Aberdeen 2 | Hayes 38' Shaughnessy 73'
Manchester United XI 1 | Anderson 83'
7.00pm KO | Full Time | Neil Simpson Benefit Game
RedWeb Match Report:
Aberdeen defeated a Manchester United XI this evening in an entertaining contest to honour Dons legend Neil Simpson. In front of a packed crowd at Pittodrie, goals from Jonny Hayes and Joe Shaughnessy were enough to give the Dons victory despite a consolation goal for the visitors from Anderson. Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were among the players who started the game while Neil Simpson's former teammates, Doug Bell & Doug Rougvie were among the Dons Substitutes.
Simpson himself took the kick off but was immediately replaced by Stephen Hughes in midfield. The opening stages of the game were dominated by long spells of possession by the visitors, particularly when former internationals Scholes and Giggs got the ball. Jamie Langfield had to make a couple of early saves but as the Dons grew more into the game Jonny Hayes became more influential. And it was he who created several good opportunities in the early stages with fantastic crosses into the box. The first of these was saved well by David De Gea while the second one had to be blocked by Rio Ferdinand to prevent the lurking Dons players from collecting it.
Welshman Giggs then saw a fantastic shot crash off the crossbar with Jamie Langfield helpless and not long after Nick Powell had a great shot that just rose over the bar.
Stephen Hughes then fed a ball through towards Hayes which Rio Ferdinand had to intercept to stop Hayes giving the Dons the lead on 23 minutes. Not long after though the home side did take the lead and it was Hayes who punished slack play from Paul Scholes and prodded the ball past De Gea.
Michael Paton was unlucky with a header that just missed the target towards the conclusion of the first half.
The Dons made 3 changes at half time, introducing Considine, Vernon and Rae while the visitors also made some changes. And the home side started brightly, causing Michael Keane to slice his clearance out for an early corner which was ultimately wasted.
Mitch Megginson then had a superb chance to double the Dons advantage but he dragged his shot wide of the post but the Dons were acquitting themselves well against their illustrious opponents. United did look dangerous at times and a corner from Giggs led to a cross from Clayton Blackmore and Thorpe should have powered his header past Langfield but somehow missed the target.
Darren Fletcher was then introduced to the action on 63 minutes by Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Scotland captain was warmly received by the bumper crowd.
Paton, who looked lively throughout his time on the field, then made De Gea make a great stop as the Dons looked for a second. The rebound from the Spanish goalkeeper trundled across the face of goal but no one was there to fire home.
As is usual in friendly matches both managers made an abundance of substitutions throughout the half with Nicky Low, Joe Shaughnessy, Steve Tosh, Doug Bell, Doug Rougvie and Brian Irvine all making an appearance for the home side. The visitors meanwhile introduced several former big names including Quentin Fortune and Dwight Yorke.
The mass changes didn't really have a huge impact on the game and it continued to flow from end to end but it was The Dons who grabbed a second goal thanks to poor goalkeeping from De Gea and a finish from Shaughnessy.
The visitors weren't out of it at this point and continued to create the odd chance, Langfield having to look smart to deny Yorke who was then flagged offside after firing in the rebound. Eventually United did get a goal back- Anderson prodding the ball past Langfield on 84 minutes. But it proved to be only a consolation as the Dons held on to claim victory against the English side.
Aberdeen: Langfield, Osbourne (Shaughnessy 65' (Irvine 79')), Anderson (Considine 45'), Reynolds, Naysmith (Low 64'), Clark (Bell 79'), Neil Simpson (Hughes 1' (Rae 45')), Milsom (Tosh 79'), Hayes (Vernon 45'), Paton (Brown 82') Megginson (Rougvie 73'),
Subs Hughes, , Rogers.
Manchester United: David De Gea, Michael Keane, Tyler Blackett, Thomas Thorpe, Rio Ferdinand (Captain), Nicholas Powell, Anderson, Federico Macheda, Bebe, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes
Subs, Larnell Cole, Clayton Blackmore, Samuel Johnstone (GK), Darren Fletcher, Quinton Fortune, Adnan Januzaj, Dwight Yorke
RedTV | Neil spoke to the media after the game. To listen to the interview please click here