Monday 6 August 2018

Pre season: Bayern 1-0 United

United's final pre-season warm up ended in defeat as Javi Martinez scored the only goal for the German giants at the Allianz Arena. This was arguably our toughest work out so far, five days out from our all important Premier League opener against Leicester City. Marcus Rashford made his first appearance of pre-season, he notably wore the no.10, whilst Victor Lindelof made a first start since the World Cup alongside Eric Bailly. The Reds have previously faced Club Ameria, San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in the USA. This trip to Bavaria proved another test in hot and humid conditions against one of European football's genuine heavyweights.
Opposite numbers David de Gea and Manuel Neuer - wid
ely considered as the two best stoppers on the planet - came into direct opposition, and it was our no.1 who was called upon early as he saved well from Spanish compatriot Thiago Alcantara, before he then quickly denied ex Arsenal youth player Serge Gnabry with a smart low stop.
In keeping with the searing temperatures that have continued to soar across the continent, it was the hosts who continued to turn up the heat, and the Bundesliga champions went close again through Martinez, who fired wide, and Niklas Sule was denied again by the increasingly busy DDG.
Gnabry flashed a shot across goal, before Jose Mourinho was forced into a change when Bailly's injuy jinx seemingly struck again when he was forced off and replaced by Chris Smalling.

The deadlock was broken just shy of the hour mark when Martinez headed home a Leon Goretzka corner from close range. After  a flurry of changes, the tempo of the high-profile friendly dropped thereafter as thoughts turned to the beginning of the competitive season, Jose used every available substitute for an increasingly youthful looking United, apart from 16 year old striker Mason Greenwood.
Andreas Pereira fired over the bar, substitute Kingsley Coman went close at the other end, and Bayern thought they had doubled their lead through Robben, who had a second goal chalked out for offside having slotted beyond Lee Grant.
That proved to be the last meaningful action of the tie, and although the defeat was dissapointing, it's irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and a good work out against strong opposition will only benefit the Reds ahead of the most important match to come - Friday and Leicester at Old Trafford.

United: De Gea (Grant 79); Darmian (Jones 65), Bailly (Smalling 46), Lindelof (Tuanzebe 79), Shaw (Mitchell 79); Fred (Chong 79), A Pereira, Herrera (Garner 81); Mata (McTominay 65), Alexis Sanchez, Rashford (Fosu - Mensah 65). 

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