The game kicked off at 2pm, though media were denied access and fans were made to wait until late in the day for confirmation of the result. Ollie Watkins scored the only goal of the game in a win for Aston Villa.
United are one of four teams not in Premier League action this weekend, with the Reds having been allowed an extra week off before the start of their campaign, to allow them at least a 30-day gap between seasons, after they participated in the latter stages of the Europa League last month.
We’ll have all the reaction to the defeat and the latest transfer news on our United pages.
United were missing more than half a first team and actually played quite well for much of the game.
That’s it. United did lose 1-0 to an Ollie Watkins goal, after all, though with a different team and with the goal coming in a different minute to what was reported earlier.
United should have scored, possibly a few times, in the first half. But that’s that. A loss but plenty of lessons learned.
United ended the game without really looking like scoring. Villa, to be fair, still had their first XI on the pitch by the latter stages, while United did not have much strength in depth available to them.
Brandon Williams wasted his cross and did not pick out Van de Beek on the edge of the box, and eventually fouled Grealish as Villa countered.
Douglas Luiz of Villa definitely did not get the memo about today’s game being a pre-season friendly. He ended up grappling with Harry Maguire after a tackle.
Getting hold of the ball and stringing together attacks to threaten Vila just was not as easy for United in the second half. In the opening half hour, they were sharp and dangerous with the ball in Villa’s half.
Shaw wanted a foul, the referee didn’t see it. He didn’t see a lot today.
A great chance for Galbraith went wide, after a good set up by Van de Beek.
Lee Grant and Anthony Elanga are the other United substitutes who got on the pitch. Yep.
United really did not look like scoring for most of the second half, bar the odd foray forward. Did that all change in the final 15 minutes or so?
Van de Beek and James continued to link up well in the inside left channel for United in the second half. That time, a reverse ball found James but the Welshman could not pick out a target in the middle.
It appears Fosu-Mensah moved into midfield alongside Galbraith, with Rashford as the central striker ahead of Van de Beek in the No.10 role.
United’s formation after that change is not easy to work out. Three centre-backs and wing backs?
Villa’s football in the second half was better than it was in the first. United with more lapses on the ball after the break.
Galbraith looked neat and tidy alongside Van de Beek in midfield. The two actualy resemble each other, with their blonde hair and being fairly short in stature, wearing No.54 and No.54 respectively.
Lingard got a yellow card not long after Cash. A little bit of edge in this game, as tends to happen.
United began the second half a little sloppily, especially compared to their very decent first half display.
Dan James was the recipient of a fairy nasty challenge from Matty Cash, as United darted down the left.
Again, that’s not very befitting of a pre-season friendly. United will hope James is unhurt.
McTominay was the only half-time change for Galbraith, which is a worry. He played really well in the first-half so hopefully McTominay isn’t injured, especially given the midfield situation.
Fred and Matic haven’t been training, Pogba isn’t fully fit and Fernandes only seems to have just got back to the UK.
Villa certainly tested United at set pieces. They’ve got a decent physical presence about them. Henderson with a good bit of handling there after a deflection off Van de Beek following Grealish’s good bit of play.
Add Jesse Lingard’s name to that list of United players who should have scored, after more good play by McTominay.
How did United not score then? The corner came in and Harry Maguire, Odion Ighalo and then Daniel James should surely have stabbed it in.
Not Ighalo’s greatest half, though it was mostly played with his back to goal, as happened then when he was squeezed out.
United played decently, this half. Villa had a couple of counter-attacks and finished one and should have finished the other. United appear to have been let down by their dormant forwards, Ighalo and Rashford, who were on their heels when they should have been on their toes for some of those crosses.
Lingard had some tidy touches and tested Jed Steer and Van de Beek did not do much wrong. Maguire looked uncomfortable against Watkins.
Dan James started the game quite well but a couple of touches then looked the the James of late 2019/20. He did not interpret Van de Beek’s run.
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