Gomes: How our pressing practice paid off
Angel Gomes feels a fortnight of hard work on the training pitch was evident in Manchester United's Tour 2019 win over Perth Glory on Saturday.
The attacking midfielder watched from the bench in the first half as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's starting eleven took the game to the Australian side and penned them back, albeit without finding a breakthrough.
Gomes then entered the fray as one of 11 half-time substitutes but although the team was entirely changed, the approach remained the same.
“Everything that you saw in the game is what we’ve been practising,” said the 18-year-old.
“We've been working hard, trying to get the front-foot press and trying to create and score as many goals as possible.We've got very quick, direct and pacy players and we tried to press, stay high, get everyone locked up. We did that so we could create more chances, win the ball up higher and try to dominate the game.
The persistence in high areas of the pitch eventually paid dividends with two fine goals scored by Gomes's fellow Academy graduates, Marcus Rashford and James Garner.
“It was typical Marcus,” opined Angel, reflecting on the 60th-minute opener.
“He’s lethal anywhere around the box and he took his chance. I’m happy for him to get the goal.”
Garner's great moment came just after he'd replaced Luke Shaw for the final five minutes, as he strode forward to collect a misplaced Perth pass and rifle a long-range shot into the bottom right-hand corner.
“We've been going on at him about scoring more from outside the box, so we won’t hear the end of it now!” quipped Gomes.
“Before the game we were speaking about what we'd do [as a celebration] if any of us, the younger lads, scored. He didn’t go off and celebrate - I told him to - but he’s very happy and all of the lads are buzzing for him.”
“I enjoy playing out wide as I get to come inside, and I get to rotate with players like Juan [Mata]. But I don't mind playing anywhere on the pitch as long as it's for the club.”
Daniel James impressed in a similar position in the first 45 minutes and Gomes endorsed the new signing's contributions on and off the pitch.
“As you’ve seen, he’s got a lot of pace but he’s also smart – he knows when to go one v one,”assessed Angel.
“He’s a very good lad, he gets on well with the boys and we’re happy he's here.”
“Everyone is feeling good and everyone is firing,”he added.
“I'm just looking forward to each game now.”
All of United's five remaining pre-season fixtures - against Leeds United, Inter Milan, Spurs, Kristiansund and AC Milan - will be shown live on MUTV.