Sunday 3 April 2016

United honour Sir Bobby with hard earned victory

Manchester United's modern day young players combined to set up victory on a day when the club honoured as great a home grown talent as they have ever had.

Before kick-off, the South Stand was renamed after Sir Bobby Charlton, the Busby Babe who won the 1966 World Cup with England and who remains- for now at least- this club's record goalscorer.

Club director Charlton, 78, joined United in 1953 and made 758 appearances, scoring 249 goals.
The midfielder was one of the survivors of the Munich air disaster which killed eight of his young team-mates in 1958, a tragedy which left an indelible mark on Charlton. 

Accompanied by his wife Lady Norma, a visibly emotional Charlton watched from the pitch before kick off as fans held up sheets to spell out his name.

The Reds of 2016 follows strongly in the club's tradition of blooding young players- three of which were involved in the decisive goal in the second half.

Marcus Rashford has been a revelation since breaking into the side in February- scoring four in his first two appearances and hitting the winner at Manchester City two weeks ago.

This time time, his back-heel teed up fellow Academy graduate Tim Fosu-Mensah to put the ball across goal, which 20-year-old Anthony Martial- signed from Monaco for £36m in September- touched in at the far post for the only goal of the game. 

From his seat in the stand, Charlton applauded warmly as a smile broke across his face.

The result will have been pleasing for Sir Bobby and all those of a Red persuasion, but this was a far from fluent United performance in a largely forgettable encounter. 

For the 10th time in the Premier League this season, a first half at Old Trafford ended goalless and there was not a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

However, it was a second successive 1-0 victory for United and manager Louis van Gaal which keeps the team firmly in contention to quality for next season's Champions League.

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