Monday 23 July 2018

Tour 2018 match report: San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 United

United completed another pre-season run out with a second draw in as many Tour fixtures with MLS side San Jose Earthquakes in Santa Clara. In front of a sparse crowd, United - boosted by the delayed inclusion of returning Chilean Alexis Sanchez - fell flat as the tie petered out after a bright start.

Eric Bailly headed against the bar early on, before Antonio Valencia limped off with a knee injury three minutes later to be replaced by Matteo Darmian. With Diogo Dalot currently sidelined, wantaway Darmian - set to leave the club for Juventus - has been pressed into service as our only fit right-back despite his imminent departure.
 Alexis flashed a free-kick narrowly wide, but the Quakes - in the middle of their competitive season - started to come on strong. Joel Pereira saved well from Joel Qwiberg in the last action of the opening half.

A raft of changes inevitably followed at the break - with the Quakes changing their entire XI and Juan Mata, Timothy Fosu - Mensah, Lee Grant, Axel Tuanzebe and Scott McTominay all on for United. Georgian Vako Qazaishvili almost put Quakes ahead, but a lunging Fosu - Mensah brilliantly cleared off the line from the winger's strike from distance with Grant beaten.

Moments later, Grant was called into action as a free-kick from the same player was headed goalwards by Yefferson Quintana. At the other end, Alexis and Anthony Martial showed some neat link-up play but it came to nothing with neither man able to find the killer moment of quality to break the frustrating deadlock.
Grant was called into action again on 71 minutes with the save of the match, when he superbly tipped over the bar to deny substitute Tommy Thompson's dipping 25 yarder. From the resultant corner, Quintana headed against the bar and Eric Calvillo lashed a shot wide from close range moments later.

Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood and Demetri Mitchell joined the fray late on, as Mourinho gave further run outs to younger squad members, but proceedings ended all square in Santa Clara. From here, United will face AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup, representing a step up in quality as a more competitive element to our pre-season preparations.

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