Manchester United were in control as they recorded their first victory in the 2019 International Champions Cup over Inter Milan at the Singapore National Stadium on July 20. The score reflected 1-0 in favour of the Red Devils however the statistics gave a fairer comparison to how the match played out.
With 60.5% of the possession, United gave Inter not many chances at goal. The Italians only managed eight shots on target whereas the English side took 21 shots. The high pressing and intensive closing down approach which United adopted seemed to have taken the Italians off guard and they found it hard to cope with as the match dragged on.
Here’s what United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to say after the match.
On Mason Greenwood: The kid is only 17, and he’s learning every day, training every day with these boys. He’s been with us for the past three months and has grown in confidence and stature. When you’ve got players who are performing, it’s difficult to keep him out. But we need to keep ourselves grounded with him, he’s only 17 and he’s enjoying his football.
He’s never been on my mind to send out on loan, we have to keep him and play him when we feel it’s good for him. He reminds me a little of Giggs, you can’t really send him on loan and he’s ready to be in this squad.
Thoughts: Greenwood for good! A very talented lad with a strong left foot. Keep him in, grow and groom him to own that flank.
On Axel Tuanzebe: He’s got a future at Man United. Today was a test for him, and he has shown today that he is very capable at this level. He’s the future of the club.
Thoughts: Together with Lindelof, Bailly, Bissaka, Shaw, Dalot and Fosu-Mensah, they should be the first team defenders. The likes of Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Young and Darmian can be back-up or sold.
On Aaron Wan-Bissaka: We’re building the team, he did really well today. Hard to go past him and he’s getting forward as well. I’m very pleased with him and the team’s performance. You see the confidence grow in him, he’s been here two weeks. He’s already made an impact on the squad and the supporters, but he still has much to learn. He’s only 21 but he’s got a great chance to have a long and good career.
Thoughts: Spider-Man theme song playing in my head when I watch him tackle.
On the playing style: Couple of our players took a few tackles, but we are here to prepare for the season and you want competitive games. The mindset was really good, pressing on the front foot when we can, high energy, intensity. We could have had two or three more goals to be fair.
We’re getting better at this playing style, we’re working on the intensity in training. We’ve got players who like to press like Jesse, I don’t know how many times he won the ball for us today. Marcus as well is very good at it, Anthony is also working hard and winning a few balls. It’s been very encouraging and that’s the way we hope to continue.
Thoughts: Love the new high press, high-intensity playing style. They need to ensure that they don’t suffer from burn out as it physically demanding to maintain over 90 minutes, let alone a full season.
On Romelu Lukaku: He hasn’t managed to train for a week and has missed three games. He’ll be concerned, and he’s working to get back on the pitch. Let’s see how long that takes, his ankle. We’ve done really well without him, but of course, we all know he’s one of the top strikers in the world. We’ve played a different way maybe, as a coach you adapt with the players that are available.
Thoughts: Just sell him to Inter already, Sanchez can be the new forward. United doesn’t need a target man, Beckham isn’t crossing from the wings any more. How about a clinical forward who can dribble, create play, score goals and control the ball with his first touch.
On Ashley Young: He’s a top professional who gives everything, his delivery today ended up with a goal. We want fans to support our players, he’s been a very loyal servant to the club for many years and he’ll keep on performing when he plays. I’ll have a chat with him, but I don’t think he’ll be affected.
Thoughts: His time at United is over, he’s on borrowed time now – but! It is extremely disrespectful to boo a player live when he is representing your club. It does nothing to create a positive atmosphere for the team, and it shows the fan’s lack of class.
On transfer news: You want to have your team settled as early as possible, whoever is available we work with them to get them performing. And let’s see who’s here in August.
Thoughts: We need a strong central defender who can lead the line and guide the younger players at the back.
On the atmosphere: Today was Old Trafford for sure! We felt like we were at home, and the supporters have been amazing yesterday at training and here today. It was unbelievable.
Manchester United will go on to play Tottenham Hotspur on July 25 at the Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai and AC Milan on August 4 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
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