Manchester United paraded their new foreign legion in front of their faithful for the first time last night, but it was two of Internazionale's recent acquisitions who gave them a pre-season double over England's best.
The programme noted that Youri Djorkaeff had been selected for Euro 96 "at the expense of Eric Cantona" - although some managers might just have found room for the pair of them. Djorkaeff, with nothing but disappointing memories of the tournament, and Manchester in particular, was a creator and a danger throughout. It was his perfectly delivered cross that was headed home after 63 minutes by another newcomer, Ivan Zamorano, a Chilean who has arrived via Real Madrid.
Of United's new arrivals, it was undoubtedly Karel Poborsky who caught the eye. His searing pace was responsible for what little trouble United inflicted on their visitors, notably a cross whipped in for Jordi Cruyff to meet with a fierce shot that had to be tipped over the bar.
By the time he was substituted, he was already a favourite with the crowd. Critics might be inclined to reserve judgement on Raimond van der Gouw, Ronny Johnsen, Cruyff and Ole Gunnar Solskjar - the latter two of whom went close with late headers that were United's only other decent attempts on goal.
It was a night for looking back, with Steve Bruce returning to Old Trafford to perform the captain's role of collecting last season's Premiership trophy, and Inter's captain for the night, Paul Ince, being accorded a welcome befitting an old hero. The Leeds-bound Lee Sharpe was given an equally generous send-off. There was little sign of the United panache that has brought so much success to the club, however, as two expensively assembled and vastly capable teams played well within themselves. Cantona, in particular, has rarely displayed a more fallible touch.
Manchester United (4-4-2) Van der Gouw; G Neville, Johnsen, May, O'Kane (Casper, 88); Poborsky (Davies, 72), McClair, Beckham, Cruyff; Cantona, Scholes (Solskjar, 54).
Internazionale (4-4-2) Pagliuca; Angloma, Galanta (Festa, h-t), Paganin, Bergomi; Forza, Ince, Winter (Carbone, 61), Djorkaeff (Seno, 79); Zamorano (Ganz, 83), Branca.
Referee: R Dilkes (Mossley).Reuse content