Sir Alex Ferguson Impressed With Chris Smalling Debut

England U-21 impressed boss in first game for Red Devils
Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his satisfaction with Chris Smalling following the defender's debut for Manchester United against Celtic, which saw his side win 3-1 in Toronto in the opening game of their five-match tour.

The absence of Rio Ferdinand saw Smalling paired with Johnny Evans at the back, with Nemanja Vidic on extended leave following the World Cup.

The 20-year-old former Fulham defender didn’t have the easiest of starts after giving away a penalty against new Celtic signing Joe Ledly, allowing Georgios Samaras to equalised from the spot.

However, United boss Ferguson thought Smalling emerged with credit at the Rogers Centre.

Ferguson told reporters: "I was pleased with Chris. We know he is good footballer, we know he is quick and is a good passer of the ball.

"There was a period after half-time when he had two fantastic headers with great purpose and showed his aerial ability.

"He got caught a little bit with the penalty kick. The player ran from his blind side in behind him. But he is only young, he is only 20."

Smallings defensive partner Johnny Evans enjoyed the experience of playing with the youngster as he told reporters: "It was good to play alongside Chris - we just tried to keep things simple between us."

"He is a great lad, he has trained hard and hopefully he can do well for us."

The game saw an inspired Dimitar Berbatov open the scoring and set up the second for Danny Welbeck to ensure the United win and earn him the man of the match title.

Tom Cleverly, who came off the bench like Welbeck, added a third, his shot taking a deflection off Darren O'Dea.

Ferguson said: "He had a recurrence of the knee injury which is of great concern to us. He will remain there until he is ready to come back and train.

"There is no point in leaving the people who are treating him and did the operation and we have to send him back again. It is pointless."

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