MAN UNITED 3, HULL CITY 1
James Wilson made a dream debut for Manchester United as Ryan Giggs was rewarded for blooding the Class of 2014 in Manchester United final home Barclays Premier League game of the season.
The 18-year-old striker scored twice on his first appearance against Steve Bruce’s Hull City to provide an exciting glimpse into the future.
And it was hard to believe that United’s interim manager had already won two league titles by the time the 18-year-old Wilson, the first player since Wayne Rooney to score two goals on his Reds’ debut, was born.
Giggs also handed a first full appearance to Tom Lawrence while there was also a start for Adnan Januzaj with Michael Keane, another young jewel, was on the bench.
United’s interim manager, addressing the crowd at the end of the match, explained the club’s success has been built on youth and that remains the way moving forward.
Giggs admitted it had been a “difficult” season and praised the fans for sticking by the team saying there has been great success in the past and there will further glories in the future.
He added the decision to give youth a fling was influenced by Saturday’s home defeat by Sunderland.
Giggs said: “Saturday was disappointing. I wanted to freshen things up and the lads didn’t disappoint.
“James and Tom have done well for the youth team and reserves while Tom has been out on loan and they have trained well with us this week.
“I am delighted with them as well as Adnan who was brilliant.”
Giggs also called for the teenage Januzaj to be protected following a stamp by Hull’s David Meyler which was not spotted by referee Craig Pawson.
“I didn’t see the stamp, but I have seen the injury which is terrible and from his knee to ankle. He is a brilliant player, but needs protecting.”
There was a star studded line up on United’s bench including Robin van Persie, Juan Mata, Nemanja Vidic and Giggs himself. Sir Bobby Charlton made a pre-match presentation to Vidic on his Old Trafford farewell before his move to Inter Milan.
Wilson, the England under-21 international, had the chance to give United a third-minute lead, but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Alex Bruce.
United also had an early penalty appeal rejected after a challenge by Maynor Figueroa on Januzaj. Lawrence also had a chance but his shot was deflected just over by Figueroa.
Vidic made an early entrance than anticipated midway through the opening period as he replaced Phil Jones, who damaged his shoulder after a collision with Figueroa. Giggs admitted it doesn’t look good and also for England’s World Cup squad to be named next week.
The breakthrough came after half an hour when Wilson marked his debt with a goal. Januzaj’s free kick was headed back across the face of goal by Marouane Fellaini for Wilson to fire through the legs of keeper Eldin Jakupovic from 10 yards.
The lively Wilson went close to a second goal soon after the restart with an ambitious overhead kick which flew narrowly wide.
Wilson struck again just after the hour when he was alert to latch on to a rebound after Fellaini’s initial shot was parried by keeper Jakupovic.
Hull, who had barely threatened all night, then halved the deficit with a rare sortie forward. George Boyd set up substitute Matty Fryatt who walloped home an unstoppable shot from 30 yards low to the left of keeper David De Gea.
Giggs made his entrance with 20 minutes left for his 963rd and possibly last game for the Reds. He became the first Premier League manager to make a playing appearance since Stuart McCall for Bradford City in 2000.
Hull were denied an equaliser when De Gea did well to beat out a fierce drive from David Meyler as United began to live dangerously defensively.
Dutchman van Persie, who replaced Lawrence with 20 minutes left, had two early chances to add a third goal. It was a case of third time lucky for van Persie who made it 3-1 with four minutes left.
Giggs provided the assist for van Persie whose initial shot was blocked by Alex Bruce and he latched on to the rebound to fire home.
And Giggs was denied what may be a dream farewell when in stoppage time his 30-yard free kick was brilliantly saved by Jakupovic.