Perth Glory vs Manchester United Match Analysis

Image taken from the Evening Standard

Today was the day United got their pre-season underway over in Australia. Fresh from a much needed summer break, United were looking to erase the memory of a disappointing 2018/19 season by putting down a marker against Australian A-League side Perth Glory.
Ole will have been keen to use this game to get minutes in to the legs of all of the players in the squad and to build up their fitness ahead of the games coming up against better opposition as we approach the new season. The United manager decided the best way to do this was to field one team in the first half and a different team 11 for the second half.

First half XI: Romero, Dalot, Tuanzebe, Jones, Young; Andreas, Matic, Chong; Lingard, James, Martial 

Second half XI: Pereira, Wan-Bissaka, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba, Mata; Gomes, Greenwood, Rashford

United started the game brightly, looking to press their opposition high up the pitch and when in possession moving the ball quickly, especially in the wide areas. New signing Daniel James, who started on the left was seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages. He looked threatening every time he was in possession, making things happen down United’s left and providing good delivery in to the box.

As the first half developed it became apparent that Perth Glory were not going to show any attacking threat, instead whenever United were in possession the Australian team were getting everyone behind the ball which was frustrating The Reds attackers in the final third. United enjoyed all of the ball in the first half with the home team struggling to get out of their own half due to being sloppy in possession and good work from United’s back four, in particular Axel Tuanzebe who put in an impressive performance at the heart of the defence. 

The first half ended 0.0 with Solskjaer’s men frustrated for large parts and unable to create many clear cut chances. A shot from Anthony Martial and a free kick from Ashley Young both hitting the side netting were as close as United came to scoring in the first 45 minutes. There was a lot of energy about their play both in and out of possession which will no doubt please the manager. However United still looked like they lacked a creative spark in the final third during the first half, something Solskjaer will no doubt want to address before the season starts.

A second half 11 that included the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba took to the field and it was the two of them who combined to break the deadlock around the hour mark. Rashford was able to get on the end of Pogba’s flick to turn and hit an instinctive volley in to the bottom corner of the net. United who looked a much more dangerous prospect with creative players like Juan Mata, Pogba and Angel Gomes on the pitch started to work the Perth Glory goalkeepers more. Immediately after the goal Mason Greenwood had the opportunity to double the lead, finding himself one on one with the keeper but unfortunately dragging his shot wide. On 85 minutes United doubled their lead through an unlikely source. James Garner who had only just come on for the injured Luke Shaw capitalised on an umpteenth misplaced pass from The Glory to hit a well placed strike from 20 yards, in to the same bottom corner Rashford found for the first. It would have been three if it had not been for the post which denied an impressive Mason Greenwood his first senior team goal.

Ole will have been pleased to have seen his team build up their match fitness with some minutes under their belts. There may be some concerns over the fitness of Luke Shaw after being forced off with what looked like an hamstring injury, but all in all the team will be happy to get the win and will hope to use this game has a springboard for even better performance against Leeds United next time out on Wednesday.


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