Manchester United continued their fine pre-season form last night against Inter Milan with a narrow 1-0 win. However, the margin of victory could have been much greater if United's forwards had displayed a better final ball, with many fine chances going to waste on the night.
In what was a quiet first half, United dominated the ball without really threatening Samir Handanovic in the Inter goal.
The first chance of note came in the 36th minute, when Victor Lindelof brought the ball up the field with a powerful surging run, before putting new signing Daniel James through on goal. The youngster showed his inexperience, as a lack of composure saw him blast a wild shot wide when it would have been easier to pick out the bottom corner.
Inter responded by pushing higher up the pitch aggressively, and won a quick succession of corners, going close twice without really troubling David de Gea in the United goal.
Five minutes after James missed his chance, it was Anthony Martial's turn to find himself one-on-one with Handanovic. The Frenchman tried a cheeky chip which the Inter goalkeeper read well, and another golden opportunity was wasted.
The second half began at a furious pace, and in the 49th minute, it seemed like Jesse Lingard had scored with Handanovic stranded, only for an alert Inter defence to clear the ball off the line.
A minute later, captain Nemanja Matic saw his header off a fine Marcus Rashford cross rebound off the post, as Inter scrambled it clear once again
Paul Pogba showed why United made him the most expensive player in the world a few years ago, skipping past several players with some nifty footwork and outrageous skill, before unleashing a shot that Handanovic just managed to parry away.
At the other end, the United defence had to be alert, as Aaron Wan-Bissaka hacked the ball off the line following a good header by Danilo D'Ambrosio with de Gea caught out of position.
The breakthrough for United finally came in the 75th minute. Ashley Young, who was unfairly booed on the night by United fans, took a wicked free kick that Handanovic could only parry straight to Mason Greenwood.
Showing remarkable composure for a 17-year-old, Greenwood brought the ball down and skipped past one challenge before rifling the ball home.
Greenwood could have added to his tally, but this time he saw his attempt cannon off the crossbar following some good work down the left hand side by fellow substitute Tahith Chong.
The game ended 1-0 to United, but it could have been more, and United will need to work on their finishing lest it costs them as the season progresses. Not many teams will be as forgiving as Inter, who were disappointing and struggled to get out of their own half. If United don't start taking their chances, it is certain that they will be punished by more clinical opponents in the near future.