Alex wins battle of Fergusons

Peterborough 1 Manchester United 3

Peterborough 1 Manchester United 3

Owen Hargreaves finally made his Manchester United debut as the Premier League champions enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 win over son Darren's League Two side Peterborough.

The England international has been struggling to shake off an ankle injury since his £18m move from Bayern Munich but, although he returned to action at London Road, he is unlikely to play any part in tomorrow's Community Shield clash with Chelsea at Wembley.

Instead the Canadian-born midfielder is certain to step up his rehabilitation programme in one of the midweek pre-season friendlies against either Glentoran and Dunfermline before United begin their defence of the Premier title against Reading.

Hargreaves played 45 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute and looked back to his best in his traditional holding role in midfield.

He was the only first-team player of note in a youthful United side that proved too strong for Peterborough.

Adam Eckersley gave Ferguson's side the lead in the 23rd minute when the left-back fired a powerful shot beyond Posh goalkeeper Shwan Jalal.

The home side had their moments but failed to take their chances with Chris Whelpdale forcing United's Tom Heaton into a fine save when he met a cross from Jamie Day at the far post in the ninth minute.

But United should have taken a two-goal interval lead moment before the break but Ryan Shawcross headed against the crossbar from close range.

Son Darren had pitted his skills against his father's side as a player but this was the first occasion the pair had faced each other as managers.

Ferguson junior looked to have pulled off a masterstroke when Rene Howe, a half-time substitute, levelled matters with a fine shot four minutes after the restart.

But United were always the stronger and they made their fitness tell later in the second half with goals from Richie Jones in the 72nd minute and a third from Fangzhuo Dong 10 minutes later.

It was hardly a testing work out for United's kids and the game had no bearing on tomorrow's Wembley showdown with Chelsea but at least Ferguson senior can still claim the upper hand.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox