MAN UNITED 2, VALENCIA 1
An injury-time goal from Manchester United substitute Marouane Fellaini handed Louis van Gaal victory on his Old Trafford bow.
Only seconds remained of the final pre-season workout against Spanish side Valencia remained when Fellaini struck the decisive goal to turn jeers to cheers.
Fellaini, introduced with 14 minutes left, was booed with every touch, but he silenced his army of critics in the sweetest manner.
And it left Dutchman high fiving with joyous fans as he walked from the dugout to the tunnel as he has also earlier in the match as he maintained his perfect start with six pre-season wins out of six pre-season.
With the start of the new Premier League campaign only days away, this was van Gaal’s last chance to fine tune his side after their successful tour of America where they won the International Champions Cup.
After a lukewarm opening half, the match exploded to life when Darren Fletcher gave United the lead.
Rodrigo Moreno equalised with 19 minutes to go and it looked like ending in stalemate until Fellaini struck at the death.
United kicked off with a 3-4-1-2 formation as Juan Mata operated just behind a front two of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez in the absence of Robin van Persie.
There was a debut for summer signing Ander Herrera while youngsters Tyler Blackett and Reece James were also handed starting spots.
World Cup star Antonio Valencia was also an absentee as were new-boy Luke Shaw and Danny Welbeck who were both injured.
United ought to have taken a 33rd minute lead when they were awarded a penalty after Rooney was shoved as he climbed to head Ashley Young’s looping cross.
Rooney stepped forward to smash the spot kick against the base of the upright with Valencia feeling justice had been administered as they claimed the dive was theatrical which is how it looked to many.
The deadlock was broken within four minutes of the restart when Young’s corner was cleared to Fletcher on the edge of the box and his low drive took a deflected as it looped high into the net.
United were rarely troubled defensively, though substitute Tom Cleverley headed off the line midway through the second half to deny Rodrigo de Paul.
They failed to heed the warning as Valencia drew level after Cleverley sliced a clearances across the face of goal and Rodrigo Moreno fired high into the roof of the net from six yards.
Suddenly Valencia seized the initiative and United were lucky not to fall behind as Cleveley and Hernandez made crucial defensive blocks while keeper David de Gea made a crucial double save to deny Dani Parejo and Moreno.
United rode their luck and struck at the end when Valencia keeper Diego Alves dropped a cross from Blackett and Fellaini chested down the ball, turned and fired into an empty net.
There was a subtle irony that it should be Fellaini who should have the last word.