The third game of the DHL World Tour saw Manchester United come up against big spending Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, who in truth, were extremely poor. We dominated throughout and came away with a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Shinji Kagawa’s first goal for the club.
Starting XI: Lindegaard; Veseli, Ferdinand, Carrick, Brady; Petrucci, Anderson, Powell, Valencia; Kagawa; Macheda
Subs: Amos, Johnstone, Tunnicliffe, Wootton, Vermijl, Blackett, Scholes, Lingard, Berbatov, Bebe, Hernandez
Nick Powell made his first start for his new club in this one, and arguably, the best chance of the first half fell the way of the 18-year old. A delicious chip from Davide Petrucci played in Powell, who dragged his shot wide from 10 yards out. Petrucci himself, had a fine first half, he linked up the play brilliantly and showed some great vision by picking out some key passes for his teammates.
Anders Lindegaard was then brought into action, Joel Griffiths was put clean through, but the Dane made himself big to pull off an excellent stop to keep the scores level. Shanghai’s mindset was clear throughout as they got all 10 outfield players behind the ball at all times. Which was proving a tough task to break down throughout the first half.
At the interval, Sir Alex began to utilise the strength in depth he possesses, by bringing on Javier Hernandez and Bebe. Then the chances began to fall our way, Bebe had a volley saved smartly by the opposition keeper early on.
Then mid-way through the half came the goal. Bebe took the ball past his man with ease, before picking out Shinji Kagawa in the box, he took one touch to control the ball and then he fired it home to make it 1-0 to United. The goal was no more than the new man deserved, he pulled the strings excellently throughout and provided a constant threat to the opposition defence.
The biggest cheer from the crowd came when veteran Paul Scholes came on for a 20 minute cameo, as you’d expect, he was pinging delicious passes left, right and centre giving the Chinese crowd what they wanted to see.
My Man of the Match goes to Shinji Kagawa. The 23-year old shown exactly why we paid £18million for him, his vision and awareness were both superb. He’s got good feet and great movement, I really can’t wait to see him in action when the Premier League season starts next month.