Manchester United opened preseason with a 2-0 win against Leeds this evening in Norway, thanks to Joe Hugill and Noam Emeran.
Manchester United waited until the second half to open the scoring as the much perceived ‘first XI’ struggled to score against the defensive Leeds side.
In the second half an entirely new eleven would play, all of which considered youth prospects and they impressed with their chance.
Noam Emeran opened the scoring after he latched onto Isak Hansen-Aarøen’s through ball to make it 1-0.
Joe Hugill then doubled the lead with a wonderful strikers goal, showcasing his clinical nature to beat the Leeds goalkeeper.
Here are five things we learned…
Kobbie Mainoo is ready
One player who has been tipped to have a huge future at the club this coming season is 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo. He proved a lot of people right as well as he played Leeds off the park with a series of silky dribbles, technical touches and movements along with a wonderful range of passing.
He looks as though he has been in the first-team for years and undoubtedly deserves to be involved this season since he is destined to go all the way to the top. One of the best talents to come from Carrington in recent memory, he is ready.
Lisandro Martinez is back
Lisandro Martinez was sorely missed toward the back end of last season, as he recovered from his fifth metatarsal injury sustained against Sevilla in the Europa League. Playing his first game in nearly three months, Martinez didn’t miss a beat, winning tackles and making team splitting passes through the lines. It is good to have Licha back.
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Thought the game he was giving talks to the youngsters and showing himself to be a true leader within this squad, he is after all a future captain.
The youth impresses
In a game which we knew the youth would get a substantial amount of time in, they took every opportunity given to them. The senior players in all honestly didn’t do a lot in an attacking sense, it was rather the youngsters who will have left an impression on Ten Hag.
Noam Emeran will have left a particularly impactful moment in the managers mind, with a wonderfully taken finish to put United 1-0 up, assisted by another youngster Isak Hansen-Aarøen. While Joe Hugill added the second.
A striker is needed
While only preseason and not all the players being back available, a false nine isn’t the way to go for Erik ten Hag. United struggled in the first half, despite dominating to have many clear-cut chances due to a lack of box presence. Jadon Sancho is more of a creative force than a goalscorer and was found out wide more often than not, which left Amad Diallo with little options but to cut in and shoot himself.
Obviously once Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial are back, they can slot in and would provide some threat in the box, but a false nine isn’t the way to go.
A solid outing
Ultimately United’s 2-0 win over Leeds was a solid performance and was a good day out for the players to get a feel for football again and to get some all-important minutes in the legs. The lads will now head back to Carrington for another week of training before facing Lyon in Edinburgh next Wednesday.
Ten Hag will be hopeful that by the time that game comes around, he will have acquired some new signings.