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Alexis in action against San Jose Earthquakes.

Monday Briefing: Catch up on nine talking points

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Your Monday Briefing is here to provide a straightforward guide to Manchester United’s weekend and, on this occasion, our second match of Tour 2018 is the best place to start…

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0 UNITED 0
That was the score at Levi’s Stadium (also known to us as the Theatre of Jeans) on Sunday in the sweltering heat of Santa Clara, where both sides had chances but could not break the deadlock.

Jose Mourinho described it as another beneficial training session but admitted his team, comprising players with varying degrees of experience, struggled for fluency.  This is the XI that started the match against the MLS side: Joel Pereira, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, James Garner, Andreas Pereira, Tahith Chong, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez.
ALEXIS HAS JOINED THE TOUR
The Chilean arrived in Los Angeles over the weekend and trained on Saturday, before being thrown straight into the action against the Earthquakes. His cross led to Eric Bailly hitting the bar early on and he almost scored himself with a free-kick from range, before exiting on 65 minutes.
“It was good for Alexis,”
Jose said.
“It was the first time he played after some individual sessions. He needed this and he made a good effort, a good physical effort, which is important for him at the moment.”

Alexis goes closeVideo

VALENCIA SUFFERED AN INJURY
Antonio started the match as captain but was unfortunately substituted after five minutes, when Matteo Darmian took his place at right-back and, as such, Chris Smalling inherited the armband. It remains to be seen how severe the Ecuadorian’s knock is, and whether he’ll be fit to face AC Milan.

MATIC IS IN LOS ANGELES
Nemanja joined the touring squad on Sunday morning and settled into the team hotel, as his team-mates flew to Santa Clara for matchday two. The Serbian was afforded an extended holiday following his participation at the World Cup and is likely to train today, although the manager does not expect him to feature against Milan – that game will kick off at 20:05 local time on Wednesday, 04:05 BST on Thursday, and will be shown live on MUTV of course.

Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic has joined the touring squad following his participation at the World Cup.

TWO NEW FACES THIS WEEK
Good news! The boss has confirmed David De Gea and our new signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred, will also join the squad in America later this week, adding more experience and quality to the group.

PEREIRA IS LEARNING THE NO.6 ROLE
Andreas has impressed in his two appearances of the tour so far, playing in central midfield on the left side of a trio and that no.6 position is one he is trying to master. “The manager asked me what position I will play and I said I will play any position he would like,” Pereira told us on Saturday. “I will try to do my best and of course everyone is helping me a lot, including the manager, by telling me what to do. Michael Carrick is also helping me in every training session and it is very important.”

'How I'm learning the no.6 role'Video

ALLOW US TO INTRODUCE STEFANO RAPETTI
Our new Head of Fitness spoke exclusively to MUTV on Saturday – in impressive English, we should add – about his winning history with Mourinho.
“It was a very successful time and an amazing experience at Inter,”
Rapetti explained.
“We won all of the competitions, all of the tournaments, and I am very happy to be with him again at Manchester United.”

Get to know Stefano RapettiVideo

Ryan's a United man to the core article

We hear from our new Under-18s coach Neil Ryan as he expresses his passion for the Reds and youth football.

ANOTHER NEW APPOINTMENT
Neil Ryan – son of Jim Ryan - is the club’s new Under-18s coach after Kieran McKenna’s promotion to the first-team coaching staff. He will look to build on last season’s Under-18 Premier League North title success, and continue the club’s tradition of developing players for the senior squad.

DEFEAT TO CELTIC IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Our Under-18s lost 3-1 to Celtic on Saturday as the SuperCup:NI tournament kicked off in Coleraine, where club legend Harry Gregg was notably presented with a framed photo of the Busby Babes by Phil Neville. Ethan Laird scored the opening goal for our defeated youngsters. 

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