Manchester United easily overcame a specially selected Airtricity XI at the inaugural match at the newly constructed Aviva Stadium last night.
The home side lost by a massive 7-1 to the Manchester stars, but the focus of the match was on the beautiful new stadium rather than the scoreline.
A crowd of 49,861, just short of capacity, watched the spectacle at the stadium, which officially opened on May 14 and cost € 410 million ($541m) to complete.
The home side was a composite of the eleven best players selected from Ireland’s national football league. Despite their quality, though, they were both outshone and outdone by an impressive and fluent United, who easily notched up seven goals against the homeside.
Former Ireland and Manchester United legend Paul McGrath offered his opinion on the glitzy new stadium:
“It’s an unbelievable stadium,” he said, adding that “I just wish it had been around when I was playing. The players will love playing here.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin was also on hand with her nephew to watch the spectacle.
Dave Mulcahy of St Pats knocked in the only Irish goal of the night with 12 minutes to go while Rooney, Michael Owen, and others were all on form for the away side to give them a one-sided but thoroughly deserved pre-season victory.