Jose Mourinho and the Manchester United players will now direct their full attention towards the start of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, following the final pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday night.
Marcus Rashford made his first appearance of the pre-season campaign, after cutting short his summer holiday, and the Academy graduate notably wore the no.10 shirt for the first time. Victor Lindelof also made a maiden start since the World Cup, at centre-back alongside Eric Bailly.
The game in Munich provided a rare opportunity to watch the world’s best goalkeepers, Manuel Neuer and David De Gea, on the same pitch together, for the first time in club football since those 2014 Champions League quarter-final ties.
Our no.1 was the first of the great goalkeepers called into action when dropping low to save a wicked shot from his fellow Spain international Thiago Alcantara, before registering another fine save to deny Serge Gnabry - who had started ahead of Bayern’s star striker Robert Lewandowski.
There was a much-needed water break on 30 minutes due to the extreme humidity in Munich, where temperatures had soared as part of the intense heatwave that is sweeping through Europe.
Bayern attempted to turn up the heat even further late in the half, but their two efforts at goal via Martinez and Niklas Sule were both comfortably saved by the man in orange, De Gea.
Soon after, Bailly was forced off with an injury and replaced at centre-back by Chris Smalling, possibly providing the manager with a selection headache before Leicester’s visit to Old Trafford.
The deadlock was broken on 59 minutes when Martinez rose highest inside the penalty area to nod home from a corner, sending the colourful Allianz Arena into raptures. The venue was obviously packed with Bayern supporters, but our travelling fans remained vocal in the away end and were soon heard singing ‘Stand up for the Busby Babes’ in a nod to the Munich Air Disaster.
Mourinho made three changes straight after the goal by introducing Scott McTominay, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Phil Jones, with the latter making his first appearance since the World Cup in Russia. A second drinks break of the match followed, on 70 minutes, allowing for the taxing conditions.
The tempo of the prestigious friendly dropped thereafter and both managers made multiple substitutions, perhaps with eyes on more competitive and important matches to come. Jose used every replacement available to him, except 16-year-old prospect Mason Greenwood.
Bayern thought they had doubled their lead on 87 minutes when ex-Chelsea winger Arjen Robben struck past Lee Grant, but the linesman’s flag ruled it offside in the last meaningful action of the game. While the defeat was, of course, disappointing, a work-out against top-quality opposition will surely benefit the Reds ahead of the most important match to come – Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Bayern: Neuer, Kimmich (Rudy 73), Sule, Hummels (Boateng 46), Alaba (Bernat 56), Martinez, Thiago (Rafinha 60), Robben, Muller (Lewandowski 46), Ribery (Goretzka 46), Gnabry (Coman 60).
Subs not used: Zylla, Hoffmann, Ulreich, Mai, Coman, Franzke, Ferreira de Souza.
United: De Gea (Grant 79), Darmian (Jones 65), Bailly (Smalling 46), Lindelof (Tuanzebe 79), Shaw (Mitchell 79), Fred (Chong 79), A. Pereira, Herrera (Garner (81), Mata (McTominay 65), Alexis, Rashford (Fosu-Mensah 65).
Sub not used: Greenwood.
Reds beaten in Bavaria Gallery
The best images from the Reds' final pre-season outing at the Allianz Arena.