Your Monday Briefing: 10 talking points
Your Monday Briefing is here to bring you up to speed with everything that happened in the world of Manchester United over the weekend.
Here is what you need to catch up on…
BAYERN MUNICH 1 UNITED 0
The Reds ended pre-season with a friendly against the Bundesliga champions in Germany on Sunday evening, but unfortunately it ended in a narrow defeat at the impressive Allianz Arena as Javi Martinez’s second-half header proved the difference. Nevertheless, Jose Mourinho and his team will now direct their full attention towards the start of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, which begins at Old Trafford against Leicester City on Friday night.
RASHFORD GETS THE NO.10 SHIRT
In case you somehow missed it, Marcus Rashford was wearing a new shirt number during Sunday’s game – not just any number, but United’s iconic no.10 jersey which has been worn by many a legend before him. After the match, the boss told MUTV that the 20-year-old has been eyeing the famous shirt for some time. “He wanted it,” he said. “He always wanted it. Of course, he respected the big Rooney and then Zlatan wanted to have it. Of course, he was in the shadow, waiting for the opportunity and now the shirt is empty. It's something fantastic for the kid, let's give the shirt to him.” Congratulations, Marcus!
THREE WORLD CUP REDS RETURN
It was Rashford’s first outing since returning to the club following his World Cup exploits with England, as the forward played 63 minutes from the start. Victor Lindelof, who helped Sweden reach the quarter-finals in Russia, also appeared for the first time in pre-season as he impressed for 79 minutes in defence before being replaced by Axel Tuanzebe. Phil Jones, who like Rashford featured for England at the World Cup, also appeared as a 65th-minute substitute. The trio’s return to the fold was undoubtedly a huge boost for the Reds ahead of Friday night’s season opener.
OUR YOUTUBE REACHES HISTORIC LANDMARK
United’s YouTube platform reached one million subscribers during the weekend – becoming the fastest sports channel ever to do so. It’s a magnificent achievement for the club, given the fact it only launched five months ago. If you are not already subscribed, you can do so by clicking to enjoy all your favourite Manchester United videos!
UNDER-23S HELD BY EVERTON IN FRIENDLY
Our Reserves were in pre-season friendly action on Saturday afternoon at The Cliff and played out a goalless draw with David Unsworth’s Everton side. The young Reds went closest to securing a winner in the first half through Joshua Bohui, who travelled with the first team on our US tour, but came under pressure during the second period as the Toffees grew in confidence. However, a good testing work-out in what Unsworth described as “hot, sticky, humid conditions” will help Ricky Sbragia’s lads greatly in preparation for the start of their Premier League 2 campaign, which gets under way on Friday against Fulham at Motspur Park.
ANTONIO’S SURPRISE BIRTHDAY TRIP TO YORKSHIRE
It was interesting to see Antonio Valencia in the stands at Bramall Lane as Swansea City beat Sheffield United 2-1 in their Championship opener on Saturday evening – especially on the day our regular skipper was celebrating his 33rd birthday. He could have been watching his Ecuadorian team-mate Jefferson Montero, who came on as a second-half substitute for Swansea, or even young United keeper Dean Henderson, who made his Sheffield United debut after joining the Blades on a season-long loan. Alternatively, he may just like the glorious scenery that South Yorkshire has to offer!
LOANEES MAKE DEBUTS FOR NEW CLUBS
As mentioned, Henderson made his first competitive outing for Sheffield United and made a couple of fine saves, including an outstanding stop to tip over Jay Fulton’s header, but he was powerless to prevent Oli McBurnie and Yan Dhanda from scoring as the Blades were beaten on the opening day. In League One, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made a solid debut at left-back and played the full game as Scunthorpe United got off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory at Coventry City. And north of the border, Matty Willock got a first 90 minutes under his belt on his Scottish Premiership debut as the midfielder helped St Mirren mark their top-flight return with a 2-1 success against Dundee in Paisley.
Great way to start the season. The boys different class! Thanks for your support +3 🏁 @saintmirrenfc— Matty Willock (@mattywillock) August 4, 2018
FORMER REDS MAKE IMPACT AS EFL KICKS OFF
There were some familiar faces making headlines over the weekend as the Football League season got under way. Tom Lawrence scored an injury-time winner in the opening match on Friday night to give Frank Lampard a winning start as Derby manager in a 2-1 victory over Reading. Fellow midfielder Nick Powell also got on the scoresheet as Wigan Athletic beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in their first game back in the Championship. Tonight (Monday), former United defender Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side to his former club Hull City to conclude the opening round of fixtures.
RIVALS IN COMMUNITY SHIELD
The traditional curtain-raiser to the domestic season took place on Sunday afternoon as Premier League champions Manchester City took on Emirates FA Cup winners Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. It wasn't an ideal start to Maurizio Sarri’s reign as Chelsea boss as two goals from Sergio Aguero gave City a 2-0 win.
LEICESTER SIGN OFF PRE-SEASON WITH A WIN
Next up for the Reds is the game we’ve all been waiting – the Premier League opener against Leicester City at Old Trafford on Friday night. Our first opponents of 2018/19 completed their pre-season schedule with an impressive 2-1 victory against Lille in France. Former Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho netted twice as the Foxes came from behind to win at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. However, it came at a cost as summer signing James Maddison was forced off with an injury – which will be a concern to boss Claude Puel ahead of Friday’s eagerly-awaited encounter. The Foxes also bought winger Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco over the weekend.