Red Devils scrape through
MANCHESTER United beat AmaZulu 1-0 here last night in a game which, even as the first game in pre-season, seldom entertained the predominantly red-wearing crowd.
Were it not for Dimitar Berbatov's majestic skills, fans might have had doubts about whether they were watching England's most successful club.
Berbatov, perhaps playing one of his last games in the club's colours after reportedly stating his intention to leave, didn't look fazed by supporters' pleas not to leave United.
The Bulgarian relished his playmaker role in midfield, just behind strikers Frederico Macheda and Javier Hernandez, and continuously pumped in deadly passes behind the hosts' rearguard.
The Red Devils, as expected, enjoyed possession and created the best chances in the opening quarter of the game.
Hernandez should have put the tourists 1-0 up as early as the second minute, but he skewed wide after Macheda's shot was parried to his feet.
In the 20th minute, one of Berbatov's grass-cutters found Macheda in space and the Italian wasted little time in opening the scoring.
AmaZulu, meanwhile, managed to get over their nervous start and Ayanda Dlamini should have levelled matters, but he only shot wide of Anders Lindegaard's goal.
Both teams started the second half with an appetite for goals, but they never came.
United wrap up their South African tour with a match against Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City on Saturday.
- The Red Devils' manager, Alex Ferguson, believes SA's steady decline could be remedied by the experience of players plying their trade overseas.