment at the Etihad Stadium.

Instead, Adebayor stood completely still, letting his feet do the talking this time.

Worst loser - Hughes

Handshakes and Queens Park Rangers' Welsh manager are a bad mix. Last year, as the manager of Fulham, Mark Hughes started an argument with Roberto Mancini, the City head coach, because the Italian's post-match handshake after a 1-1 draw "lacked sincerity" and "did not do justice" to Fulham's performance.

On Saturday, now at QPR, Hughes was at the centre of another incident following a 1-0 home defeat to his former club Fulham.

Hughes managed so shake hands with his opposite number, Martin Jol, but then flinched as the Dutchman made an attempt to pat him on the back and pushed his arm away. This time, his problem was "I thought he was going to pat me on the head, which I deemed to be slightly patronising". Talk about touchy.

Maybe the main issue was that Hughes had just lost against a team he left last year because they "lacked his ambition". That's Fulham sitting comfortably in 11th while Hughes is involved in a relegation battle.

Best striker - Luiz

Poor Fernando Torres. With a £50 million (Dh292.5m) price tag hanging over his head, he has embarked on an epic goal drought and been dropped from the Spanish national team as well as the Chelsea first XI.

As if that was not enough, Chelsea's centre-back, David Luiz, is proving to be more of an accomplished goalscorer.

The jury is out on the Brazilian - who himself cost a whopping £21m - as a defensive player.

But he looks like he enjoys himself more at the other end of the pitch anyway.

Marauding runs are a trademark of his and one of them resulted in Chelsea's first goal against Bolton. A run, a lucky bounce, a shimmy and a curled shot into the bottom corner. That's how you do it, Torres.

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Worst debut - Diakite

QPR fans had to wait awhile to Samba Diakite in the flesh, and it probably wasn't worth the suspense.

The Mali midfielder, signed on loan from the French club Nancy just before transfer deadline day in January, was at the African Cup of Nations until recently and made his first start against Fulham. Just 33 minutes later and he was sent off for his second bookable offence.

Many African players - Didier Drogba, Alex Song and Demba Ba to name a few - have taken the Premier League by storm but Diakite looked like he was evoking the spirit of Cameroon circa World Cup 1990, flying into tackles with reckless abandon, even when he was already on a yellow card.

It was a naive sending off, but QPR have now had five red cards in 13 home games this season. A worrying pattern

 

twoods@thenational.ae