Five Things we Learned From Man United's Win Against Galatasaray

Five Things we Learned From Man United's Win Against Galatasaray

Manchester United traveled to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden to conclude what has been a miserable pre-season tour, by playing a friendly game against Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Red Devils looked to have shaken off fitness worries by making a quick start – thanks to a stunning opening goal from the man of the moment Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but found themselves behind as the half ended 2-1 in favour of Galatasaray. United came out a different side, literally and figuratively, scoring four goals to the delight of their supporters, ending the game and their preparations on a positive note. Now, here are the five things we can take away from Mourinho’s Manchester United ahead of the Charity Shield fixture.

Five Things we Learned From Man United's Win Against Galatasaray

1. Ibrahimovic is going to be Manchester United’s most important player (Surprise!)

Although Zlatan did not need to prove himself to anyone anymore, it was typical of him to pull off an outrageous acrobatic effort, three minutes into his debut, sending the crowd and his own teammates into a state of frenzied excitement. His touch and hold up play will only get better as he gets up to speed and the two wide players in Mkhitaryan and Martial will find themselves in great positions more often than not this season – which makes for an interesting dynamic among the three. The way he applauded Rashford’s brilliant run which led to the third goal shows he is the type of guy that will put an arm around your shoulder when you are feeling down and out and that’s exactly why he can be invaluable to this team, not just on the pitch, but also, vitally off it.

2. Thank goodness United have managed to sign Paul Pogba (Let’s not pretend anymore)

One of the few issues as far as the performance is concerned was how often in the first half United’s two central midfielders – Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin – looked out of place failing to gel together as a partnership. To be honest, there has hardly been a game one could pinpoint to where they both dominated a game together in a way they should, but if pre-season meant anything, they should not be starting together in the first game against Bournemouth to avoid a potential slip-up. Thankfully, that may be the case, as Man United have ‘agreed’ a deal with Juventus to sign their midfielder Paul Pogba, who will massively lift this team from the middle of the park which is what they have been craving for – since the days of Keane and Scholes.

3. Rashford has to start against Bournemouth 

It’s becoming a no brainer now. Marcus Rashford showed yet again why he is one of the stars of the future against Galatasaray – after making a statement with his consistently amazing performances since he was given a debut by Louis van Gaal in the Europa League fixture against FC Midtjylland. His movement and bursts of acceleration has enabled the midfielders to venture further forward more than they normally would have (look at Mata’s goal), which can only help United be more authoritative in a football match. His meteoric rise seems to have handed Mourinho a fresh selection headache, but one that manager would love to have.

4. Antonio Valencia seems to have found his 2010 form back

Under Louis van Gaal United have always played from the left, and understandably so, as that’s often been the side where better crosses come from – be it Luke Shaw or Daley Blind (to some extent) or Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial – there’s always been more quality from the left and it seemed natural. But now, especially since Valencia came back into the side – United score more goals from the right. Both their goals from the FA Cup final came from the right, and the Ecuador captain ended up creating 3 goals in the 5-2 win against Galatasaray while Carrick made the fifth goal for Juan Mata – also coming from the right flank. It suggests that this improved form of Valencia will be key for Jose Mourinho in his first few games as Man United manager to ease him into his job.

5. United need another centre-back

If there’s anything that has not changed (yet), it’s United conceding avoidable goals from set plays. They leaked four goals in their first game under Mourinho against a well oiled Dortmund, though that can be put down to their opposition’s advanced fitness levels. They shipped another set piece goal in the game against Galatasaray when Gumus found himself completely unmarked inside the six yard box. The signing of a young Eric Bailly from Villareal is definitely an exciting one in the long term but if they are to compete for major honours immediately, they will certainly have to sign an experienced centre-half to play alongside Chris Smalling.