In 2004, a young man by the name of Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United from boyhood club Everton.
12 years, 520 appearances and 249 goals later, Rooney is still going strong at Old Trafford, having won every major honour at club level with the Reds and tonight, he is honoured with a testimonial against said boyhood club.
But this won’t just be any testimonial – as it will also be José Mourinho’s first match in charge of United at Old Trafford, with one eye on the Community Shield clash against Leicester City later this week.
FULL-TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Everton
A throwback to last season, as a snoozefest rounds off United’s pre-season fixtures. Next up – the Community Shield, and a chance for the Reds to lay down a marker for the season ahead.
Thanks for joining us, we’ll see you next time.
90+1′ – Two minutes of injury time.
90′ – Memphis tries to do a Rooney against City bicycle kick – he’s nowhere near the ball.
The captain has a little giggle to himself on the bench.
80′ – Last ten minutes – can United find a goal from somewhere?
76′ – Fellaini knocks down the ball for Mata, whose shot is deflected wide for a corner by former United man Cleverley.
From the resulting corner, the pair combine again, this time Fellaini heads it tamely at Joel.
71′ – Memphis delivers a quite tasty cross, but Fellaini is blocked off well by Oviedo and can’t quite get his head on it.
68′ – Tom Cleverley’s just nutmegged Marcos Rojo – the most notable action in the past ten minutes. Game’s meandering to a conclusion.
64′ – Darmian, Memphis, Mata and Romero all come on for United, while Everton also make a host of substitutions.
59′ – Ibrahimovic has a pop from range – it’s got a bit of curl on it but it goes nowhere near the target.
52′ – Mirallas with a massive chance for Everton – smashes his shot into the side netting. Should have at least hit the target from there.
And that’s Rooney’s night done – he gets a standing ovation as he comes off for Rashford.
50′ – Bit of handbags between Young and Coleman after the United man’s tackle – nothing serious though and the game’s back underway with little interruption.
47′ – Just the two changes for Everton though – Joel replaces Stekelenburg in goal and Mirallas on for Deulofeu.
Several changes for United to start the second half – Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Jones, Young, Rojo and Mkhitaryan all coming on.
HALF-TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Everton
Quiet first half at Old Trafford. There’s a good intensity to this game, but the lack of chances means that this feels more like a glorified training session.
44′ – A deep Rooney cross finds Ibrahimovic, who only has Stekelenburg to beat, but the Dutch keeper makes himself big and saves well!
At the other end, Lukaku has a free header, but inexplicably heads wide.
42′ – Ball’s given to Luke Shaw on the edge of the area, and his shot is deflected wide for a corner. United dominating possession in Everton’s third, just need to create some clear-cut chances now.
37′ – A number of United players are warming up on the touchline, as Mourinho is due to make six or seven changes at half-time to build up match fitness for the substitutes.
36′ – Ibrahimovic shimmies past a man and delivers a ball in, but it’s just behind Rooney. Zlatan’s coming deep a lot, and I’m not sure it’s working to Rooney’s benefit. Maybe someone like Rashford could benefit from that space created.
32′ – Romelu Lukaku’s deflected shot falls into the path of Ross Barkley, who stings David de Gea’s palms with a fierce shot!
25′ – Rooney plays Ibrahimovic through, and the Swede’s shot is saved by Stekelenburg. United slowly growing into proceedings.
10′ – No chances yet, but Everton have had more of the ball in the first ten minutes. Meanwhile, Mourinho bellows instructions at his players from the touchline.
5′ – Bit of a scare for United, as Carrick’s errant pass almost gifts Everton a golden chance!
Everton get us underway at Old Trafford!
The teams walk out onto the pitch at Old Trafford – and form a guard of honour for the man of the moment: WAYNE ROONEY!
A mosaic also adorns the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand as the captain walks out with his three children.
More of the same from José in his pre-match interview – speaks highly of Rooney and says that this game is crucial to his preparations for the season ahead. He’s also asked about Paul Pogba, but he deflects the question, saying that he is ‘still a Juventus player’.
A warm reception for United and especially Rooney as the side comes out to warm-up. Less than 30 minutes to kick-off.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly will make their home debuts tonight, while Rooney will captain the side out the tunnel at the Theatre of Dreams.
Meanwhile, here’s the Everton team news – a strong side as predicted:
— Everton (@Everton) August 3, 2016
50,000 fans are expected to turn up at the Theatre of Dreams to pay tribute to their current captain, although one suspects that this won’t be your usual testimonial.
Both United and Everton will be looking to fine-tune their preparations for the Premier League season – especially United, who had that marquee Manchester Derby in Beijing cancelled due to poor weather late last month. As such, both teams will be taking this game seriously and are expected to field full-strength sides.