Pogba helps Man United win pre-season opener
French midfielder sets up first goal as Solskjaer sends in different team after goal-less first half
|MAN UNITED||PERTH GLORY|
|(Marcus Rashford 60, James Garner 85)|
Wantaway star Paul Pogba overcame a turbulent week and helped a lacklustre Manchester United post a 2-0 friendly victory over Perth Glory on Saturday (July 13).
An under-pressure United struggled in their pre-season opener against a weakened Perth Glory, who won Australia’s A-League Premiers Plate last season.
After a goal-less opening half, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed his entire line-up and brought on several stars, including Pogba whose uncertain future at Old Trafford has overshadowed United’s pre-season tour.
United finally cracked Perth’s tenacious defence in the 60th minute when Pogba showcased his sublime touch with a deft backheel to forward Marcus Rashford, who struck it past goalkeeper Liam Reddy.
Pogba, who was been linked with a move to Real Madrid and Juventus, played the entire second half and helped United find more fluency. James Garner, 18, sealed the result with a long-range strike in the dying stages.
Suffering from a lack of numbers for the friendly, Perth fielded a youthful team including two 15-year-olds.
Solskjaer rested most of his guns in the first half, including Pogba, Rashford and regular goalkeeper David de Gea.
United, in their new gold away strip, controlled a subdued first half with speedy winger Daniel James eye-catching on the left flank.
Teenage midfielder Tahith Chong worked his way into the game after a slow start.
The Dutchman was on the end of Perth’s physicality when he received a strong bump from Glory captain Shane Lowry that looked more reminiscent of the Australian Rules football match played on the same Perth Stadium ground the night before.
After a dismal end to the 2018-19 season, United’s underwhelming performance keeps the pressure firmly on Solskjaer who took the reins from Jose Mourinho last December.
Romelu Lukaku, reportedly looking to secure a move to Inter Milan, was rested but is expected to play on Wednesday against Leeds United.
After their 10-day Australian tour, United continue on for pre-season games in Singapore (July 20) and China (July 25).