Manchester United’s pre-season tour has officially begun. Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils picked up their first win in a 5-2 victory over the LA Galaxy. On the whole, it was an exciting match, and one in which we got to see new-boys Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku in action.
The goals came from Marcus Rashford (x2), Marouane Fellaini, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan; before the hosts scored two late strikes to make the final result look much more respectable on their part.
Here are five things we learned from the encounter:
The 3-5-2 formation could work
Jose decided to move to a three centre-back formation for the game, most likely to test it out just in case he plans to use it going forward. To be honest, it looked pretty solid. Obviously, they’ll be sterner tests to come, but it seemed to suit the English duo of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in particular.
With that said, we’d definitely need to invest in a left wingback. Antonio Valencia has that right-hand side on lockdown, but Jesse Lingard didn’t have that cutting edge going forward. That could well explain our interest in Ivan Perisic.
Romelu Lukaku needs time
The big Belgian came on for the second half and had a solid debut. His hold-up play was good and he made some useful runs, but it was clear that the 24-year-old will need time to adapt and get used to his new surroundings.
Moving to a club with the stature and global attraction as Manchester United brings its own pressures. He looked a tad nervous on the day, and perhaps all he needs is that first goal to take the pressure off. I’m sure it’ll come.
Marcus Rashford is the future
He was just a joy to watch in that first 45, wasn’t he? Talk about cool as a cucumber, the young man from Wythenshawe scored two clinical goals in the early stages to give United a lead – and fair play to him. Alright, he could have had a hat-trick but it was a good start to the new season for the teenager.
It wouldn’t have been easy knowing that Romelu Lukaku was coming in and will likely get all the starts, but he’s sent out a real message to Jose Mourinho today, as a reminder that he’s still here and ready to play.
Big things are to come from Henrikh Mkhitaryan
It took him a while to settle into life at his new club, but once he got going he was a joy to watch. He was no different against the LA Galaxy as he glided past players with his usual aesthetically pleasing style.
Not only that though, he also had the end product to match. He carved open their defence like a knife through butter and created chances galore as well as grabbing a goal for himself.
United play some lovely football
Some of the one-touch football, particularly on the counter-attack was stunning this evening. Fair enough, the LA Galaxy aren’t exactly world-beaters, but to be playing so nicely in the first game of pre-season definitely bodes well going forward.
Paul Pogba was at the heart of everything good as you’d imagine, and the vision of Juan Mata is just out of this world. Both of whom would have impressed manager Mourinho this evening.