Thursday 8 December 2016

Five things we learned from Man United's defeat to PSG

PSG 2 Manchester United 0

Mark Ogden

Published 30/07/2015 | 07:31

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring against Manchester United in the pre-season friendly
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring against Manchester United in the pre-season friendly
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in action against PSG
Manchester United forward Memphis Depay in action against Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Benjamin Stambouli
Jul 29, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi (14) scores a goal against Manchester United defender Luke Shaw (3) and defender Phil Jones (4) during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

PSG got the upper hand on Manchester United in Chicago early this morning and here are five things we learned from the game.

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Ibrahimovic would be perfect for Man Utd - if he liked Louis Van Gaal!

It is an open secret that PSG would happily cash in on Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer, but the Swedish forward’s wages, and unique temperament, appear to be putting off any potential buyers.

But despite being one of the most high maintenance footballers in the world, the 33-year-old is a serious talent and his goal in the first-half against United displayed his power, awareness and cool finishing ability.

Such a charismatic centre-forward would be perfect for United and a top quality short-term solution to their goalscoring problems, but having called Louis van Gaal a ‘pompous a---‘ in his autobiography, Zlatan and LVG appear a unlikely match.

De Gea needs to sharpen up and prepare for one more year in Manchester

David de Gea made his Manchester United debut at Soldier Field in 2011, but he probably never expected to be back in Chicago this summer after ending last season seemingly destined for Real Madrid.

The reality, however, is that Real have not made their move, he has not pushed for a transfer and the end result is that he remains United’s keeper.

De Gea does not look fully focussed and he was poor in the first-half before being replaced at half-time by Sam Johnstone.

But with the Premier League campaign just nine days away, he must now prepare for another year at Old Trafford and show that he is not distracted by uncertainty.

Rooney and Depay might turn out to be an excellent partnership

Louis van Gaal believes Memphis Depay can solve Manchester United’s goalscoring problems in tandem with Wayne Rooney this season, despite the young winger arriving from PSV Eindhoven with no experience of English football.

Rooney and Depay have looked sharp during the US tour, however, and they gave their best performance together against PSG.

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Both players are neat and tidy on the ball, keen to work quick one-twos and exchange positions and, at this early stage, the pair look a much better fit than Rooney and Robin van Persie.

If they can develop a partnership comparable to the Andy Cole-Dwight Yorke pairing, then United can look forward to a productive double act.

Shirt sales show USA really is the land of opportunity...

Manchester United’s ten-year shirt deal with Adidas comes into force at midnight on Friday, but you would never have guessed it by the merchandise stalls inside Soldier Field which were selling the current Nike shirt for $60.

At kick-off time, the Nike shirt was just 46 hours away from being obsolete and consigned to history, but they know how to make a buck in the States and this was certainly a classic example of squeezing every last ounce from a money-making opportunity.

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Let’s just hope those who left the game with a new United shirt don’t head into an Adidas store any time soon.

Van Gaal still hasn't solved United's defensive problems

So much for Manchester United signing a dominant centre-half this summer, as was planned by Louis van Gaal.

With just over a month to go until the transfer deadline, the gaping hole at centre-half is yet to be filled, with Van Gaal starting with Daley Blind in that position in each of the four games on tour.

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Blind is a good footballer with an eye for a pass, but the Holland international is too slow to play at centre-half and he is not the commanding figure that United need at the heart of their back four.

Chris Smalling, who ended last season well, has made way for Blind. Had he been dropped in favour of a Sergio Ramos or Thiago Silva, it would have been understandable, but Blind appears nothing more than a stop-gap.

Telegraph.co.uk

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