Kitchee FC 2-5 Manchester United: Five lessons we learned

by Sam Peoples

Finish on a high. The Asian leg of the tour has been an up and down experience for Manchester United with results not particularly going how many had expected but we finished on a real high with a great all-round performance against Kitchee FC.

Five goals from five goalscorers (Welbeck/Smalling/Fabio/Januzaj/Lingard) with an average age of just 21, it was a glimpse into what is going to be a promising future for United.

Given that United had been labelled an ageing side at points last season, that point seems almost laughable given that this tour has been dominated by our youngsters.

Zaha once again shines. From the first whistle, Zaha was switched on. He attacked the Kitchee FC defence with pace and they couldn’t stop him getting a cross in or running past them.

His no look assist to Fabio for United’s third goal was out of this world and he could of netted himself if he had kept his balance after putting himself through.

 

Zaha has to start against Swansea. He has done nothing but impress out on the Asian leg of this year’s tour and David Moyes needs to give him his opportunity on the biggest stage. Judging by how he played in Asia, it is something he wouldn’t struggle with.

A natural footballing brain can’t be underestimated and what is really encouraging to see is that Zaha is so switched on. He knows what pass to make and when to make it, he knows what run to make and when to make it. He looks like a fantastic prospect.

Free flowing attack. In the first half, Welbeck, Young and Zaha operated in a dynamic front three and it was fantastic to watch. One second Zaha was tearing down the left wing and the next, he was running through the middle.

That sort of dyamism is something I want to see United adopt on a permanent basis next season. The likes of Kagawa/Rooney/Zaha/Nani/Valencia/Young/Lingard/Januzaj are all more than capable of playing that sort of football and on the tour, it is a tactic Moyes had adopted quite a lot.

You’ll never win anything with kids.  At the start of the second half, United’s team had an average age of just 22.8.

Amos/Smalling/Keane/Buttner/Fabio/Carrick/Ando/Clevz/Zaha/Lingard/Januzaj

It’s fantastic to see how our youngsters have enjoyed the tour and likes of Zaha, Lingard and Januzaj have given David Moyes food for thought next season. All of them earned their stripes on the Asian leg of the tour and I’d be surprised if Moyes didn’t give them first team opportunities this season.

Midfielders getting worked. Prior to this tour, Anderson had completed 90 minutes less than 20 times in the past six years at United. On the tour, he did it in two out of the five fixtures and played the most minutes out of any player in the squad.

And Tom Cleverley got a lot of game time under his belt as well. Michael Carrick didn’t get as many minutes but it was because of an injury precaution.

Moyes does sound confident about being able to bring in a midfielder to strengthen United’s squad but we have grown used to United eventually not buying anyone, so it is at least a positive sign to see that Anderson and Cleverley are showing very good signs that their fitness will be up to scratch heading into the new season.

Image: Twitter/MancuniansFamily

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