|Image Source: @ManUtd|
Manchester United beat Inter 1-0 in Singapore on a rather hot and exhausting day. The stadium, despite being on neutral territory, felt like it was being played in Manchester. The crowd raucously cheered every United movement and jeered Inter and their dirty tackles.
United started with David De Gea playing behind a back-line of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, and Luke Shaw. In midfield, we had a double pivot of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic playing behind Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James, with Anthony Martial playing as the lone striker. This was temporary as Martial, Rashford, and James kept switching positions.
The high press and pace persisted throughout the game as we dominated through the first half (even if we lacked the goals to show for it). James had a couple of half-decent chances but he needs to work harder on his finishing abilities and movement in the final third. With that sorted out, we’ll have a very good player on our hands.
Our back four were extremely solid and intercepted everything. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, in particular, stole the show. He was just everywhere on the pitch. The Englishman made nine tackles, winning all of them and had a pass accuracy of 90%. Even if he might have played a couple of dangerous balls in the box, thankfully no one was there to tap them in. He’s a very exciting player who quietly does his job and gets on with the game. About 50 mins in and Lindelof had to be replaced by Phil Jones. It looked like a precautionary measure only.
Upfront, our midfielders and forwards were giving Inter all sorts of trouble. We were, however, missing that creative spark. That spot was calling out for someone like Maddison or Fernandes and a new signing there will be immense. In other news, Matic was absolutely horrible yet again.
As promised, in the 60th min Solskjaer substituted 11 players on the pitch. Sergio Romero played in goal, as the back four changed to Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Ashley Young. They played behind a midfield three of Fred, Andreas Pereira and McTominay with Juan Mata, Tahith Chong, and Mason Greenwood playing upfront.
This team also looked solid in defence, continuing the first team’s relentless assault. United finally scored when the rock, Handanovic, parried the ball to his left and it landed straight at the feet of Greenwood. He took a deft touch to his right, leaving a defender on the ground as he smashed the ball into the far post and sealed the game.
Greenwood was absolutely amazing and two goals in three games will do wonders for his confidence. He has unbelievable potential and everyone is really looking forward to seeing him in the Premier League. Even after scoring, he didn’t stop. He hit the post once and on another occasion sent one of their midfielders packing. Choosing a man of the match between Greenwood and Wan-Bissaka is going to be very difficult, but I’m going to hand it to Mason.
Solskjaer’s project is very interesting and you can see what he’s working on with these players. The lads kept the pressure up impressively despite the unbearable weather in Singapore. Give him a few more players and trust in the system! It’s about time that we stopped sacking managers and stuck to one concrete long-term plan. Anyway, onto the next game!