Manchester United were routed in the “biggest” of their preseason exhibition games (if you can call a friendly “big”) 4-1 in the International Champions Cup clash against Liverpool at Michigan Stadium.
Let’s take a spin through the news and notes emerging from what transpired in Ann Arbor, Michigan this Saturday. The unofficial attendance for the match today was 105,000. Typically, these numbers are inflated, but if this figure holds, then today’s clash hosted by the University of Michigan is the third highest attended soccer game ever on American soil.
Liverpool absolutely dominated this game, up and down the pitch in pretty much all facets, but that was to be fairly expected given how they have more of their stars back from post World Cup holiday than United do. Still this was some really ugly football from United.
This preseason tour of the USA has seen a lot of drab results and boring play, but today’s showing in Ann Arbor may have been the least watchable of all. Today’s 90 minutes will certainly make you understand why manager Jose Mourinho has been such a grumpy puppy this summer.
However, at least United’s uniforms were really pretty. They wore the blue and gold third kit, which was released in May, in honor of their hosts, the University of Michigan.
Manchester United get blue/gold third kit…https://t.co/IB9TwGXX1z
What do you think? ? pic.twitter.com/JLlORHXs0w
— Football Shirts (@FootballShirts) May 9, 2018
United’s only goal came on a free kick in the first half, courtesy of Andreas Pereira.
Enjoy this view from the stands:
Andreas Pereira’s goal from the stands. Unreal. ? #mufc pic.twitter.com/BM60UIKABX
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) July 28, 2018
-Defender Chris Smalling was injured in warm-ups and was thus scratched from the game. Smalling, who had been named to the match day squad, was then replaced by Eric Bailly. United’s spokespeople said the Smalling setback was “minor” though and his absence was more of a “precautionary” measure.
-Today marked the first time that Fred has featured for United. The Brazilian midfielder, United’s first buy of this summer transfer window, came on to replace Juan Mata in the 71′.
1?7?#MUFC #MUTOUR pic.twitter.com/2GbavT52M9
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 28, 2018
And finally, United’s third acquisition of the transfer window, Lee Grant, says he wants to challenge David de Gea, and give manager Jose Mourinho a selection headache this season.
“My job is just to hold up my end of the bargain,” said Grant.
“I’ve been bought by Manchester United so my role is to perform at a high level and to conduct myself in the correct manner. That means training correctly, playing correctly when you get the opportunity and if that gives the manager a choice to make then that’s my job.”
“Whether that means sitting on the bench or not sitting on the bench, whether I’m playing in the cup games, or not playing in the cup games, I’m ready and willing to do what I need to do.”
“I’m not under any illusions about what presents itself here. I’m excited by it and looking forward to the opportunity.
“I don’t need to have a conversation with the manager. I’m old enough and ugly enough to understand the role I’m coming in to do. I’m at a football club that has the best goalkeeper in the Premier League on the books. Also a club that has Argentina’s No.1 goalkeeper on the books and there are also fantastic young goalkeepers in the building and fantastic young goalkeepers out on loan.”
“I know what I have to contend with but I’m confident in myself, I’m settled with my own role within all of that and I’m also certain I can offer something to the football club.”
“That’s what I’m here to do.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.
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