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Magical Ryan Giggs leaves Manchester United youngsters spellbound after scooping back-to-back awards

By Dean Wilkins

Like fine wine, Ryan Giggs is only getting better with age after scooping back-to-back Man of the Match awards in Manchester United’s FA Cup run.

Following on from his show-stopping performance during their last round victory over West Ham, the 39-year-old midfielder slotted United into an early lead from the penalty spot and was pivotal in their dominating 4-1 win over Fulham on Saturday.

With a standing ovation from fans after making way for Antonia Valencia in the 71st minute, Giggs’ last gift was to set up Javier Hernandez for his second with a threaded ball through the visitors’ defence.

The Welshman scooped 57% of the vote, ahead of Anderson (28%) who continues to blossom in midfield – while young England centrebacks Phil Jones (11%) and Chris Smalling (4%) completed the top four.

And although United’s veteran midfielder may still be stealing fans’ hearts, Sir Alex Ferguson is gushing at the future of Jones – who is set for a better career than John Terry according to his boss.

“[Jones] can play anywhere. He is quick, two-sided and reads the game well,” said the Scot “He’s competitive and has got a great change of pace going forward so the boy has done very well.”

“I think he’s got more in his locker than Terry had to be honest with you but Terry gathered experience and became a fantastic central figure for Chelsea,” added Sir Alex. “Obviously, he was the main man at Chelsea but, as a young player, I think John would be the first to admit he didn’t have the pace of Jones.

“He’s a very versatile boy while John is a centreback. Jones is proving himself everywhere.”

Picture courtesy of Gordon Flood, with thanks

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