Report: Fellaini, Lukaku and McTominay ensure United left Norway with a win

Manchester United beat Valerenga 3-0 at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, Norway on Sunday evening. Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring in the 44th minute of the match with a deflected header, which seemingly ended speculation of an exit to Galatasaray this summer as he looks to continue his career at the Old Trafford club ahead of the new season. It was a half of many chances for United, who just could not get the ball into the back of the next, at least until the Belgian midfielder, who everyone loves to hate, put to ball into the back of the net. Henrikh Mkhitaryan nearly opened the scoring after Juan Mata set him up with a chance.

Romelu Lukaku scored United’s second goal a minute after the start of the second half, after Jose Mourinho made nine changes at the break, playing four at the back in the first half and three at the back in the second half. United dominated the possession throughout the match, showing the different classes between the Premier League and the Norwegian league, a void which was not all that close. Paul Pogba did his best to get involved in the game, peppering the opposition with shots throughout his time in the match, him being replaced by Scott McTominay in the 61st minute and many suggest McTominay, despite starting his United career at this level was not good enough.

McTominay scored United third goal in the 70th minute of the match, ending the scoring with United leading their plaudits in their first pre-season match of the summer in Europe. United started the match playing a 4-1-4-1 formation, starting the second in a 3-5-2 formation, which Mourinho will most likely play against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in just over a week’s time. The Portuguese manager will be pleased with the performance, the second half being much better than the first as he gets his side ready to face Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday evening, the last pre-season match of the summer before competitive football starts.

After the match, United manager Jose Mourinho spoke about various things he saw throughout the match, starting with his overall thoughts, saying:

“I am satisfied. I thank Ronny [Deila] and these boys [Valerenga] for the game they gave us and I thank the ref because they had a very professional training session. Of course, Champions League referees are top quality referees. It was good for us because it was a good pitch and the opponents were very well organised, trying to play from the back. After the United States, and matches where we were struggling with jet lag, it was a good game for us where I could play each player for 45 minutes. Now, with one more step, a little rest and the Sampdoria match and then the official season starts and, until now, we have no injuries. So let’s see if we can start the official season with this positive situation.”

Mourinho also spoke about Romelu Lukaku’s third goal for the club after failing to score in two matches during the tour of the United States of America, saying:

“It’s nice. You know strikers, they like to score goals. It’s not important for me but probably it’s important for him. It’s important for his confidence and for his self-esteem. Strikers like to score goals; us managers, many times we are happy with them even when they don’t score, because of the way they participate in the team organisation and game plans. But, for them, to score their goals is always important.”

Finally, Mourinho also spoke about the progress of new central defender, Victor Lindelof, saying:

“Step by step. Benfica is a giant club, I always think that players coming from Benfica come mentally ready because it is a big club and the responsibility to play for them makes players ready. But the Portuguese league is different and has different qualities. Benfica is one of the dominant teams, so he’s more used to playing with the ball than without the ball, so he needs his time and we are going to give him his time to develop. Such a young player needs time. Manchester United is a huge club with huge responsibility; the Premier League is the same. So let’s give him time, but we’re happy with what he is doing, step by step.”

Goals: Marouane Fellaini 44′, Romelu Lukaku 47′, Scott McTominay 70′

Manchester United: Romero (J. Pereira 61), Darmian (Fosu-Mensah 46′), Bailly (Lindelof 46′), Jones (Smalling 46′), Blind (Mitchell 46′), Carrick (Tuanzebe 46′), Fellaini (Herrera 46′), Pogba (McTominay 61), Mata (A. Pereira 46′), Mkhitaryan (Martial 46′), Rashford (Lukaku 46′)

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