Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho fielded a strong side against Everton for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford. United started with David De Gea in goal, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw at the back, Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera in midfield, Jesse Lingard, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial all playing behind ZlatanIbrahimovic. Mourinho made full use of his substitutes by making six substitutes at the start of the second half with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Morgan Schneiderlin, Marouane Fellaini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ashley Young replacing Bailly, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Lingard and Martial. Wayne Rooney was replaced in the 53rd minute with Marcus Rashford replacing him. In the 65th minute, Mourinho made four more changes with Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Juan Mata and Memphis Depay replacing De Gea, Valencia, Blind, and Ibrahimovic.
United dominated possession and the second half changes seemed to strengthen the side, but weaken it at the same time, so the strongest side was not actually playing together. It was a training match and one where fitness would help come through. You don’t win trophies in testimonial matches in pre-season – fitness is the key. Winning is great, but when it doesn’t matter, it takes the moment away. United will now head into Sunday’s match with Leicester City at Wembley to contest the FA Community Shield knowing that they have played all of their matches thus far – only training can help bring the players up to speed. Leicester City has not done well in pre-season, but they were playing some of the best teams in Europe, which is a big change from a year ago. United should have enough to beat them, though. The match ended 0-0, which was not all that thrilling, but fitness is the key.