Manchester United claimed a resounding 4-1 victory over Melbourne Victory in their second pre-season friendly earlier today.
Following a 4-0 demolition of Liverpool on Tuesday, United were brimming with confidence heading into the clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Erik ten Hag made three changes to the starting XI from last time out as Tom Heaton, Harry Maguire and Anthony Elanga came in for David de Gea, Raphael Varane and Marcus Rashford respectively.
United kicked off the game with lots of possession but fell behind in the fifth minute when Christopher Ikonomidis applied the finishing touch to a lovely counter-attacking move.
Nonetheless, the 20-time Premier League champions continue to probe after going behind and nearly levelled matters in the 18th minute only for Scott McTominay to see his effort blocked.
McTominay threatened again midway through the first half but his attempt was thwarted once more thanks to some excellent last-ditch defending by Melbourne City.
After some good work from Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes was put through on goal although his shot from a tight angle was saved by Paul Izzo.
With frustration now seemingly setting in, Fred tried his luck from distance twice in a five-minute spell but failed to hit the target on either occasion.
Having seen his previous two efforts blocked, McTominay was not going to be denied at the third time of asking as he drew his side level two minutes before the interval.
The midfielder’s effort was once again deflected but this time, the ball flew over the opposing goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Buoyed by their equaliser, United pushed forward in search of a lead and the game was turned around in the blink of an eye as Anthony Martial finished with aplomb inside the six-yard box after Anthony Elanga had flicked on Diogo Dalot’s cross.
As expected, ten Hag rang the changes for the second half, bringing on 10 new outfield players including the likes of Marcus Rashford, Eric Baily and Donny van de Beek.
Off the back of a frenetic end to the opening half, the second 45 minutes began at a relatively slower pace as United’s new boys sought to impress their manager.
A couple of errors from Baily almost handed Melbourne City a way back into the tie but after nothing failed to materialise on both occasions, the Ivorian defender turned provider for United’s third goal 12 minutes from time as he played in Rashford, whose immaculate first touch was followed by a deft finish.
Rashford came close to grabbing a second five minutes later but his header from Tyrell Malacia’s cross failed to threaten Izzo.
There was a standing ovation from both sets of supporters shortly afterwards for Luis Nani as the ex-Red Devil came on to face his former employers in the 86th minute.
However, United continue to push forward in search of the final nail in the coffin which eventually arrived in the final minute of regulation time.
Tahith Chong did well to beat his marker and create space for a dangerous cross that Edmund Lupancu inadvertently turned into his own net.
So far so good, United have begun life under their new boss on a high and they will be looking to continue in the same vein in their next outing against Crystal Palace on July 19.
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