Home ยป Three things we learned as Donny van de Beek’s stunning volley hands Man United victory against Lyon

Three things we learned as Donny van de Beek’s stunning volley hands Man United victory against Lyon

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United travelled to Edinburgh to take on French giants Lyon as part of the team’s pre-season campaign.

Erik ten Hag named a similar starting XI to the one he did a week ago during the 2-0 win against Leeds in Olso.

Matej Kovar started in goal ahead of Tom Heaton who was not named in the official travelling squad. A defensive four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Alvaro Fernandez started ahead of the Czech Republic international.

United’s midfield trio consisted of Kobbie Mainoo, Hannibal Mejbri and Mason Mount.

For the second time in a row, Jadon Sancho led the line. Antony returned to the side on the left flank to accommodate Amad Diallo on the right.

Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 1-0 win vs. Lyon.

United are still in desperate need of a striker

It only took the first few minutes of the game to realize that finishing chances is still a big problem for United. Last season, this particular issue was a recurring theme in games and at times, cost the Red Devils dearly.

In the early stages of the match, Amad had two clear-cut opportunities to give his side the lead but the Ivorian could not find the back of the net.

Antony also had a shot saved by Anthony Lopes who immediately swung into action when required.

In the opening 45 minutes, Mount also had chances to break the deadlock – one from a free-kick effort and again just from outside the box before he sent the ball flying above the bar.

Like Amad and Antony, the Englishman could not capitalize.

The sheer string of goal-scoring chances that United’s stars sent begging especially early on proves why Ten Hag is aggressively scouting the market for a reliable striker.

The Dutchman cannot afford to kick off the Premier League season without a deadly finisher who can get behind the chances fashioned and bury them.

Among the players being pursued are Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani – both represent ideal options that could instantly raise the team’s performance levels and enable them to go up a few more gears.

Signing a goalscorer is simply a must if the Old Trafford outfit are going to be successful in their efforts to advance to the next stage of their development.

Kovar can be a credible solution for Ten Hag between the sticks

One thing that caught the eye while the match was ongoing was Kovar’s ability on the feet and incredible distribution.

The 23-year-old impressed during the 90 minutes he was on the pitch. His accuracy when trying to pick out someone in red was commendable, to say the least.

Kovar communicated well with the different defenders he played with in both halves and it was evident he has what it takes to hold his own in goal.

As United grapple with a crisis in the goalkeeping department, Kovar could help provide some bit of relief.

The 20-time English champions agreed a deal with Inter Milan for Andre Onana who is set to complete his medical today. It has been suggested that Ten Hag still wants a number two to deputise the Cameroonian, who effectively comes in as David de Gea’s replacement.

Amidst links to Zion Suzuki, Kovar could fill in this role and become Onana’s understudy. This would furthermore allow United to channel funds to the acquisition of other recruits such as Sofyan Amrabat.

Even if Dean Henderson is sold, Onana, Kovar, Heaton and Nathan Bishop on the wings would more than enough cover for United heading into the new campaign.

Massive confidence boost for Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek shed first blood against Lyon.

The midfielder, who came on in the second half, got on the end of a cross from Dan Gore to volley the ball into the top-left corner.

This goal will do Van de Beek a world of good as he seeks to use pre-season as a springboard to finally get his United career going.

There was hope last term that Ten Hag’s arrival would unlock him but injuries meant that this did not come to pass.

The 26-year-old is one of the players United are keen to sell if a suitable offer arrives. However, there is no doubt he still harbours hopes of making it at the Theatre of Dreams and showing his quality.

Beyond the goal, Van de Beek was very good and sharp in the middle of the park.

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