What we learned during our win over Kristiansund
A stoppage-time penalty from Juan Mata made it five wins from five for Manchester United in pre-season as we beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hometown club Kristiansund 1-0 at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.
With AC Milan up next on Saturday before we start our Premier League season the following weekend, here's what we learned going forward from tonight's game:
DOMINANCE IN ALL BUT SCORELINE
United dominated throughout and were denied multiple times by some excellent goalkeeping. Although arguably the best chance fell to Kristiansund early in the second half, 10 of the Reds’ 32 shots were on target. Marcus Rashford's effort from a free-kick stung the palms of Sean McDermott in the first half; our no.10 then tested half-time substitute Mor Mbaye, who pulled off a brilliant save to prevent the ball from nestling in the top-corner.
Praised for his physicality and maturity of performance in the 2-1 win against Tottenham in Shanghai, Scott McTominay impressed again. This time his presence going forward was notable and on another day he may well have had a hat-trick. His first effort just outside the area was well hit but just over Sean McDermott’s bar. The Scot’s second shot whistled just past the post from an acute angle and his third hit the woodwork. It was a box-to-box performance, though, with the Academy graduate often dropping back to pick up possession and help in defence.
FRONT FOUR FREEDOM
The starting front four of Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Daniel James played with freedom throughout the first half, using their electrifying pace to get in behind the Kristiansund defence. Though none could find a finish this time around, the fluidity of their movement and the rapidity with which they can attack will be an exciting prospect to behold this season.
Though neither had a great deal to do defensively in the first half, both Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka showed promise in attacking positions. Wan-Bissaka linked well with fellow new signing Daniel James on several occasions and looked assured in possession. Their replacements, Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot, picked up where they left off, getting forward as much as possible.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s eldest son, Noah, made his senior debut for Kristiansund, coming off the bench with around five minutes left to play. The 19-year-old, who has only recently been promoted to the Owls' first team, models his game on Michael Carrick and made a strong tackle late on to deny Paul Pogba a goalscoring opportunity. It was a proud night all round for the Solskjaer family in Oslo!
United's final pre-season game AC Milan in the International Champions Cup will be shown live on MUTV.