Dortmund give Mourinho reality check
United's lack of invention and industry must seriously worry Mourinho
INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP
MAN UNITED 1
(Henrik Mkhitaryan 59)
B DORTMUND 4
(Gonzalo Castro 20, 85, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 36-pen, Ousmane Dembele 57)
The Portuguese bubble needed just two pre-season friendlies to burst.
Jose Mourinho has work to do.
He's inherited a fine mess at Manchester United, a club that have missed out on the top four twice in three seasons, a fallen franchise masquerading as title contenders.
Last night's result in Shanghai was mostly meaningless, as these branding exercises usually are.
But a seriously weakened Borussia Dortmund, playing without their Euro 2016 stars and impressive new signings, strolled to a 4-1 victory, rarely pushing the gearstick out of neutral to knock over Mourinho's skittles.
The Red Devils were awful, objectively, undeniably awful.
They defended like confused foals on roller-skates. As for the attack, well, they didn't, although it must be mentioned that Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were absent.
United scraped the bottom of Louis van Gaal's barrel of boredom and were left mired in David Moyes-like mediocrity.
All of the obvious excuses - it's pre-season, the lack of match fitness, the Shanghai humidity and key players still on post-Euro 2016 holidays - were mostly shared with the German side.
Dortmund are five matches into their pre-season campaign. United have played only twice, but their lack of invention and industry and their inability to even retain possession must seriously concern Mourinho.
Of his two new signings, Eric Bailly was the busier man at centre back as Dortmund completely dominated.
Other than his second-half tap-in, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a passenger against his former club.
Honestly, Mourinho learned little from the dire contest other than sweaty farces played on distant, pockmarked pitches please no one beyond celebrity-spotting supporters.
He also learned that United are light years from being title contenders.
His usual 4-2-3-1 only highlighted the dearth of creative, industrious options.
Memphis Depay started alone up front, a position he cannot really play in fixtures of real significance.
Jesse Lingard, who occasionally found himself the furthest forward, was marginally less blunt as an attacking tool, but United's frontline was largely toothless.
Marcus Rashford, introduced in the second half, offered raw pace but little else. Mourinho's best striking option remains Rooney.
He needs to go shopping, urgently.
From front to back, he is bedevilled by a shortage of proven pedigree.
After a couple of sliced clearances, Sam Johnstone struggled to assert his deputy status behind David de Gea and gifted Dortmund an easy opener.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's free-kick travelled 25 metres, slowly, and yet Johnstone moved like a pensioner shovelling snow out of his driveway.
Even then, United's unfamiliar back four enjoyed a quick game of musical statues to allow Gonzalo Castro to bundle home the rebound in the 20th minute.
Dortmund added a second when Antonio Valencia, the United skipper, inexplicably handled the ball in an almost empty box.
Aubameyang converted from the spot, much to the delight of the tens of Dortmund fans in an all-red arena.
Ousmane Dembele spun Marcos Rojo like a merry-go-round before lashing the ball home after 57 minutes. The French forward turned 19 only in May. Remember his name.
Mkhitaryan's name is hard enough to spell, let alone remember. Yet he complicated spell-check further with a tap-in moments later.
But Mourinho needs more than an Armenian with a difficult surname.
United's performance was a sobering reminder that the Portuguese alchemist needs time - and a much longer shopping list - to turn deadwood into polished silver.
If further confirmation was needed, Castro smashed home a 30-metre wonder strike in the 85th minute, the kind of goal that United used to score.
Red Devils apologists will argue that Dortmund are further along in their pre-season preparations.
But the gap between both sides wasn't just three friendlies. It was a chasm.
"I am happy with the 90 minutes that we have in our legs, which is very important. Some people prefer to play lower-quality teams and get confidence but, when you play a team like Borussia, obviously it is more difficult. The players are frustrated because nobody likes to lose."
- Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho