Last week, 17 year old wonderkid Federico Macheda was beaten to the Footy Boots accolade by Stoke City striker James Beattie. But 7 days on, the Italian supersub has claimed the title with another match winning display from the bench.
For the second successive league game, Manchester United looked as if they may have to settle for a draw before the introduction of the inspirational Macheda who scored with his first touch of the ball.
In their Saturday afternoon match versus Sunderland, Paul Scholes has given United the lead in the first half before Kenwyne Jones bundled home from close in to equalise for the hosts.
But with 75 minutes gone, on came Macheda in his Total 90 Laser II football boots to steer home Michael Carrick’s wayward shot.
Federico Macheda wears the Total 90 Laser II in black, orange, blaze & silver
The win put United back on top of the Premier League, one point above nearest rivals Liverpool who had earlier thrashed Blackburn Rovers 4 – 0.
Having twice seen Macheda come off the bench to net a win, his performances drew this praise from manager Sir Alex Ferguson:
Macheda has got something special about him, the boy. He side-footed it as it came to him. It’s that quick-thinking that goalscorers have got.
He wasn’t fazed by anything. Right away, he got involved in the game and he had a good 20 minutes for us.
The important thing is we have seven games left now and at this point, it is about cutting each game off as they come along.
Today was an important away victory for us and we can be pleased with that.
Federico Macheda home page image from www.guardian.co.uk