If you want to write your professional debut, you’d struggle to put together a better script than Manchester United’s Federico Macheda. With the Red Devils’ title dreams taking a huge dent, the 17 year-old completed the week of his life with a stunning injury-time winner to beat Aston Villa.
With United’s strike force depleted through injury, Macheda was named as a substitute for the first time after a hat-trick on Monday night, alongside reserve team-mates Darron Gibson, Lee Martin and Richard Eckersley. With Villa leading 2-1 and options looking bleak, Sir Alex Ferguson threw the Italian on for his debut, and it proved to be a masterstroke. He immediately lifted his more illustrious fellow players and allowed Carlos Tevez to become more effective. His approach play was beyond his years and he looked like he belonged.
In the second minute of injury-time, spurred on by a raucous home crowd desperate for a winner, he received a short pass into feet from Ryan Giggs, just inside the penalty box to Brad Friedel’s right. With an instant touch back in the other direction he sold Curtis Davies, and despite slipping bent an unstoppable winner into the far corner at the Stretford End. He was duly booked for an exhuberant celebration, but when you end an amazing week as he did, you can forgive the lad!