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Joshua Bohui, Demetri Mitchell and Ethan Hamilton take part in a training drill at UCLA

Our best day on tour so far

Thursday - the day after Manchester United beat AC Milan in that epic penalty shootout - was the best day so far on Tour 2018, presented by Aon.

Why? Because the whole tour party woke up to see Sir Alex Ferguson’s video message on

Checking your phone seems to be the first thing most people do these days, even if it means immediately being exposed to work emails and a list of tasks to be done that day. But today, the phone-check wasn't a chore, it was a pleasure. What a boost it was for us all to see the great man looking so well and pledging to be back at Old Trafford in the new season.

A message from Sir Alex article

Sir Alex has asked us to share a personal message to pass on his gratitude.

The morning was a quiet one of rest and recovery for the players after their exertions against Milan. Twenty-six penalties! I’ve never commentated on a shoot-out like that and I was in severe danger of losing track of the score before confirming to our MUTV viewers that United had, in fact, won 9-8.

After a long night at the StubHub Center, the subsequent training session was switched from the morning to the afternoon at UCLA so the players were fresher.

It was the penultimate session at an amazing facility that has become United’s second home, but it was also a first workout for new signing Fred who has just joined us on tour. The Brazilian put in a shift in an individual session with strength and conditioning coach Gary Walker.

David De Gea is also now with us after arriving in Los Angeles and it was great to see him and the warm welcome he received from his team-mates. 
The players were also delighted to meet wrestler Rey Mysterio, a United fan, who was our latest special guest at training. I'm not sure my fellow MUTV presenter Mark Sullivan was as pleased to see him, at least not when the masked grappler was urged by Bojan Djordjic to perform a manoeuvre on him!
MUTV presenter Stewart Gardner and wrestler Rey Mysterio
Gardner thanks Mysterio for dealing with his colleague
Meanwhile, United legends Denis Irwin and Bryan Robson were whisked away for a tour of Fox Studios, where they joined me in seeing film sets, the sound stage and the costume department. For example, I was thrilled to see Nakatomo Tower from Die Hard. Sadly there was no sign of Hans Gruber, the German villain who was played in the famous action movie by the late, great British actor Alan Rickman.

To round off the day, a number of us took the opportunity to see the Los Angeles derby as Major League Soccer's new boys LA FC took on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s LA Galaxy at the amazing Banc of California Stadium. Our former striker, who came to see us at UCLA earlier this week of course, didn't hit the net but it was great to see him play the full 90 as his side scored in the 82nd and 86th minutes to come back from 2-0 down and draw 2-2.

Ibra: I wish you’d seen me younger article

Zlatan’s one regret about United? Not joining the club earlier in his imperious career.

The next match for us? Well, it's the small matter of United facing our old friends from just up the road, Liverpool, at the Big House, Ann Arbor at 5pm on Saturday. That's a perfect time to watch if you're reading this back home - 10pm on Saturday night, live on MUTV.

That's got to be worth switching over for, even if Die Hard happens to be on another channel.
The opinions expressed in this article are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

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