by Sam Peoples

Another tough game. The conditions were the hottest they have been so far on tour for United and Cerezo Osaka, like Yokohama, proved to be tough opposition.

Some sloppy defending from Manchester United allowed Osaka to take the lead and Kagawa equalised in the second half before a wonderful strike gave the Japanese side a 2-1 lead.

But United played through right until the end and Zaha earned his reward by scoring his first goal in a United shirt in added on time (some things don’t change).

The pre-season is all about fitness and the tough conditions are certainly helping the players get fit for Swansea on 17 August. The latest Premier League odds at Ladbrokes put United at 9/4 to retain their title and a win against Swansea would be the perfect way for Moyes to start his reign.

Defensive frailties. With Moyes chopping and changing the defence in order to give the whole squad some game time, United have looked very weak in defence but today, the team were at sixes and sevens.

Smalling’s indecisiveness at the back cost United’s first goal. His lack of game time obviously played a part in his sloppiness but it wasn’t just Smalling who looked weak.

Buttner once again lacked defensive discipline. He was more interested in running forward to support the attack than holding his position. Ferdinand had to bark instructions at him to make him stay back.

His natural attacking tendencies are great to see but he has to remember that he is a full back, defending is his prerogative.

I’m looking forward to seeing Moyes use a steady back four because all of this changing on tour is making it difficult for the side to defend.

Full circle for Shinji. Kagawa’s career began in Osaka. He spent four years at the club and scored 55 goals in 120 appearances before making the move to Borussia Dortmund. Today, he came home.

And in the first half, we saw what we had been waiting for from Kagawa. He was unleashed in a free roaming role across the front and he was able to be involved in all of United’s attacking movement. His link-up play with Van Persie was superb and he had a great opportunity to score as well but spooned his shot well over the bar.

The home fans got what they wanted in the second half though soon after Kagawa missed a penalty when he found the net.  Kagawa played fantastic and he showed just how much he can flourish when given his favourite position, so I hope to see more of that next season.

A winger and a centre back in midfield. Carrick was rested as a precaution and Cleverley/Anderson played the full 90 minutes against Yokohama, so Moyes decided to play Giggs and Jones in midfield.

United’s midfield against Yokohama was weak without Carrick and without all three of our central midfielders, we effectively didn’t even have one against Osaka.

I hope Ed Woodward was watching. There isn’t a chance that United can challenge on all fronts next year if we don’t make reinforcements to our midfield. Somehow under Ferguson, we managed to cope but Moyes exploited the weaknesses in our side when he played us and he knows that they need to be closed up.

A new look Danny Welbeck. Confidence is everything for a striker and it looks like Welbeck has got some of his back. Against Osaka, he dusted off his shooting boots and unleashed efforts from positions where, last season, he would of looked for a pass instead.

Danny was unlucky not to score in the first half. He smashed an effort against the post with his left foot after he created space for himself with some neat work and saw a couple of others shot go just wide.

Welbeck is United through and through. Born and bred through our academy. Fans should be completely in support of him but such is the fickle nature of a modern football supporter, goals mean everything.

Moyes has shown great belief in him and looks to be a fan. Judging from Welbeck’s pre-season tour, he will score more than two this year.

Image: Twitter/GemmaThompson

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