- Sep 29, 2005
Di Maria shines for Argentina
Four Reds were on international friendly duty on Wednesday and none shone brighter than Manchester United's record new signing Angel Di Maria, whose masterclass included a goal and three assists to help Argentina beat Germany 4-2.
The £59.7million capture, who completed 85 impressive minutes in Düsseldorf, started alongside Reds team-mate Marcos Rojo as Argentina faced Germany in a repeat of this summer's World Cup final, which Joachim Löw's side won in Brazil, of course.
Operating wide on the right for Gerardo Martino's men, Di Maria's energy, creativity and wand of a left foot were put to devastating use. In the 20th minute his stunning outside-of-the-boot pass enabled Sergio Aguero to make it 1-0. Then on 39 minutes he was at it again, racing onto a pass down the right and floating an inviting cross to Erik Lamela, who volleyed into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.
Immediately after the second half restart, Di Maria's deep free-kick from the left was headed home by Federico Fernandez, then two minutes later he got on the scoresheet himself, coolly dinking the ball over the onrushing Manuel Neuer in a one-on-one.
Rojo couldn't help Argentina to a clean sheet as Andre Schürrle pulled a goal back for Germany on 52 minutes, while the world champions scored again through Mario Götze's deflected effort on 78 minutes. However, Di Maria's damage had already been done.
Closer to home, Wayne Rooney led England out at Wembley for the first time as the new national skipper as they took on Norway, while Phil Jones completed the full 90 minutes at centre-back. Despite a lowly 40,181 crowd, Rooney inspired the team to a 1-0 win by lashing home a 68th-minute penalty before being replaced by former club-mate Danny Welbeck a minute later.