The long wait to watch football again was finally over for Manchester United fans today. The Red Devils romped to a 5-2 victory over their American opposition in the form of LA Galaxy at the StubHub Centre in Los Angeles. The victory signalled a positive start to the Tour 2017 as Jose Mourinho looks to assess his options before the start of the Premier League season.
The United boss stated before the game that he will be fielding two different elevens in both halves, which is what he did in the end. Marcus Rashford grabbed an early brace before Marouane Fellaini sunk Galaxy hearts by scoring the third with less than 30 minutes gone.
The second half was a bit more difficult for United's attackers, however, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's goals capped off a good day's work in Los Angeles for Mourinho's men.
United a class apart in the first half
United's team in the first half resembled more or less a side that you would expect to see starting in a Premier League game.Rashford leading the line and behind him, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard for creative support, those three caused constant problems for the inexperienced side that Curt Onoflo sent out for the first half.
Galaxy's troubles in the MLS looked like they were mentally affecting the players and United's attackers took no time in taking advantage of any slip-ups, with Rashford scoring just two minutes after kick-off, set up by his best mate on and off the pitch, Jesse Lingard.
The young Englishman didn't waste any time before getting his second goal of the game, the experienced Mata slid in a clever little through ball in behind the defence, and Rashford clinically put the ball in the back of the net.
Before you could even catch your breath and relax, Fellaini decided to get in on the action as well, Lingard once again the provider, he sent in a cross off the edge of the penalty box, and the big Belgian slotted the ball into the back of the net to add to Galaxy's misery.
Chris Smalling had a goal disallowed for off-side and Rashford missed his chance to get a hat-trick as the Red Devils bossed the first half and never looked like they had been away from the pitch for two months.
Second half produced brilliant counters from United
Mourinho rang the changes for the second half, giving chances to youngsters as well as giving debuts to the new signings Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian striker partnered up top with Martial and Lindelof slotted in at centre half alongside Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe as Mourinho tweaked his tactics to give his attackers complete freedom. That freedom was evident in Mkhitaryan's performance throughout the second half.
Although Lukaku failed to score in his first 45 minutes in a United shirt, he struck up quite the partnership with Martial, the Frenchman was giving him good support off the ball and their early chemistry is a positive sign for the upcoming season.
Onoflo decided to throw in some of his more experienced players for the second half which gave United lesser space to work with in the final third, which made it difficult to score in the manner that they did in the first half.
Andreas Pereira's performance deserves a mention as well, the young Brazilian sat in front of the defence and was very calm in possession and never looked out of place. Pereira's good work in midfield allowed Paul Pogba to be the catalyst for United's attacks and Mkhitaryan to be the ball-carrier for the counter-attacking opportunities.
Lindelof had a chance to score his first United goal when the ball fell to him from a corner, however, he slashed his volley high and wide. Despite that, the Swede who joined United from SL Benfica, was very impressive on and off the ball with his defensive duties.
Mkhitaryan and Martial impress with goals
Mkhitaryan put the result beyond doubt when he scored just past the hour mark, he was sent through by Martial and made no mistake in slotting the ball past Brian Rowe in goal, to make it 4-0 to the visitors.
A few minutes later, Martial got the reward for all his hardwork. A brilliant cross-field pass from Pogba found Timothy Fosu-Mensah with acres of space down the right, he squared the ball to Martial who oozed class with his near-post finish to make it 5-0 to his team.
Joel Pereira failed to keep the clean sheet he would've liked to, as the Red Devils defence was carved open on two occasions, both coming from late corners as Dos Santos took advantage of a lapse and made it 5-1 before David Romney scored another late goal, heading in a corner from Romain Alessandrini to make it 5-2 and that was that.
United take on Real Salt Lake in two days time at the Rio Tinto Stadium, in Sandy, Utah, as they look to make it two wins out of two on their Tour 2017 of the United States.