The World Cup is well and truly around the corner with six Manchester United players involved in warm up matches on Monday night. Nemanja Vidic and Zoran Tosic’s Serbia will be playing against New Zealand on Saturday followed by two more warm up matches with Poland and Cameroon, while Patrice Evra also has three matches lined up for France against Costa Rica, Tunisia and China
This is how the Manchester United players performed in their respective matches last night.
England 3 v Mexico 1
Rio Ferdinand – The England captain was dragged out of position by Mexico on two occasions and looked a little short of full fitness. England were poor throughout most of the first-half, but Ferdinand was the pick of the defenders with some important blocks and interceptions. He looked more comfortable alongside Carragher than King.
Maybe playing without regular partner John Terry triggered the stuttering display but better sides than Mexico will steam through England’s back four unless they stay awake and throw themselves at the opposition.
Michael Carrick – He sat in front of the back four without closing down Mexico enough or distributing the ball effectively as he can do. Out of form for Manchester United and it showed last night as England were often over run in midfield. Carrick was unusually wasteful in possession.
This was the chance for Carrick to offer cover for the midfield place of Gareth Barry, for whom a place in England‘s squad rests on a Tuesday verdict from a London specialist. Sadly for a man whose season ended poorly at United, a largely anonymous hour would seem likely to leave Carrick as one of seven rejects on June 1
Wayne Rooney – Had a mature performance, he looked to play in Gerrard, Crouch and Defoe at every opportunity. The striker was unlucky not to cap it off with a goal when Perez was caught in no man’s land. Provided his usual energy but was often wasteful with his runs as he dropped deep and out wide in search of the ball. Lifted Wembley with one first half run and headed against the bar to set up Crouch’s goal.
Capello played down an injury concern for Rooney who signalled that he wanted to come off a couple of minutes before the end. Capello reported afterwards that Rooney was merely suffering from a minor neck problem “He had a small problem in his neck but it is nothing to worry about” said Capello. England’s last match before the Finals is against Japan on Sunday.
Javier Hernandez – Not much seen from United’s new signing ‘Chicharito’ after replacing Guillermo Franco at half time. He did look lively and was involved in some good play. Hernandez didn’t see much of the ball and was well marshalled by Carragher and King. Managed to have a shot at goal but never got the opportunities on goal that he would get whilst playing for United. Mexico have got three more warm up matches lined up against Holland, Gambia and Italy.
Portugal 0 v Cape Verde 0
Nani – Played the full 90 minutes in Portugal’s surprising scoreless home draw against African minnows Cape Verde. The Portugese predictably dominated the encounter at the Complexo Desportivo in Covilha but lacked a cutting edge with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo in particular guilty of a string of misses. Portugal next plays Cameroon on June 1 and Mozambique on June 8.
Japan 0 v South Korea 2
Park Ji-sung – scored as South Korea beat fellow World Cup qualifiers Japan 2-0. The Koreans relied on the undoubted quality of United midfielder Park Ji-sung and he opened the scoring in the sixth minute in Saitama, lashing the ball into the bottom left corner from the edge of the penalty area after a bustling run. South Korea will next play warm up games against Belarus and Spain.
Which United player do you expect to make the biggest impression in South Africa?