Old Trafford: David Moyes’ Old Trafford career got off to a losing start as Manchester United slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial. The hosts were stunned after the Spanish club found themselves two goals ahead after 26 minutes and while Antonio Valencia`s second-half strike threatened a revival, Bryan Rabello netted late on to complete the upset.
Ahead of United`s Community Shield fixture against Wigan Athletic at Wembley on Sunday, Moyes named an unfamiliar-looking side for his Old Trafford debut as Angelo Henriquez, Fabio, Alexander Buttner and Adnan Januzaj all started, while Ferdinand featured at the back alongside Chris Smalling.
Sevilla came to Old Trafford fresh from a 6-1 win over Mladost Podgorica in Montenegro on Thursday night, but recognisable faces such as Gary Medel, Geoffrey Kondogbia and on-loan Chelsea winger Marko Marin appeared from the beginning.
In true testimonial fashion the match began at a fairly slow speed and Sevilla started brighter but the early touches of United`s 18-year-old Januzaj caught the eye.
Unai Emery’s men took the lead in the 21st minute as Diego Perotti fed a pass into the area between Ferdinand and Smalling, leaving Vitolo with an easy finish past David de Gea from close range.
The Spanish side were starting to cut United open and the hosts` defence was breached again shortly after the opener. Carlos Bacca and Vitolo combined on the edge of the area before the winger rolled the ball across the face of the goal for Marin to tap in.
Both sides had an excellent chance just prior to the 40th minute as first Shinji Kagawa’s header was saved at point-blank range by Beto before Marin’s low effort was forced onto the crossbar by De Gea.
The second half began as a much tighter affair with both sides creating few chances in the first 10 minutes, although Januzaj continued to look bright in midfield.
United noticeably increased the tempo and looked at their most threatening as the hour mark approached, while Sevilla sat back and invited pressure despite Bacca’s best efforts in attack.
With around 25 minutes remaining Januzaj took centre stage again and beat young Sevilla defender Israel Puerto down the left before hammering a low cross into the danger area for Valencia to knock into an empty goal.
In the 75th minute substitute Jesse Lingard almost connected with a low Wilfried Zaha cross at the far post, while subsequent efforts from Buttner and Michael Carrick failed to get through a sea of Sevilla defenders.
United appeared to be edging closer to an equaliser leading up to stoppage time as Zaha burst away from two opponents on the edge of the area, but he could only shoot wide of the post.
Sevilla wrapped up the win in stoppage time as Rabello swept the ball past De Gea following Kevin Gameiro`s through pass.