Date: 29th July 2009 at 7:56pm
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OK, the headline is taking it too far: it’s true we’re in the final of the Audi Cup but that’s hardly a great achievement and certainly not one to be included in the honours list of the 2009/10 season.

Especially as the game and the performance to go with it wasn’t that great. Boca Juniors had a real go at us in the second half and we could barely hold them off while our attacking play has been sluggish throughout. United, untested in Asia, passed their first real examination though – but only just.

One highlight was Fabio’s performance: his positioning is suspect and he’s not excellent defensively but what a pace and acceleration he’s got! The other, surely, was Valencia: he was lively, he was brave, he took on players and scored a goal which was flukey but nevertheless encouraging. His shot barely made it past the keeper but had the strength to trickle over the line and hit the back of the net in the end.

He obviously needs more time to blend in, to get used to his teammates’ way of playing, to settle down into United’s rhytm. But early signs are good, after all, he impressed against a quality side on his debut.

The official site says that United’s first half performance was excellent – personally, I believe that’s a big overstatement. We were OK, no more than that. Carrick and Anderson, once again, did not look great playing along each other – both play better when Fletcher or Hargreaves is in the side.

Rooney and Macheda were average, they weren’t really threatening, even though both showed some nice touches. Park was industrious as usual but without an end product while the defenders held firm. Neither of the substitutes really impressed but they managed to hold off Boca. However, we kept giving the ball away cheaply which must have displeased Fergie – and we have to work on it before the new season. Now, without Ronaldo, we have to be more assured in possession than ever.