After a fairly tame performance against Club America, Manchester United fans were hoping for a more attacking game from the Red Devils in this friendly. Especially as United’s next game is against Barcelona, a team who will score against them.
United First XI 4-2-3-1
United’s first goal came after 30 minutes when Rooney put a well weighted ball up the wing to an incoming Young. He then cuts the ball back to Mata. The Spaniard drives into the box and dinks the ball across goal, Depay sticks a leg out but misses. The ball goes into the net anyway.
2-0 came just 5 minutes after the first goal due to a defensive error and a great read by Memphis Depay. It began with Carrick passing to Rooney who then has the ball stripped off of him by the defender. The defender then commits one of the cardinal sins of football, passing it back across goal. As he does this, Depay reads the pass, beats the defender to the ball, demonstrating his explosive acceleration, and slots it past the keeper.
The first half ended on a sour note for the Red Devils as San Jose made the score line 2-1. In the 41st minute, San Jose got the ball in United’s 3rd of the pitch. They were allowed plenty of time on the ball with very little pressure being put on. The Earthquakes then shifted the ball from right to left with a few short passes, and then their winger exploded into the box, beating Schneiderlin, and passed beyond the incoming Shaw. The young left back came in to defend the near post, despite the keeper being there and the attacker being on the touchline. This allowed a pass to be cut back into the box, and the striker to slide down to beat Jones to the ball with the shot finding the back of the net.
United Second XI 4-2-3-1
There was only one goal in the second half of the game. A half which showed quite a weak United performance. The goal came at the hour mark when a great bit of play from Wilson, allows a one-two between Lingard and McNair with Lingard then whipping a cross into the middle. There the ball meets the well timed jump of Andreas Pereira who places the header toward the back post and into the goal.
The first half line up out performed the second half line in this fixture. The Memphis-Mata-Rooney partnership looked stronger as did the midfield duo of Carrick and Schneiderlin. In the second XI, star of the last game, Pereira looked better when he drifted to switch with Januzaj on the left wing (the players positions were switched this game). Once again he would team up well with Blackett and could take the ball into the centre of the pitch to create chances.
What this game did show is that United have two English left backs with very different strengths. Luke Shaw is very strong on the attack, he’s able to: take the ball around the opposition, see overlap opportunities, burst into the box and play the ball into strikers well. Whereas Blackett is stronger when: on the back-foot, covering in defense, holding off wingers and distributing forward for others to do the attacking. United have a good old defensive fall back and a new age attacking one.
Unfortunately new signing Bastian Schweinsteiger didn’t have as greater impact in this friendly as he did in the first. A few of his passes went astray and his general work ethic gradually decreased as the half went on. He opted to sit in front of the defence instead of doing more attacking and chance creating. But this did serve a purpose as Evans couldn’t pass to anyone further than 3 meters away.
Evans, once again, wasn’t particularly inspiring. He would always choose to pass across the defence. Evans was lazy, when following his mark or being caught defending a counter attack he would be drawn out of position then wouldn’t work back, relying on Schweinsteiger or Blackett to cover. An example of this is in the 57th minute, when Evans dives into a challenge to put the ball out for a throw, he then becomes stagnant, just watching the ball and marking no one as the ball gets thrown back into his position in the box. Luckily Blackett anticipated the play and covered well. He had a couple of good moments, blocking and intercepting, but these were overshadowed by his lazy performance.
United Best XI of the Day 4-2-3-1
Memphis Depay / Andreas Pereira (Both played equally well)