Manchester United completed their pre-season fixtures with an exciting 4-3 win over Hannover in Germany.
Sir Alex Ferguson picked an attacking line-up for the game with Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa, Nani, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez all starting for the Red Devils who had drawn a blank in their last two pre-season matches.
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, United started on the front foot although it took almost 20 minutes before the Premier League runners-up managed to create a clear-cut chance.
It came via Ashley Young who managed to beat Henning Hauger and find Nemanja Vidic completely unmarked in the box, but the skipper could only send his effort sailing high over the bar.
Minutes later and teenager Michael Keane squandered two chances to put his team ahead. Firstly he failed to hit the target after picking up a cut-back from Kagawa before missing from close-range seconds later with goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler out of his goal.
They were to prove costly misses as mid-way through the first half the hosts took the lead. Anders Lindegaard could only fumble a shot from Jan Schlaudraff leaving Artur Sobiech to finish smartly from close range for the opener.
Hannover's celebrations were short-lived, however, as six minutes later the visitors were level. A fierce shot by Rooney was only parried by Zieler and Hernandez was on hand to tap home the equaliser.
Chances continued to come in an entertaining first half with Cleverley and Kagawa both testing Zieler with strong shots but neither were able to beat the Hannover goalkeeper who ensured the teams went in at half-time level.
Both teams made changes at the break and they proved effective for the hosts who went back in front within minutes of the restart.
Three minutes in and substitute David de Gea could only punch clear from a corner, the ball was swung back into the area where Karim Haggui headed strongly past the Spaniard to put Hannover back in front.
Back come United, with Hernandez who almost grabbed his second equaliser of the game. The Mexican did superbly to create a chance for himself but his shot was tipped away to safety by Zieler.
Ferguson's side were then relieved after the referee waved away Hannover appeals for a penalty. A surging run by Steve Cherundolo was rudely interrupted by Cleverley who left the captain on the floor and appealing to the official, but he ignored the home side's claims and United escaped.
Yet it was only a temporary reprieve as five minutes later Mohammed Abdellaoue was on hand to give the hosts a two-goal lead with a sumptuous finish. The forward latched onto a pass from Lars Stindl, and with his back to goal, backheeled the ball past De Gea to make it 3-1.
The goal spurred United into action and minutes later Rooney had reduced the deficit. United won a free-kick on the edge of the area and the England international curled a gorgeous free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner of Zieler's goal with the goalkeeper a spectator.
Hannover continued to press but with just 10 minutes to go it was that man Rooney again who pulled Manchester United level.
An defence-splitting pass by Nani sent the striker running clear on goal, he took the ball around the goalkeeper who pulled him down leaving the referee no option to point to the spot.
Rooney picked himself before calmly slotting home, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with his second of the night to make it 3-3.
There was still time for more goals, however, and Rooney was again involved as United took the lead. The striker nodded a long ball into Kagawa's path and the Japan international struck a fierce shot across goal to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the match and secure a 4-3 win.
- Wayne Rooney
- Shinji Kagawa
- Javier Hernandez
- Ashley Young