Manchester United beat Melbourne Victory 4-1 coming from 1-0 down after just four minutes. Scott McTominay scored the equaliser with Anthony Martial putting United ahead in the first half. Marcus Rashford also scored with the fourth coming from an own goal.
United did not have the best start against Melbourne Victory, starting with the high press but ending up being caught out in the fifth minute with the defence past the halfway line and Victory running with the ball. Christopher Ikonomidis scored the opening goal, assisted by Ben Folami.
United seemed to be rattled by the Victory opening goal, showing signs of the team they were last season after conceding – out of ideas and with their heads down. They struggled to rediscover their earlier rhythm but their passing was crisp and precise.
In the 13th minute of the match Victory had a chance to double their lead which shows both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire were unsettled. Four minutes later and United had a chance on goal after Bruno Fernandes released the ball into Scott McTominay but a deflection sent the ball out of play.
McTominay had another chance five minutes later after Diogo Dalot made a cut back, finding the Scotland international in the same place as his last chance but a block in the goal mouth put the ball out for a corner again.
United got though the Victory defence again in the 25th minute with Jadon Sancho carving an inch-perfect ball down the right channel which Fernandes collects, letting the ball run across his body before hitting is shot into the far corner but the goalkeeper made a great save to stop him scoring.
In the 27th minute of the match Anthony Martial weaved into the penalty area and rifled a shot towards the goal, striking a defenders arm at close-range with half-heated appeals for a penalty being dismissed by the referee. United needed to try harder.
Three minutes later, United were turning the screws on Victory, cranking up the pressure with Dalot breaking through on the right channel, drilling another low ball into the box, which was deflected out for yet another corner.
United were banging on the door in the late stages of the first half with Dalot darting down the right, cutting the ball back to Sancho, whose goal-bound effort deflected wide by the Victory defender. Maguire got his head on the corner that followed, but it was off target.
Fred had another good shot on goal in the 39th minute, trying to do what he did against Liverpool but it was not meant to be. United did get the equaliser in the 43rd minute of the match through McTominay, who was working hard to get a goal today.
Just two minutes later, United had another goal in the back of the net, this time by Martial. Dalot broke down the right channel, fizzed a cross into the six-yard box with Anthony Elanga showing his awareness and cushioning the ball into Martial to score his second pre-season goal.
United will be happy going into the break 2-1 up but the early goal they conceded shook them to the point it looked like nothing was going to change. However, they showed fight and spirit to get back into the game and now take the lead for the first time in the match.
At the start of the second half, Ten Hag made ten substitutions with Ethan Laird, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Tyrell Malacia, Zidane Iqbal, Charlie Savage, Thigh Chong, Donny van de Beek, Amad Diallo and Marcus Rashford all coming on. Only Tom Heaton remained on the pitch from the first half.
Victory had an early chance from the kick off in the second half with Ikonomidis reaching a cross on the right, losing balance and was left unable to get any purchase of the shot. It was something United needed to keep their heads with in the second half.
In the 51st minute of the match, Savage floated an intelligent ball over the Victory defence which Rashford gathered and improvised a flick header towards the goal from a distance, but the offside flag was raised. It was a good piece of skill from Savage though.
Rashford then drove down the left flank away from the defender, cutting the ball back to the edge of the area in the 53rd minute. Iqbal then arrived and tried to find the target but his left-footed effort was blocked – which was a shame. I would have liked to see him score that.
Chong then led another United attack in the 56th minute before releasing Laird on the overlap but the full-back put a bit too much power on the cross as it looped over all of his teammates in the box. It was a good attack though with United pressuring the Victory defence.
Iqbal then entertained the fans in the stadium with a pirouette away from a defender before whipping a cross into the area. It was a move that had everything other than the finish with Rashford not able to add the final touch to put United 3-1 up in this match.
United had a half chance in the 62nd minute of the match after the ball broke for Amad on the edge of the box with the opportunity being there for the Ivorian to get the shot away but he opted to square it to Rashford but mis-hit it into the gloves of the goalkeeper.
Tom Heaton started a counter attack in the 66th minute, getting his hands to a cross on the left, launching the ball forwards with United on the breakaway, throwing the numbers forward with Amad, van de Beek and Chong combining with the latter feeding Rashford who could not score.
Heaton then came to United’s rescue in the 70th minute after an awful touch from Bailly shared the ball into the United area where Ikonomidis was lurking. He made another save four minutes later with Victory seeking an equaliser.
United eventually got a third goal in the 78th minute through Rashford after United had some shaky moments in defence with Bailly. But the Ivorian turned into the provider with a fine run from the defensive line, feeding Rashford with the goalkeeper rushing to him, hitting the back of the net.
In the 86th minute, Nani made his debut for Victory, receiving a rousing reception from the crowd. Just four minutes into his appearance, United scored a fourth goal with Chong the creator after his driving run, putting the defence on the back foot and it deflected off Edmond Lupancu.
It was a good result for United, another four goals scored in a pre-season match. United will face Crystal Palace at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday before they head to Perth to face Aston Villa a week on Saturday before flying back to Manchester.
