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Manchester United suffer defeat in Rio Ferdinand's testimonial

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Sevilla did their best to spoil Rio Ferdinand's testimonial beating Manchester United 3-1 at Old Trafford in an entertaining friendly.

David Moyes opted to rest several of his big names for Sunday's Community Shield against Wigan, and a poor first-half performance cost his side dearly.

Bryan Rabello, Victor Machin and Marko Marin scored the goals for the Spanish side, while Antonio Valencia got on the scoresheet for the Red Devils.

It was another preseason match for Moyes as United prepare for the new season, but the focus was on Ferdinand.

The Manchester United centre-back celebrated his 11 years at Old Trafford to date with a marquee friendly against high quality opposition - a match that also doubled as David Moyes's first home game as United boss.

Unai Emery's side have already kicked off their competitive season with Europa League fixtures against Montenegrin outfit Mladost Podgorica.

A regular fixture in the top half of the La Liga table, they arrived in Manchester - the city in which two of their old favourites, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas, now ply their trade - full of confidence. 

The Blue half of Manchester has busily snapped up its top targets this summer, in contrast to the defending Premier League champions.

Reports of interest in Real Madrid star Luka Modric surfaced prior to kick off, another midfield target following failed pursuits - both confirmed and presumed - of Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas respectively.

Here, Anderson and Tom Cleverley started in the middle, with highly-rated youngster Adnan Januzaj just off Angelo Henriquez up front. But things didn't begin well.

Chilean under-20 star Henriquez missed a golden chance after set through by the impressive Januzaj but for large periods of the first half Sevilla were in control. They took the lead mid-way through the opening 45 following a flowing attacking move that was finished with a neat flourish by Victor Machin.

And they quickly doubled their advantage, Marko Marin - on loan from Chelsea - tapping home after the Spaniards again sliced through the United backline. Hearty cheers for Ferdinand could be heard for large parts of the first half, but the celebratory mood was slightly tempered by United's lacklustre performance.

On the stroke of half-time, Antonio Valencia blazed over when well-placed, and Moyes's decision to rest the likes of Robin Van Persie, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra for Sunday looked set to backfire on him in the shape of an awkward defeat on his Old Trafford debut.

Marin shone brightest for Sevilla, and if Chelsea can afford to do without the talents of the Germany international for an entire season, it doesn't bode well for their title rivals. The diminutive playmaker has a shade of the Leo Messi about him, shuffling across the pitch with a hunched, impish brilliance.

Moyes opted to shake things up - Cleverley and Henriquez made way at the interval, replaced by Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard. And United immediately looked better for it - Anderson and Kagawa linking up to fashion a chance for Januzaj. The former-Anderlecht attacker cut back onto his right foot but scooped over.

He was the architect of United's route back into the match though. Released down the left, his initial shot was parried back to him before he scooted a cross for Valencia to tap home and halve the deficit.

Jesse Lindgard and Wilfried Zaha then entered the fray, and the two stars of United's preseason tour looked impressive. It certainly livened the crowd up, who were obviously excited to watch the former-Crystal Palace star in action for the first time. Buttner saw a goal-bound shot blocked before another magical run from Januzaj set up Carrick, whose effort was deflected wide, as United set up camp in the Sevilla half for the vast majority of the second 45 minutes.

With less than ten remaining, Moyes replaced Ferdinand with Evans, and Manchester United's number five was treated to a rousing reception.

Zaha then went close with a low drive towards the corner, before Sevilla rubbed salt in the wound with a late strike in stoppage time from substitute Bryan Rabello.

A shame for Ferdinand that the result went against his side, but it was a fitting tribute to the United defender, and he treated the crowd to a short speech thanking them for their support at the final whistle.

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Topics:
Rio Ferdinand
La Liga
Premier League
Football
Manchester United

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