MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United gave a debut to a potential star of the future on the night it may have had one last glimpse of a recent great.
Ryan Giggs played possibly his last game at Old Trafford, entering in the 70th minute of Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Hull.
James Wilson, an 18-year-old forward, scored twice in his Manchester United senior team debut. Robin van Persie had the final goal, off an assist from Giggs, the 40-year midfielder who made his debut in 1991 was appointed interim manager on April 22 after David Moyes was fired.
Giggs has not decided whether to play next season, when current Netherlands national team coach Louis van Gaal may take over as United’s manager. Giggs gave debuts to Wilson and 20-year-old forward Tom Lawrence, started 19-year-old Adnan Januzaj on a wing and began with a back four that included youngsters Alex Buttner, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
“You’ve seen a little glimpse of the future and this is what this club is about,” Giggs said to fans, speaking with a microphone on the field following the final whistle. “We never stand still. We always give youth a chance, and we try and play attractive football. Sometimes we don’t win, but we give it our all. So keep supporting us, and the good times will come back soon.”
Giggs made his 963rd appearance for United. With fans chanting “Keeper, let it in!” Giggs saw his long-range free kick tipped over the crossbar by Eldin Jakupovic in injury time. This could be Giggs’ first season without a league goal since the Premier League began in 1992.
Nemanja Vidic, a 32-year-old defender who has been with the club since 2006, played his final home game for United, which closes its season Sunday at Southampton. Vidic said in February he is leaving United, and he is expected to join Inter Milan.
Vidic began on the bench after accepting a memento from United great Bobby Charlton, then entered in the 22nd after Jones injured a shoulder in an aerial collision. Giggs said Jones, who was expected to be on England’s World Cup roster had been taken to a hospital and it “didn’t look great.”
United (19-12-6) is seventh with 63 points and would qualify for the Europa League with a win Sunday combined with a loss by sixth-place Tottenham (20-11-6) at home to Aston Villa. United last failed to qualify for European competition in 1990.
“We know it’s been tough this season, and over the years we’ve been spoiled with the success that we’ve had,” Giggs said. “I’m sure in the coming years we’ll bring you more success.”
Giuseppe Rossi scored in his second game back from a four-month layoff caused by a right knee injury as Fiorentina lost to visiting Sassuolo 4-3.
The 27-year-old forward from New Jersey entered in the 65th minute, his first Serie A appearance since Jan. 5, and scored seven minutes later off a cross from Borja Valero, his former Villarreal teammate,
Rossi, hoping to make Italy’s World Cup roster, returned to action Sunday when he entered in the 72nd minute of Fiorentina’s 3-1 loss to Napoli in the Italian Cup final. Rossi has 15 league goals and 16 overall this season.
Domenico Berardi, a 19-year-old forward, scored his third hat trick of the season for Sassuolo.
Napoli clinched third place and a Champions League berth with Fiorentina’s loss, then beat Cagliari 3-0 on goals by Dries Mertens, Goran Pandev and Blerim Dzemaili.