Scott McTominay battling with Harry Kane.

Talking Points from a feisty win over Spurs

Friday 26 July 2019 07:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United earned a fourth successive win of Tour 2019 on Thursday, with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in China. Here's what we learned from the entertaining match against our Premier League rivals at Hongkou Stadium...

Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard have been given opportunities in the no.10 position on this tour, but Andreas was chosen for the job against Spurs. He and Daniel James pressed well from the first whistle and some lovely, quick, intelligent play from the Belgian-born Brazilian created the chance for Anthony Martial that led to the opener for Ole's boys. The midfielder took several positive steps in the first-team last term, in what was a breakthrough season, and, on this evidence, Andreas looks poised to make several more of them in 2019/20.
The Academy graduate drew praise for his aggressive approach to dealing with PSG's midfield at the Parc des Princes last season, and fans would have been pleased to see him shrugging some of Tottenham’s more physical lads off the ball in Shanghai. McTominay is no polite respecter of reputations, and didn't shirk a confrontation with Harry Kane when things got feisty midway through the first period. China's United contingent loved to see him standing up for his team-mates; so will Old Trafford.

Every goal on Tour 2019 prior to the game had been scored or assisted by a player produced by the club, and the run continued here in Shanghai via Andreas's assist and the superbly worked Gomes winner. Of the other Academy graduates, Mason Greenwood again impressed with a series of intelligent passes and link-ups, while Paul Pogba also came close to scoring. Axel Tuanzebe, Lingard and Rashford were three other homegrown players who featured in the victory.

The move of the night was undoubtedly the Gomes strike that put the Reds into the lead with 10 minutes to play, and gave the local lad his first senior goal. His delight - and the delight of his team-mates - was clear to see, and it means that three of United's four youngsters (Garner, Greenwood and Gomes) have now netted during pre-season. Tahith Chong, who picked up a knock against Inter Milan last weekend, will be desperate to add his name to the list in Oslo or Cardiff.

Solskjaer: We made it hard for ourselves Video

Solskjaer: We made it hard for ourselves

The boss discusses our win over Spurs, Eric Bailly, Anthony Martial and Angel Gomes in our exclusive interview...

The win made it a satisfying four wins in succession for Solskjaer's men, who head to Norway next week to play the Norwegian's hometown club, Kristiansund, and then to Cardiff for a contest with AC Milan. Results are not essential in pre-season, of course, but the winning habit is undoubtedly an important one to acquire. United have done that on Tour 2019 - now they must carry the momentum into August and those important opening games against Chelsea and Wolves.

This period of the season might be primarily associated with fitness, physical conditioning and tactical work, but when you put two competitive teams from the same echelon of the Premier League onto the same field, it's little surprise that the personnel might temporarily forget what competition they are playing in. This was the International Champions Cup, but it could have been White Hart Lane in December, or Old Trafford in March, if you were keeping your eyes trained on the action alone. In his post-match press conference, Mauricio Pochettino admitted regret at the sometimes tempestuous nature of the encounter, and there could be little doubt both sides were desperate to get one over on their opponents. Thankfully, United emerged on top but, more importantly, they experienced a match - where the battle is physical, mental and intense - that was undoubtedly a serious examination.

United's remaining pre-season games against Kristiansund and AC Milan will be shown live on MUTV.