In front of a packed crowd at StubHub Center, Manchester United graced the pitch of Carson, CA with all their stars to knock five goals past the five-time MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy. A brace from Marcus Rashford, Marouane Fellaini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial were enough to please Jose Mourinho.
A sea of red coloured the stadium as Manchester United impressed in its first preseason game ahead of their upcoming Premier League season. Three years ago Man U throttled the Galaxy 7-0 at the Rose Bowl and Saturday night dominated again from the get-go in impressive fashion.
The LA Galaxy fielded a very young side in the first half with United immediately pouncing scoring within two minutes. By the 25th minute, the score was 3-0 in favour of the Old Trafford tenants. Jon Kempin denied Rashford’s hat trick with an impressive denial near halftime.
The game levelled a bit in the second period of play as Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo inserted his more experienced players. Los Angeles managed to score two late goals courtesy of Giovani dos Santos to salvage some level of respectability but Manchester United demonstrated its class in a meaningful exhibition.
“Obviously in the second half, they had players with some more experience and better quality. The team was more difficult to beat. Was better competition than in the first half. I think the 5-2 for us means exactly the same as a 2-5 for them. We really don’t care. The couch is the same smart guy the important match to win is on Wednesday against Vancouver. It was a good training session I thank him for that and I thank the Galaxy players for the competition they gave us.”
Man United fans got the chance to see their club’s star signing Romelu Lukaku as he entered in the second half alongside 2016’s world-record signing Paul Pogba. Both superstars started on the bench as Mourinho opted to mix and match his team.
The Belgium international almost debuted with a goal but was denied by Brian Rowe. In limited time, Lukaku synced well with his new teammates drawing praise from Mourinho.
“To compare Rooney and Lukaku is incomparable and Rooney for us was not a striker, Lukaku is more a target man with his back to the opponents. It’s a point of attack for everyone who has the ball in defensive lines, he’s really fast and a good thing for me today is he showed he’s a team player and was not worried about himself, he was worried about the improvement of the team.”
In Friday’s press conference, Mourinho mentioned his transfer dealings were 50% done and is hoping for at least one more signing. Nemanja Matic and Ivan Perisic have been heavily rumoured as targets but nothing has come to fruition yet.
Manchester United will continue its tour around the United States with their next destination is a tilt in Utah against Real Salt Lake. Other teams on their U.S. schedule include Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
*All quotes obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated