Manchester United have played the second game of their pre-season schedule.
United lost 4-2 to Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on the same day Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed a new contract.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the game, and you can also watch United’s goals…
United might be short at left-back
Before kick off, Solskjaer confirmed that Alex Telles has suffered an injury blow.
The Brazilian will be out for a ‘few weeks’, which means he could be out for the remainder of pre-season.
Brandon Williams is now United’s only fit left-back. Luke Shaw apparently played with broken ribs at Euro 2020.
We don’t know quite how bad that injury is because he hasn’t been examined by United’s medical staff yet.
But it might be that Solskjaer goes into the season with just Williams as an option at left-back.
Considering he’s reportedly been planning to loan the Englishman out this summer, that’s not ideal.
Lingard produces lively display
Solskjaer said after the game at Derby that Jesse Lingard wanted to stay and fight for his place at United.
The England international started here in the number ten position as the starting XI took on a more experienced look.
Lingard wasted no time in making his mark on the game, finishing off a smart move to open the scoring within three minutes.
He buzzed about throughout the game, constantly finding space and knitting United’s attacks together.
Lingard played like a man fighting for his place.
Elanga’s direct running posed a threat
Anthony Elanga was one of four half-time substitutes introduced by Solskjaer.
Almost instantly, Elanga was through on goal thanks to his pace on the counter attack after United defended a corner.
Unfortunately, he took a heavy touch and the chance was lost. Minutes later, he burst through again but was flagged offside.
On second look, that looked a harsh call.
At 3-1, his running in behind produced another chance but Elanga’s shot was saved.
It was an impressive substitute appearance and the goal he scored actually came from the hardest of the openings he had.
Elanga showed impressive control and composure as defenders closed in to finish from the edge of the box and bring the score back to 4-2.
He almost set up Joe Hugill to make it 4-3 just before full-time but he just put a little bit too much on his cross.
This was a step up
Last week’s game against Derby was played at a sedate pace on a boiling hot day.
It was clear from the off that this game would have more edge. There was a great atmosphere in the ground generated by both sets of fans.
QPR look further ahead in their fitness preparations than United and they stopped Tom Heaton and his backline playing out from the back on many occasions in the first half.
The likes of Lyndon Dykes and Charlie Austin are awkward customers and they were backed up by a home midfield full of energy and skill.
No pre-season result really matters. The aim here was to get the players fit, and assess them closely.
But this was a sterner test as the intensity of United’s pre-season went up a notch.
Tough afternoon for United’s young players
One bad result in pre-season won’t define the United careers of the talented youngsters Solskjaer put out here.
But letting in four against a team from the league below in front of a baying home crowd isn’t a pleasant experience.
Solskjaer will want to see his youngsters show character to not let this affect them. In fairness, United raised their game at 4-1 down and could have pulled the game back.
But this was a tough afternoon and Solskjaer will be looking to see how his players respond, especially the less experienced ones.
Manchester United pre-season fixtures 2021
- Derby County (away)
Sunday July 18, 1pm
- QPR (away)
Saturday July 24, 3pm
- Brentford (home)
Wednesday July 28, 8pm
- Preston North End (away)
Saturday July 31, 2pm
- Everton (home)
Saturday August 7, 12.45pm
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