Manchester United vs Bayern Munich Match Analysis

Manchester United vs Bayern Munich Match Analysis
Source: The Guardian
This was Manchester United’s and Jose Mourinho’s last pre-season game ahead of the start of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign next week. Having previously faced Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in the United States. It’s safe to say we have had a mixed pre-season in terms of both results and performances. However, it has been a hugely beneficial one as our players have had a great opportunity to get fit and ready for the start of the season due to the competitiveness of many of our games. In addition, we have been able to give most of our new signings a run out with Lee Grant and Fred both picking up minutes on the tour, as well as the clubs most promising youngsters such as Hamilton, Gomes, Chong, Mitchell and Greenwood who all picked up minutes and tons of experience from their time with the first team on the tour.
This final preparation game before the season, was played against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, where we faced a strong Munich team. Our team was mostly unchanged from previous friendlies with the only significant changes being a return for Victor Lindelöf and Marcus Rashford who both joined up with the squad earlier in the week following their extended holiday. The game also saw a change in formation as United used a more familiar 4-3-3 instead of the 5-3-2 that we saw last time out against Real Madrid. The team sheet also saw a surprise captaincy as we saw Alexis Sánchez given his first game as Manchester United captain.
As well as this being Marcus Rashford’s return to the squad and first game back after the World Cup, it was a hugely significant one for the United academy graduate. This was because he was given the famous Manchester United number 10 shirt. I saw many fans having mixed reactions following the announcement but, in my opinion, this is a well-deserved move of Rashford who can hopefully kick on this season with this famous shirt being the catalyst for that.

Manchester United XI: David De Gea, Matteo Darmain, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelöf, Luke Shaw, Fred, Ander Herrera, Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, Alexis Sánchez (c), Marcus Rashford

Bayern Munich XI: Manuel Neuer (c), Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels, David Alaba, Javi Martínez, Thiago, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller, Franck Ribéry, Serge Gnabry (c)

In terms of the game it was a good run out of Man United even if the performance wasn’t overly impressive. Mourinho went into this game not wanting to be embarrassed and have players confidence knocked, before the start of the season against Leicester next week, this resulting in Manchester United being very defensively minded using a deep block with the plan of counter attacking Munich once we gain possession. This game plan didn’t fully end up working as United just couldn’t get on the ball enough as we were thoroughly dominated by the best team on the night. Bayern Munich’s only goal came from Javi Martínez who popped up in the box and headed home a winner in the second half.

It’s easy to pick out the negatives with a performance and result like this. But we have to remember that this is only pre-season, and everyone is still trying to get up to full fitness, so the performances are never going to be 100%. That being said there are definitely questions that have come up as a result of this game. First off, it seems that we see the best of Alexis Sánchez when he is through the middle, so I feel that instead of him playing off the left he should either be up front or just off the striker, so we can utilities his obvious talents. Secondly, it’s clear to see that we still need at least one new signing in the squad. Luke Shaw has had an ok pre-season but that left back position is still the weakest part of our team as we need width to be given from our fullbacks when we attack, and we just aren’t seeing that enough at the moment. Another position that I feel needs to be looked at is RW, Juan Mata played there in this game and though he’s a great player he’s just not a winger and as a result our attack down the right flank is significantly weaker than it should be.

It’s not all negatives though, as in this game we saw the centre back partnership of Bailly and Lindelöf. This partnership though seemingly looking like our best hasn’t been used too much since they signed. But it was clear from this game that this partnership has huge potential as both Bailly and Lindelöf had fantastic games at the back for Manchester United, you have to think that these two with De Gea in behind and maybe a new signing definitely sets us up well for the coming season.

Overall, this pre-season has had it’s ups and down but there is plenty to look forward to as a Manchester United fan. If Mourinho and his team can just tweak a few things here and there in our squad then I believe that we will be fully set for the challenge ahead this season.


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