Tame United held in California


Pete Hall

Comment and Analysis @PeteHall86

Last Updated: 23/07/18 12:18am

Alexis Sanchez gestures during Manchester United's friendly against San Jose Earthquakes

Alexis Sanchez gestures during Manchester United’s friendly against San Jose Earthquakes

Alexis Sanchez failed to inspire a flat Manchester United as they were held to a 0-0 draw by San Jose Earthquakes in a friendly in California.

Sanchez returned to the side after he had joined up with the squad in the U.S. after issues over his visa had been resolved, and the Chile international came close in the first half from a free-kick.

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Just after Antonia Valencia was forced off with an early injury, Eric Bailly should have opened the scoring, but headed against the crossbar from point-blank range. Otherwise, United chances were few and far between.

San Jose, in fact, had the better of the chances in the second half as Jose Mourinho gave some youngsters minutes. With better opposition to come in the form of AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in pre-season, United will have to improve a great deal to set themselves up for the coming Premier League campaign.

Man Utd player ratings

J. Pereira (6); Valencia (6), Bailly (6), Smalling (6), Shaw (5); Herrera (5), Garner (5), A. Pereira (7); Chong (5), Martial (5), Sanchez (6).Subs: Fosu-Mensah (6), Tuanzebe (6), Greenwood (6), Grant (7), Darmian (6), Mata (5), Mitchell (6), McTominay (6), Gomes (N/A).

United should have been in front as early as the fourth minute, but Bailly somehow contrived to hit the crossbar from a matter of yards away.

The rest of the first half was slow paced, with the Californian heat taking its toll. Sanchez had United’s only other effort of note, as he curled a free-kick just wide.

Ander Herrera in action with Luis Felipe of San Jose Earthquakes Ander Herrera in action with Luis Felipe of San Jose Earthquakes

Ander Herrera in action with Luis Felipe of San Jose Earthquakes

After the break, San Jose changed their entire XI, with United also ringing the changes, and that did not help the flow of the game.

Replacement United goalkeeper Lee Grant was by far the busier stopper, with the pick of his saves denying San Jose veteran Chris Wondolowski from just inside the box.

Scott McTominay did have a decent opportunity to snatch an undeserved victory for United late on, but his header was tame and saved easily.

Jose Mourinho makes a point during Manchester United's friendly against San Jose Earthquakes Jose Mourinho makes a point during Manchester United's friendly against San Jose Earthquakes

Jose Mourinho makes a point during Manchester United’s friendly against San Jose Earthquakes

In the dying embers, Wondolowski powered a header onto the crossbar, but Grant’s goal remained unbreached.

What’s next?

United embark upon another International Champions Cup campaign this week, with AC Milan up first on Thursday, before a clash with old foes Liverpool.

MUTV is the only place to watch all of Man United’s pre-season matches live, and hear first on new signings. Go to www.sky.com/mutv to find out more, or go to Sky channel 418 and press red.

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