On This Day In 2009: Federico Macheda Announces Himself To The World
If ever a footballer has peaked too soon, it's Federico Macheda.
The Italian, who now turns out as a loanee for Nottingham Forest, following spells at Sampdoria, QPR, Stuttgart, Doncaster Rovers, Birmingham City and Cardiff (who currently own him), briefly looked like being the next big thing at Old Trafford after scoring a season defining winning goal against Aston Villa during the Premier League title run in of 2009.
Manchester United found themselves struggling in the April of that year, having conceded ground to Liverpool in their quest for a third consecutive league title. A humiliating 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool was followed by a shock 2-0 reverse at Fulham and without the suspended duo of Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, United were in a precarious position when Villa turned up to Old Trafford.
Despite taking the lead through an indirect free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo, goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor and John Carew but the visitors in the driving seat before Ronaldo levelled matters with a low effort from the edge of the area in the 80th minute.
With 10 minutes plus injury time to find a match winner from somewhere, eyes naturally turned to the likes of Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, however, the little known Italian, named in a match day squad for the first time that day, at just 17 years of age, would end up being the hero.
Shortly after Danny Welbeck had just seen a late effort saved, the ball was slipped through to Macheda by Ryan Giggs and, with his back to goal, the teenager slickly turned and swung his right leg at the ball, curling it delightfully into the far corner, in the third minute of injury time to send Old Trafford absolutely berserk and Martin Tyler into orgasmic euphoria.
Macheda, who had replaced Nani on the hour mark, was mobbed by his teammates who realised they were once again in the driving seat to claim a record equalling 18th league title.
Macheda would repeat the trick a week later, against Sunderland, albeit in less spectacular fashion when he diverted a Michael Carrick effort past Craig Gordon to earn United a vital 2-1 victory.
ON THIS DAY: In 2009, Federico Macheda scored on his Manchester United debut to give The Red's a last minute 3-2 win against Aston Villa at Old Trafford. pic.twitter.com/RsF8VlRaJg- ManUtd Fact (@ManUtd_Fact) April 5, 2018
He would go onto score just two more goals for the Red Devils before spending the rest of his United career on loan.