Manchester United completed the Australian leg of their pre-season tour with a 4-0 win over arch-rivals Leeds United at the Optus Stadium. This was their second match of the pre-season tour, with the first match against Perth Glory, whom they defeated 2-0 last Saturday.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could take a few positives from the first two matches of the pre-season tour, despite the priority being the fitness of the players. Let’s take a look at the 3 positives from Manchester United’s two pre-season games.
Manchester United’s young forwards
In both matches, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku did not take part and was not even part of the squad. The former Everton striker has been linked with a move to Inter Milan, which has resulted in Solskjaer playing Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as the main strikers. Rashford was impressive in both games, scoring against Perth and Leeds, while 17-year-old Mason Greenwood scored his first senior goal as well.
Manchester United’s young forwards showed drive and energy, and although it would be too early for Red Devils fans to get excited as they were pre-season games against much weaker opposition when compared to Premier League sides, it is a good sign to see all of them linking up well, including new signing Daniel James.
New signings impress
James impressed in his very first game for United against Perth Glory, with his direct running causing trouble. In the second game against Leeds, one run of play showcased his impressive speed when he linked up with Rashford in a counter-attacking situation, only to hit the woodwork.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United’s other signing of the summer, also put on a solid showing for the Red Devils. He showed great energy to run up and down the flanks, while also being stubborn in defence and making key tackles. The two youngsters seem to have bedded in well with the team.
Midfield coming together well
The talk before the tour was Paul Pogba’s future, with reports suggesting that he was interested in a move away from Old Trafford. Those rumours seem to have died down over the last week or so. The United midfield, with Pogba and McTominay in the centre of the park in the second game, bossed and dominated possession, with the Frenchman playing in a much more deeper role. Juan Mata’s quick passing ahead of them was also impressive, much like the Mata of old.
In the second half of the game against Leeds, Andreas Pereira was on the ball plenty of times and always seemed to want to play it ahead. If Manchester United add a very good midfielder, like Bruno Fernandes, the tide may turn in Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s favour ahead of a crucial season.