Rampant United topple Seoul
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manchester United produced a much improved display to defeat FC Seoul 4-0.Manchester United produced a much improved performance to defeat FC Seoul 4-0 in South Korea.
The Premier League champions controlled the match from the start and coasted to a convincing victory thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Chris Eagles, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra.
Nani and Owen Hargreaves both spent the game on the sidelines and were soon made to realise that it will be far from easy to break into Sir Alex Ferguson's first-choice side, as United raced into a 3-0 half-time lead with some scintillating football.
Ronaldo's emergence as one of the best players on the planet has led most teams to mark him closely, so the Portuguese winger must have briefly thought the whistle had been blown when he collected Rooney's pass and was given time to advance to the edge of the area and slam a powerful low shot past Kim Byung-ji in the sixth minute.
Every spectator in a sell-out stadium seemed delighted with the goal and there were further celebrations on the terraces after 18 minutes as Ronaldo released Eagles with an audacious flick and the young midfielder coolly slotted home.
United made it 3-0 in the 21st minute and again it was Ronaldo at the heart of the build-up as he broke forward and laid a short pass off for Rooney to finish from close range.
Seoul gradually battled their way back into the game as half-time approached and the dangerous Ricardo sent a couple of shots just off target from distance, although Ronaldo went even closer at the other end with a vicious, swerving effort which dipped just over the crossbar.
Ferguson made five changes at half-time and there was less of a threat early on without Rooney and Ronaldo, with Seoul looking likeliest to get the next goal.
However, the impressive Evra, playing on the left wing, fired United 4-0 ahead on the hour mark with an angled drive across Kim from the left.
Seoul's work-rate in the final 30 minutes was admirable as they hunted a consolation, but substitute keeper Tomasz Kuszczak was not tested apart from one fizzing long-range shot from Kim Dong-seok.