LA Galaxy 2-5 Manchester United: Marcus Rashford scored twice as Jose Mourinho’s side opened pre-season with victory
Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 5-2 victory over LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center.
United, who started with new signings Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof on the bench, raced into a three goal first-half lead thanks to Rashford (2, 20) and Marouane Fellaini (26).
Both Lukaku and Lindelof made their first appearance in a United shirt after the break as Jose Mourinho changed his whole team and they extended their lead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan (67) and Anthony Martial (72).
Giovani dos Santos grabbed two consolation strikes (79, 88) as the hosts finished the game on a high but Mourinho will be satisfied with a workout that allowed him to field two different outfield line-ups and give valuable minutes to most of his squad.
Jose Mourinho, who started with a 3-5-2 formation, picked a strong starting side, featuring the likes of David de Gea, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford. Meanwhile, new boys Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof started on the bench, but came on for the second-half to make their United debuts. LA Galaxy left some of their star names on the bench, including Ashley Cole and Giovani dos Santos.
United flew out of the blocks, taking the lead in the second minute of the match.
Jesse Lingard won the ball from Nathan Smith high up the pitch, poking it forward to Rashford in the penalty area and the England striker made no mistake, sliding a low effort past Jon Kempin and into the bottom corner.
The lead was doubled in the 20th minute and the goal came from more excellent pressing. This time Ander Herrera won the ball in LA Galaxy’s half before slipping the ball to Mata. In turn, the Spaniard picked out Rashford, who produced another cool finish to add his second of the night.
Six minutes later and United had three. Lingard combined with Herrera through a lovely one-two and the former pulled the ball back for Fellaini, who fired home from just inside the penalty area.
United thought they had a fourth in the 42nd minute but Chris Smalling was ruled offside after tapping home from close range, while Rashford would have entered the half-time interval with the match ball secure had he not wasted a one-on-one.
As promised, Mourinho made 11 changes at the break with Lukaku and Lindelof introduced alongside Paul Pogba, Martial and Mkhitaryan.
Lukaku almost made the perfect start to his United career but Brian Rowe produced a smart save to deny the Belgium international.
Galaxy’s half-time changes strengthened them markedly, with Ashley Cole among those brought on – a change which was greeted by a chorus of boos from the United supporters.
However, United again began to turn the screw midway through the second-half and Mkhitaryan swept home a Martial pass in the 67th minute.
It was five soon after as Pogba played an inch-perfect ball to Timothy Fosu-Mensah, whose cutback was turned home by Martial.
The only blemish for United was the two late goals conceded with Dos Santos cutting all too easily past Lindelof for the first before a fortunate deflection saw him grab a second.
But all in all Mourinho will be pleased with the victory as United’s pre-season tour got off to a straightforward start.
Man of the Match – Marcus Rashford
Lukaku’s arrival at Old Trafford could mean less game time for Rashford, but the England striker certainly laid down a marker with his performance against LA Galaxy.
The England striker showed excellent composure in front of goal to score two goals and could have had a third just before the break when denied by a smart save by Kempin.
The 19-year-old was a constant threat in behind for United with his pace and took up some very promising positions, putting in a performance which will certainly give Mourinho plenty to think about.
It’s a quick turnaround for United, who face Real Salt Lake at the Rio Tinto Stadium in the early hours of Tuesday morning (3am BST). Mourinho’s squad then head to Houston and NRG Stadium for the ICC Champions Cup where they will take on Manchester City (July 21 – 3am BST) in the first Manchester derby to be played outside the UK before facing Real Madrid at Levi’s Stadium on July 23 at 10pm BST.
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