MANCHESTER United legends were beaten 2-1 by their Real Madrid counterparts in a star-studded friendly at Old Trafford yesterday.
A crowd of over 60,000, including former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, saw Ruud van Nistelrooy, who played a half for both teams, score for United, cancelling out Fernando Morientes’ opener. After Dwight Yorke hit the bar, Ruben de la Red netted seconds later to ensure the Spanish side not only won on aggregate 5-3 (following a recent 4-2 win at the Bernabeu) but also on the afternoon itself, which was in aid of the Red Heart United charity.
Zinedine Zidane was given a warm reception and dominated the early stages of the game, testing Edwin van der Sar with a trademark stinging volley that the Dutchman had to tip over the bar. Luis Figo fired wide as the visitors dictated much of the play before Quinton Fortune came close with a free-kick.
Morientes broke the deadlock with six minutes of the first half to go, the former Liverpool forward taking a pass from Claude Makelele and firing a shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.
Van Nistelrooy switched sides at the interval and the Dutchman gave United fans a reminder of his pomp when he smashed a shot high into the net past Carlos Sanchez to square the game.
Van Nistelrooy then teed up Andy Cole, who came close with a header. Dwight Yorke also spurned a golden chance before de la Red chipped substitute keeper Raimond van der Gouw to wrap up the victory.
But the real winner was the charity, with the bumper crowd ensuring £800,000 went to a worthy cause.
Man Utd Legends: Van der Sar (van der Gouw 70); Berg (Martin 9), Stam, Johnsen, Irwin; Blackmore (van Nistelrooy 46), Fortune, Scholes, Sharpe (Thornley 51, Blomqvist 87); Yorke, Cole.
Real Madrid Legends: Contreras (Sanchez 62); Salgado (Pavon 69), Helguera, Pavon (McManaman 46), Amavisca; Figo (Vazquez 78), Hierro, Makelele (Sanz 62), Zidane; Morientes, van Nistelrooy (De la Red 46)