After watching the game live, and noting occurrences through it, this is a breakdown of how United played and who performed the best.
The game was played on a heavily watered pitch, which was evident by the amount players on each side were slipping about and through balls were going astray.
United First XI 4-2-3-1
United had kickoff, lost possession cheaply outside the box, but Johnstone put in a good slide tackle to nullify the attack which was ruled offside anyway.
Early corner won by United. Young puts it in mid height towards the near post attack of Rooney, it comes back out to Mata how puts it in up and high toward the back post.
The ball drops down to Morgan Schneiderlin who towers his marker, dinks his header up, and over the keeper. And into the back of the net. Great technique on the header, 1-0 Manchester United.
The attack has looked quick and has tried very hard to be fluid. Young and Mata will often line up either side of the box, with Rooney center and Depay sitting in behind, just outside the box. He’s always in space but his passing, despite it having good intentions, has often gone astray.
New right back Darmian gets forward and works back very well but has been beaten on a couple of occasions by the rabid Club America striker. The attack has beat him to the high balls coming in on a couple of occasions but he has been very good at cross blocking and surging through to the box.
Sam Johnstone, despite not having much to do, has looked very good and confident. The young keeper has bombed out of his box multiple times to stop the attack. He also made a great cover for Darmian, defending in the middle of the box, attacker got the better of him but Johnstone was down at the Club American’s feet before he could turn to shoot.
Daley Blind has commanded the back four quite well, holding the line whilst putting in some crucial tackles. On 32nd minute his sliding tackle should have resulted in a penalty but nothing was given. His long passing was left a bit to be desired.
Carrick looked full of energy, despite injury concerns, working back well and covering the defense. His pairing with Schneiderlin worker very well. The Frenchman looked strong and very determined. He put in numerous very strong tackles, all of which won the ball. Very impressive start.
You can see a great partnership ready to be made with Depay, Rooney and Mata, they just need to get a little bit more familiar as many through balls and flick-ons went astray.
Jones was found in no mans land quite often and Blind played quite a high game leaving Darmian to cover for them a lot, which appeared to be a bit of a culture shock to him.
United Second XI 4-2-3-1
Second half the Red Devils came out fighting, instantly winning the ball off of Club America and surged forward through Pereira but his cross doesn’t quite meet Wilson.
Pereira was the star of the show for me. He showed real ability. Holding the ball up, dribbling the ball through multiple players at a time, great cross, a flaming shot, works the balls very well within his feet, take the ball down from any height, very enthusiastic and most impressive for me was how he handled himself once seen as a threat. He started taking big, hard tackles but just shrugged them off. The vast majority of United’s second half chances were forged by him. Very impressive, if he keeps it up he’ll be a star.
Another who impressed, for other reasons, was left side partner to Pereira, Tyler Blackett. He showed great vision and anticipated and kept Club America’s pacey, skillful wingers at bay. He didn’t give them an inch all game and he managed to get forward well too.
Bastian Schweinsteiger was an animal when he stepped onto the field. He didn’t stop closing down the opposition and when he did get the ball he’d take it round a couple of them, then pass it forward into an attacker.
Despite working very hard, Wilson barely saw the ball, and when he did he didn’t do anything of value with it. Adnan also flopped a bit today, he was in and around the box plenty, with many opportunists but just couldn’t convert. A ball played to him in space outside the box by Lingard saw him blast it wide and a great cross through the face of goal by Pereira was left by the Belgian, if he’d have just stuck his head forward it would have been a goal.
Evans and Lindergaard created far too many problems for themselves, trying to beat players, passing the ball to team mates under pressure and holding up the ball in dangerous zones of the field.
Overall the game was a fairly average performance by United with set pieces and offensive positioning/desire needing to be improved, but there were some glimpses of the stars United have in their ranks such as with Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Blackett and Pereira.
Andreas Pereira was the stand out player for United. He played really well and fans should be excited about what United have in this young superstar.
United Best XI of the Day 4-2-3-1