Manchester United vs San Jose Earthquakes Match Analysis and Player Ratings
|Image from the Mirror|
A stale draw for the Red Devils as their second pre-season game ended in a flat manner. United made four changes to the side that started against Club America with Taith Chong, Alexis Sanchez, James Garner and Joel Pereira all coming into the side and Juan Mata, Demi Mitchell, Scott McTominay and Lee Grant making way. San Jose lined up with a slightly changed side to the one that lost to Montreal Impact with midfielder Felipe coming in, as well as Marcinkowski between the sticks. United had enough class to a side that have not won in the MLS since May against Minnesota Utd but were they fit enough to do so.
J. Pereira, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw, A. Pereira, Garner, Herrera, Chong, Sanchez, Martial
Marcinowski, Lima, Cummings, Kashia, Qwiberg, Wehan, Jungwirth, Felipe, Hyka, Amarikwa, Hoesen
The game started in United’s favour and Sanchez was the centre of all United’s attacks and earned a wide freekick which he decided to take himself. He whipped the ball perfectly into the danger area but Eric Bailly’s low header only found the woodwork from roughly a yard out. Chong came closest next as his backheel, which was fed into him by Alexis, was cleared and still the net didn’t bulge. A big disappointment came after that as Valencia was forced off with a calf injury and Darmian came on. The half dragged on with few half-chances spurned by Martial and Garner but nothing really looked like happening that wasn’t porduced by either Alexis or Andreas Pereira.
The Earthquakes decided to make fullscale changes and freshen up the side in such hot conditions but Jose decided to only make a few changes after the break with Grant, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Mata and McTominay all coming on for Pereira, Smalling, Bailly, Garner and Chong. Sanchez was still the key in making chances happen and found Mata cleverly but the chance fell away as the cross from the no.8 was not on the money. Vako was the man for San Jose that looked the most dangerous and forced Tim Fosu-Mensah into a great goal-line block to deny the opening goal of the game. The same man took a freekick moments after that called Lee Grant into action with a smart low save to deny Quintana. After 65 minutes Alexis came off with praise from the crowd and United staff and in his place, Mason Greenwood took to the stage for his second United appearance. San Jose looked the better side afterwards as Grant was forced into making some decent saves to keep the game 0-0. At the death McTominay was gifted an easy opportunity to score but his free header had no power and was easy to save.
A stale performance to say the least, but Sanchez looked back to his best, Pereira looked sharp and fit, Fosu-Mensah looks like he could feature in Valencia’s place and perhaps even cement his place in the starting XI. Now United face AC Milan onn Thursday at the Rose Bowl.
Joel Pereira (7) – Calm and composed, barely had a save to make.
Antonio Valencia (n/a) – Shame to see him injured but hopefully it might give Fosu-Mensah or Dalot time to shine.
Chris Smalling (6) – Decent but not really challenged that much
Eric Bailly (6) – How did he not score? Solid at the back but needs to be more composed from attacking plays.
Luke Shaw (6) – Seemed to struggle with the heat at times but still looked decent going forward but a few tame shots instead of crosses shows a little impetuousness from him.
Andreas Pereira (7.5) – Looked sharp and focused at the heart of midfield and could be an important player for United this season.
James Garner (6.5) – A promising debut, his header should have been more controlled but overall an impressive performance with good linkup play with Pereira and Sanchez.
Ander Herrera (6.5) – Decent but not creative enough.
Taith Chong (6.5) – An impressive youngster but needs to be more composed and controlled if he is to feature in the league this season.
Alexis Sanchez (8) – The best player on the pitch and certainly the key for any chances created by United. While he should have shot more, he looked sharp and fresh and ready for the season.
Anthony Martial (6) – Isolated himself at times and needs to demand the ball and make driving runs down the line like his countryman, Mbappe does.
Lee Grant (7) – Made some excellent saves and looks a decent third choice ‘keeper
Matteo Darmian (6.5) – Got forward more but no final product.
Tim Fosu-Mensah (7) – A great goal-line clearance and a solid performance.
Axel Tuanzebe (7) – Solid second half as well.
Scott McTominay (6.5) – Did well in midfield but really should have scored at the end.
Juan Mata (7) – Looked dangerous at times and the most creative man on the pitch after Alexis came off, he could be an important player in the season ahead.
Mason Greenwood (6.5) – Used his pace well but was starved of chances.
Demi Mitchell (6) – Solid but barely saw him up the field, he was pinned back by San Jose a lot.
Angel Gomes (n/a) – Barely got into the game, would like to see him start.
MAN OF THE MATCH: ALEXIS SANCHEZ