Tom Heaton: Had little chance to stop the Ikonomidis goal in the fourth minute of the match. Made some good saves in the second half to deny Melbourne. Played 90 minutes, which was probably what De Gea was going to do on Tuesday before injury. ★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Worked well with Sancho and had a better match than he did against Liverpool. Played a cross into the box which eventually led to Martial’s goal. He still needs to work on his form and ability, especially with a new right-back being sought. ★★★★★★
Victor Lindelof: He was beaten too easily for the Melbourne goal. Seemed shaky thereafter until time settled him. With Martinez coming this summer, he could end up being fourth choice defender, unless Bailly stays, then he could be fifth or lower. ★★★★★
Harry Maguire: He was massively off the pace for the opening goal of the game, showing his form from last season has carried into pre-season. He seemed to be void of the threat and United were punished for it. He needs to find a way to improve his game. ★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Found himself on the attack as the Melbourne goal was being created. He seemed to regress from the Bangkok game, perhaps showing complacency? He will need to find his feet and work well with the other defenders to stop this from happening. ★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Found the equaliser for United just before half time, after having two good attempts on goal before that – third time lucky. He seemed off the pace in the first two attempts but he perseverance shone through. ★★★★★★
Fred: I don’t think he did too much wrong in the first half of the match and even tried to chip the goalkeeper again, this time failing. It is good to see him getting match fit but United, as a team need to be a lot better than they were in the opening stages of this match. ★★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: I thought he was United’s best player and the most creative in the first half of the match. He played Fernandes in for a chance then let Dalot through which resulted in Martial’s goal with United taking the lead at the break. ★★★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Seemed to be regressing at times but dug deep and changed his methods a little. He then had a shot saved. He was good with the ball again, seemingly looking for the best pass rather than just dispatching the ball and hoping for the best. ★★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Made no real contribution to the attack against Melbourne, other than an inswinger. I’m not too sure that he deserves the opportunities being given to him if there is not going to be an output to his game. Pellistri would be a better option. ★★★★
Anthony Martial: Scored his second Goa of pre-season and looks like he is hungry for something this summer. Put United into the lead just before the break after pouncing on a loose ball to find that goal. It is good to see him enjoying his time on the pitch again. ★★★★★★★
Ethan Laird: Replaced Dalot 46′. Came on ahead of Wan-Bissaka but in terms of impression, he did not make much of one in this performance. Of course, it is early for him and many would like to see him succeed but I feel a season on loan beckons for him. ★★★★★★
Alex Telles: Replaced Lindelof 46′. Seemed to have a better impact than he did against Liverpool in Bangkok. But he still is not a central defender and his ability at left-back is questionable now. I don’t think he will be at United come the start of the season – if he is, nobody wants him. ★★★★★
Eric Bailly: Replaced Maguire 46′. Put in a good effort once again. Got an assist for Rashford’s goal which extended United’s lead to three. Also had some problems in defence, which he and his teammates weathered to win this match. ★★★★★★★
Tyrell Malacia: Replaced Shaw 46′. I don’t think he imposed himself on the ball enough and similarly to Laird, did not seem to make much impression. However, this is his second performance for United and he is getting used to his teammates. It is early days for him. ★★★★★★
Charlie Savage: Replaced Fred 46′. Played a good second half and seemed to be good on the ball too. His Dad will be pleased to see him put in the effort once again – as he did against Liverpool. He could well find himself with some first team football this season? ★★★★★★★
Zidane Iqbal: Replaced McTominay 46′. Another youth player who put in the effort and took the chance he was given. He could also find himself getting regular minutes for the first team if he continues to shine in this way, or at least find clubs scrambling for him on loan. ★★★★★★★
Tahith Chong: Replaced Sancho 46′. Seemed to be an odd selection in the second half with Hannibal and Garnacho still waiting for minutes so far this summer. He did force an own goal at the end of the match though, so got some plaudits for his performance. ★★★★★★
Donny van de Beek: Replaced Fernandes 46′. Again the Dutchman did not really get into the match in the number ten position. Ten Hag knows what he can do but it is up to van de Beek to do that or it could be another frustrating season for him. ★★★★★
Amad Diallo: Replaced Elanga 46′. Has loads of technical quality, which was shown against Melbourne. He might have a bright future ahead but in terms of impact in this match, there was not much to write home about. ★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Replaced Martial 46′. Scored his first goal of pre-season which could well be the start of something for him. It was a good response after being benched for Elanga, which did not work all that well in the first half. Still, it got Rashford scoring. ★★★★★★★
Erik ten Hag: He will be annoyed with the mistake the defence made in the opening minutes of the match so more training will be needed to teach them how to defend when on a high press. Saw his side fight back and win the match, scoring four goal – one an own goal. ★★★★★★★
Goals: Christopher Ikonomidis 5′; Scott McTominay 43′, Anthony Martial 45+1′, Marcus Rashford 78′, Edmond Lupancu 90′ og
Assists: Ben Folami 5′; Anthony Elanga 45+1′, Eric Bailly 78′
Manchester United: Heaton; Dalot (Laird 46′), Lindelof (Telles 46′), Maguire (Bailly 46′), Shaw (Malacia 46′); Fred (Savage 46′), McTominay (Iqbal 46′); Sancho (Chong 46′), Fernandes (van de Beek 46′), Elanga (Amad 46′); Martial (Rashford 46′)
Substitutes Not Used: Bishop, Kovar; Wan-Bissaka; Pellistri, Hannibal; Garnacho
Written by John Walker