Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scholes at the Double for Reds

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scholes at the Double for Reds

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Stone

Manchester United succeeded where Real Madrid failed in Beijing by giving the Chinese supporters a night to remember and defeating Beijing Hyundai 3-0 yesterday.

In contrast to Real's badly received visit last weekend, United had been the perfect guests ( at least until Paul Scholes struck twice and Park Ji-sung added another to give Sir Alex Ferguson's men a deserved win.

It allows the Red Devils to board their flight to Tokyo this morning in relaxed mood, knowing they have still not conceded a goal in a 100% start to their pre-season campaign, even if there are bigger battles to fight on and off the pitch.

That the Workers' Stadium was not even half-full at kick-off must have been a worry to watching director Bryan Glazer, whose father has invested pounds 790m in the club on the basis of their worldwide support.

While it is possible some supporters may have been deterred from attending by Real Madrid's apathetic attitude, ticket prices were much lower for the visit of United.

The Chinese public are starting to get more discerning in their attitude to visiting teams and there is clearly plenty of work for the Glazers and chief executive David Gill to do if the Red Devils are to make the kind of money the new owner thinks they are capable of.

In Cristiano Ronaldo, though, they do have a new talisman for the enthusiastic Asian supporters to latch on to. On their last trip to this part of the world, United had a marketing phenomenon in their ranks in David Beckham.

The England skipper's absence was one of the major reasons for the Beijing public's discontent with Real, so finding someone in the Old Trafford ranks to rival him is no easy task.

Wayne Rooney might have the ability but it is Ronaldo, with his sublime skills, superb balance and olive skin who has been sprinkled with stardust.

The Portugal international was a late arrival on tour after being allowed to return home on compassionate grounds last week to visit his ill father.

But he wasted little time in making an impact after his introduction as a half-time substitute, dancing past two defenders on a searing right-wing raid before looping a cross to the far post which dropped perfectly for Park, who nodded home. …

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