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Talking points: San Jose Earthquakes 1-3 Manchester United

by Ben Topliss

Memphis Depay and Andreas Pereira both scored as Manchester United secured a 3-1 victory against San Jose Earthquakes in the second game of their pre-season tour.

Man United made a solid start to the match and Memphis stung the hands of David Bingham following a mazy run. Excellent work from Luke Shaw down the left flank then saw the ball crossed low into the box, but Wayne Rooney couldn’t quite get a good connection on it.

The game quietened down for a spell but eventually burst into life when Juan Mata slotted in, although the ball narrowly avoided Memphis’ outstretched boot on the way through to goal. Memphis was unlucky but he had his turn just five minutes later when he cut out Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi’s poor backpass to slot in and double United’s advantage.

It was nice and positive from Louis van Gaal’s side but sloppy defending from Morgan Schneiderlin allowed San Jose to get in down the right hand side before they clawed a goal back through Fatai Alashe just before half-time. After the break, United took control of the match and added to the scoreline thanks to a slick header from Pereira. San Jose never really looked like scoring after that, meaning United saw out the victory.

Memphis Depay

The Dutchman again lined up behind Rooney in a central striker role and he showed some positivity early on, with some nice skill leading to a shot on goal. It set the tone for Memphis, who looked sharp at the Avaya stadium.

He was unfortunate not to score when Mata fired in instead but he made up for it with a cool finish to open his account for United. Memphis’ calmness in front of goal will delight van Gaal, who may use him up top more than not next season if his ‘mystery’ striker is not brought in.

Luke Shaw

Van Gaal has been mightily impressed with the youngster during the pre-season tour and it is easy to see why.

Shaw attended a fitness camp with Adnan Januzaj in Dubai over the summer and his hard work has clearly paid off, with his pace and tireless work down the left wing regularly leading to opportunities for United. He put in a shift at the other end of the pitch, too.

Shaw went through a tough debut season at Old Trafford but there are high hopes for him this time around. If he is to be successful next term, it is crucial that he puts his injury woes behind him.

Sloppy defending again

United suffered at the back last season and would have found themselves in a much more difficult position were it not for the brilliance of David de Gea.

The team’s defensive issues reared their ugly head against San Jose, with Schneiderlin beaten too easily by Shea Salinas before Alashe tucked in. Daley Blind, once again asked to play at centre-back, was nowhere to be seen. United have been strongly linked with moves to the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Ramos and it is easy to see why van Gaal wants to beef up his defence.

Andreas Pereira

Pereira enjoyed a fine performance against Club America last time out and he continued his good form against San Jose. Always looking for the ball, the Brazilian was lively in a central role.

Pereira is full of confidence coming off the back of a successful U20 World Cup campaign with Brazil and his goal was richly deserved. Like Shaw and Memphis, Pereira is expected to have a bright future at Old Trafford and you get the feeling that the upcoming season could be a defining one for him.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

It still hasn’t really sunk in, has it? Bastian Schweinsteiger is a Manchester United player. For the majority of fans, it will be a while until it fully registers that the German World Cup winner has actually signed for the club. One can only imagine what the reaction will be like if Ramos ends up at Old Trafford!

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