Wayne Rooney may miss Manchester United's opening Premiership game, against Fulham. "It is going to be a push for Wayne to be fit," Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, said. "He has a groin injury which is causing a little bit of bother. It is nothing serious, but there is a worry about next Sunday."
He was speaking after United had defeated Sevilla 3-0 in front of a sea of empty seats on the day they opened the 7,000-seat extension to Old Trafford.
Not that the United hierarchy have any particular cause for concern about the absentees, because they have already sold 64,000 season tickets for the 76,000-seat arena.
Another worry was the reception that Cristiano Ronaldo would receive after his World Cup shenanigans with Rooney and his loudly voiced desire to join Real Madrid. They need not have worried there either. The Portuguese was given an ovation simply for running across the pitch, and was mobbed by team-mates after setting up a goal for Louis Saha and then scoring himself. David Jones rapped in the third United goal in injury time.
Bolton lost for the fifth time in six pre-season friendlies when they went down 3-1 at home to the Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. Sam Allardyce is already struggling with injuries, having Kevin Davies, Abdoulaye Faye, Ricardo Gardner, Quinton Fortune and Henrik Pedersen unavailable. The one bright moment was a goal from their 19-year-old American prospect Johann Smith, who equalised in the first half a minute after Alkmaar had scored.
They open their Premiership season against Tottenham, who completed an unbeaten pre- season run with a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad, defeating the Spaniards with goals from Jermain Defoe - a 20-yard shot - and Michael Dawson.
Colin Cooper, the veteran Middlesbrough defender, ended his career with a 0-0 draw against Chievo at the Riverside, while Manchester City lost 1-0 to Porto, for whom Adriano scored.Reuse content