United’s Pre Season So Far

Manchester United are the team that all pundits are talking about and they have reason to do so. United have brought in two world class players in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, who are set to feature in the Reds last pre-season game against Everton. With all of the talk of a potential title charge, let’s take a look at how United have fared in pre season so far.

United youngsters shine against Derby

With the majority of the Red Devils squad away on their holidays, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave youngsters their chance to impress. The United boss had already revealed that many of these players will go out on loan in search of regular first team football. Mason Greenwood and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were the only first team names who began the game.

This youthful and energetic side didn’t have a lot of rhythm in the game and this was mainly due to this being United’s first game back. Solskjaer had already said before the game, that this match was more of a fitness building exercise. Swedish winger Anthony Elanga was lively throughout the game and was probably United’s standout player. Elanga, who can play across the entire frontline, could be the Red’s breakthrough player this season. The Red Devils did find the opener in the 18th minute when Tahith Chong found the back of the net. Chong, 21, spent last season on loan to Wolfsburg and is likely to go out on loan again this season.

In the second half, Solskjaer made a host of changes, which saw the introduction of returning star Jesse Lingard. Lingard was impressive in possession in the second half and combined well with youngster Shola Shoretire. Shoretire often made the matchday squad last season and also made his debut. However, the Englishman is expected to go out on loan this season. Despite this, the young playmaker sent Facundo Pellestri through on goal and United were 2-0 up. Championship strugglers Derby did get a late consolation goal through Kazim-Richards, but Wayne Rooney came up second best against his former club.

QPR hit four against United

This game had much more intensity and energy to it. United fell to defeat and it was clear to see that QPR were ahead of Solskjaer’s men in terms of fitness. The Red’s began the game well with Lingard opening the scoring. Greenwood found Pellestri who sent Lingard through on goal. The 28-year-old made no mistakes and United were 1-0 up inside four minutes. Minutes later, QPR found their leveler through Charlie Austin, after a defensive calamity from the United. Manchester United were the better team for the majority of the first half and created several opportunities to extend their lead. The Queens Park Rangers defense had no answers to the sheer pace and directness of Pellestri, who was a threat throughout.

A disastrous five minute spell after the break saw a complete collapse from United. A Dykes brace and an Adubato wondergoal put QPR 4-1 up. Although pre-season is all about fitness, Solskjaer would have been furious with his sides performance during that five minute spell. Elanga came off the bench to grab a late goal, but United fell to defeat at Loftus Road.

Fans welcomed back to Old Trafford with four goal thriller

Manchester United and Premier League newcomers Brentford put on a show in an enthralling 2-2 draw. The Reds began the game in a 4-3-3 formation, which United will likely set up in for the upcoming season. This system is made for creativity, with two roaming “number eights”. Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira began this game in this role with Nemanja Matic sitting behind them.

United began the game strong again and Elanga put them in front with a fabulous finish. The dynamic forward has had an exceptional pre-season and is likely to stick around with the first team this season. Following some poor defending from United, Baptiste smashed home the equaliser against the run of play.

In the second half, the Old Trafford faithful were treated two more sensational strikes. The first of those coming from Pereira, whose outside of the box volley found the back of the net in tremendous style. The effort was Scholes-esque with the ball crashing off the bar and into the roof of the net. Substitute Mbeumo got the equaliser for Brentford with a curling effort after a Dalot mistake. Again the result was not the most important thing; Solskjaer will be ecstatic with the return of more first team players. Donny van de Beek came off the bench and was captain for the second half.

Internationals return ahead of Everton clash

Manchester United were set to take on Preston in a friendly at the weekend. However, this game was postponed after a suspected Covid-19 outbreak amongst the Manchester United staff and players. Furthermore, it has now come to light that no players or staff have the virus and therefore training will resume as normal. This will however hinder Solskjaer’s plans to give minutes to some returning internationals such as Bruno Fernandes. Instead there will be more of a focus on training and preparation for United’s final friendly against Everton at Old Trafford. In this game, Solskjaer will likely field the strongest team possible with the season opener against Leeds not far away. Fans worldwide will finally get to see Sancho and Varane in action, with both being touted to make their debuts in a week’s time.

Author: Rajan Sangha

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