Manchester United returned to winning ways away from home against Scunthorpe United on Wednesday evening. Manchester United have been in relatively good form at Old Trafford this season, winning three of their four matches – defeating Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham United in the English Premiership but drawing with Rangers in the Champions League – however their form away from the theatre of dreams has been quite disappointing. They have drawn at Everton and Fulham, despite being in winning positions in each match. Here Manchester Untied won 5-2, losing 1-0 early on and then winning 5-1 until the final moments when Scunthorpe scored a consolation.
Sir Alex Ferguson was not at the match, leaving assistant manager Mike Phelan in charge. Sir Alex Ferguson was supposedly to be found in Spain watching Valencia host Atletico Madrid. The reason for his visit was because Manchester United are due to play Valencia the following week in the Champions League. Initally the match might not have been considered the most important but after the home draw with Rangers Manchester United will know they cannot afford to casually drop many more points if they are to progress to the next round. Should Manchester United lose the away game at the Mestella, against Valencia, the club might find themselves in a precarious position at the bottom of their Champions League group with two rounds completed.
Against Scunthorpe Bebe was expected to start but Mike Phelan surprised everybody by naming the Portuguese under 21 international on the bench. Bebe was introduced for the final twenty minutes and appeared confident. He was accomplished on the ball and excitable with his movement, a good mixture. Considering many journalists in Britain had already chosen to write off the young Portuguese man his debut performance will have made many realise he is not such a dud and can indeed play football. The reason for the scepticism arose when Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he had signed the player for £7.4 million without ever having seen him play.
Manchester United’s goals were scored by Ji Sung Park, Darron Gibson, Chris Smalling and Michael Owen. Owen, in fact, scored a brace. His first was assisted by Federico Macheda. Darron Gibson’s goal was the pick of the bunch, a fine lob over the goalkeeper from an awkward angle. Chris Smalling, the £10 million signing from Fulham, scored his first ever professional goal. Ji Sung Park scored his first of the season. Josh Wright for Scunthorpe opened the scoring on the night with a wonderful strike from outside the area that left Kusczak in the Manchester Untied goal with no chance. Kusczak, for the most part, will be delighted with his performance, having made several saves. Martyn Woolford scored Scunthorpe’s second.