Manchester United kicked off the International Champions Cup with a nice victory against Manchester City. Jose Mourinho has every reason to be pleased with the performance as a whole from his players, and it was nice to see the lads get a victory over their rivals; albeit in a friendly.
Here are five things we learned from the derby encounter:
Romelu Lukaku offers more than just goals
We know he’ll find the back of the net on a regular basis, but tonight, I was impressed with his all-round game. The Belgian made some super runs that opened up the space for teammates, as well as holding the ball up excellently.
Technically, he’s a lot better than I thought he would be and Lukaku’s tour performances as a whole have been a joy to watch. You can see exactly why the club spent big to get him in, and I cannot wait to watch him get even better under Mourinho.
Daley Blind isn’t a full-back
I love Daley Blind and he’s an excellent footballer. However, he just isn’t suited to the full-back role. In the modern day, you need pace to play either side of the back two and the Dutchman just doesn’t have it.
He’s an adequate centre-half but you don’t need pace for that role and he can rely solely upon his intelligence and great positional sense. However, personally, I prefer it when he plays as a holding midfielder – which he hasn’t done for a good couple of years.
Mkhitaryan’s best position is the #10 role
What a player, and what a tour the man from Armenia is having so far. The number ten spot seems tailor-made for Mkhitaryan, and tonight, he was wonderful. He attacks with a real purpose and directness that really gets our opponents on the back-foot.
So far, he has two goals and two assists whilst out in America, but it’s the level of performances that have been the most pleasing aspect of his game. He cuts through defences like a knife through butter, and we could well be about to see a huge second season from the attacker.
Victor Lindelof needs time
The Iceman played well for the most part, but there were definitely one or two shaky moments from the former SL Benfica centre-half. He’s young at just 23, and no doubt he will need time to adapt to playing for one of the biggest clubs in world football; that’s just natural.
The talent is definitely there though, and he already feels like an upgrade on Chris Smalling who just looks like a calamity every time he takes to the field. Lindelof may find it tough to beat out competition from Phil Jones for a place in the starting XI though (see next point)
Phil Jones is actually pretty decent
Once again, the Englishman played very well and didn’t give City’s attackers a chance. He’s now one of the more experienced players within the United squad, and if he can put the injuries behind him once and for all, this is still a footballer who can have a positive impact on this team.
The partnership between him and Eric Bailly is one to watch, and if they continue to develop and learn each other’s game, don’t be surprised if this is the starting back two against West Ham.