Schneiderlin scores as United launch tour with win
Manchester United new signing Morgan Schneiderlin scored a debut goal as the English Premier League giants launched their four-match US tour with a 1-0 victory over Club America of Mexico Friday.
French international Schneiderlin, who sealed a reported $39 million move to Old Trafford from Southampton earlier this month, steered home a fifth-minute header to secure the win at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was satisfied after a testing first run-out for his new-look squad.
“All the players did the functions that they have to do in our philosophy, so I’m happy and satisfied that we won,” van Gaal said afterward.
The fact that United had kept a clean sheet was also cause for satisfaction, van Gaal added.
“I wanted to see our defensive organization. That was the main aspect, that we don’t give any goals away, and they had only one or two chances so I am satisfied about that,” the former Netherlands manager added.
“We played a team that was very handy with the ball, their players were quick and very aggressive so it was not so easy.”
Van Gaal fielded three of United’s recent summer signings in a 4-2-3-1 starting line-up, with Schneiderlin anchoring the midfield alongside Michael Carrick.
Van Gaal believes Schneiderlin’s physical presence and eye for goal could prove useful for United in the campaign ahead.
“He scored five goals for Southampton,” van Gaal said.
“We have practiced this with him. I was very pleased with the performance.”
Italian international Matteo Darmian slotted in at right back while Dutch attacker Memphis Depay was deployed in the center of an attacking trio flanked by Ashley Young and Juan Mata.
Captain Wayne Rooney spearheaded the attack at the tip of a balanced-looking United side that was rarely troubled by their Mexican opponents.
– United on top –
United’s opener came after only five minutes when Schneiderlin leaped at the far post to meet Mata’s cross with a looping header which sailed over the head of America goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez for 1-0.
United dominated for the remainder of the half, with Mata going close to doubling the lead shortly after the United opener only to see his shot from Young’s cutback saved.
United were lucky to survive strong claims for a penalty midway through the half however when Daley Blind, playing in central defense alongside Phil Jones, brought down Miguel Samudio for what looked like a cast iron spot-kick.
United continued to create the better openings, and Depay spurned a golden opportunity on 37 minutes, electing to shoot on the edge of the area instead of passing to an unmarked Young.
Depay’s shot was blocked. Rooney also went close six minutes before the break, shooting just wide after another United break out.
Van Gaal rang the changes at half-time, fielding an entirely new XI for the second half and handing a debut to Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Brazilian youngster Andreas Pereira delivered an eye-catching cameo, almost doubling the lead with an angled shot that went just wide and providing a teasing cross for Adnan Januzaj that the Belgian international narrowly failed to convert.
United now move onto California where they will play San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday before facing Barcelona on July 25.
They finish their International Champions Cup campaign against Paris Saint-Germain in Chicago on July 29.
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