Manchester United sign off with a win
London, May 7
Two goals from debutant James Wilson helped Manchester United finish their Premier League home campaign with a 3-1 win over Hull City.
On a night in which Old Trafford said farewell to the departing Nemanja Vidic – and maybe the legendary Ryan Giggs too – it was one of the young guns who stole the show.
18-year-old Wilson struck just after the half-hour and hour marks before a Matty Fryatt wonderstrike brought Steve Bruce’s side back into it.
However, the home crowd got what it wanted with appearances off the bench by Vidic and Giggs and the latter teed-up Robin Van Persie to seal the win with just four minutes remaining.
The end-of-season feel to the game was accentuated before the start when several of the current players gathered around Vidic who was presented with a memento of his time at the club by Sir Bobby Charlton.
The fans didn’t have to wait long to see the Serb introduced into the action as Phil Jones was forced off early on with a serious-looking shoulder injury.For the first time of the evening the stadium rose as one as they applauded Vidic onto the pitch for the final time at Old Trafford after eight years’ wonderful service.
The game drifted along with Utd on top but creating few chances and Hull playing with one eye firmly on the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
However, on 31 minutes the crowd were made aware they may have another hero to worship in the most emphatic of fashions when Marouane Fellaini heading down Adnan Januzaj’s cross and Wilson was there to fire home from close range.
It took until the 44th minute for Hull to threaten the United goal as Ahmed Elmohamady sent in a dangerous cross but Vidic was on hand to snuff out the danger.
The hosts continued to dominate in the second period with the impressive Januzaj at the heart of most of their best moments and he had a huge hand in their second goal; the winger surging down the right before squaring for Fellaini who should have scored from 10 yards but Wilson was on hand to tuck home the rebound to double the lead.
Hull immediately got back into it as Fryatt stunned David De Gea and most of Old Trafford with a stunning 25-yard effort.
The loudest cheer of the night came on 70 minutes when Giggs replaced the other debutant Tom Lawrence for his 963rd appearance in a Utd shirt.
The caretaker manager – if indeed he does leave the club or retire at the end of the season – was determined to go out on a high and reminded everyone he still has plenty in his locker when he fed Van Persie and the Dutchman fired home at the second attempt.
That was how it finished and on a night when Old Trafford said goodbye to at least one old hero, it may have been introduced to a new one.
Vidic bids farewell to Manchester United
London, May 7
Nemanja Vidic says his ‘heart will always be at this club’ as he prepares to bid farewell to Manchester United.
The commanding centre-half will bring the curtain down on a glittering nine-season stint at Old Trafford in the summer.
An agreement to take him to Italian giants Inter Milan as a free agent has already been agreed and he will be opening a new chapter in 2014/15.
Vidic will, however, be forever grateful to United for offering him an opportunity to grace the very top of the game and land 10 major honours – including five Premier League titles.
After his final appearance at the Theatre of Dreams in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Hull City, the 32-year-old Serb spoke to Sky Sports about how difficult it will be to sever ties with United.“It was hard in many ways – first because it was my last game at Old Trafford, as well we didn’t have a great year. I think it is the first year in my eight years that we didn’t celebrate a trophy, which is hard,” he said.”It was a tough season and we had a tough game at Old Trafford. It was very emotional. I have to say that my heart will always be at this club. I have spent so many years here. I have been part of this good time at United and worked with so many great people. I will always be here and always watch United.”
“I want to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart. The fans have been fantastic to me from the first day and it was a pleasure to play for them. I also have to say thank you to all of the players that have played with me, the managers – especially Sir Alex (Ferguson), he was great to me – and to all the coaches and all of the staff.”
Vidic will end his days at United working under interim boss Ryan Giggs, a man he believes is destined to land the top job on a permanent basis at some stage.
Pressed on whether the Welshman could be offered the post now, amid mounting talk of an imminent appointment for Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, Vidic said, “It’s hard to say. That is up to the board to decide. But I have to say that for Ryan, it has been really good to work with him in the last few days.”
“I think he has a talent to be a manager, and to be a good manager. If he doesn’t succeed this time, I think in the future he should be considered as a manager of this club.”
Vidic also sees a bright future for the team-mates he is leaving behind, with youngsters such as Adnan Januzaj and two-goal debutant James Wilson offering a glimpse of what the next few years could hold with eye-catching displays against Hull.
He added, “I think it is good to have young players coming through the youth system, and that’s encouraging for coaches as well and players to keep working hard. They know that if they work hard they will get opportunities and show what they are capable of. Tonight, the two boys did particularly well. I think they have a good chance to succeed here.”