Report: Manchester United 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes – #MUTour2018


Manchester United drew for the second time in their pre-season tour of the USA, this time against San Jose Earthquakes at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. United had a few chances, through Eric Bailly, who hit the crossbar, Alexis Sanchez, who went wide with a free-kick and Scott McTominay, who did not put enough into his header on goal.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes from the side which start against Club America in the early hours of Friday morning. Alexis Sanchez, Tahith Chong, James Garner, and Joel Pereira started in place of Demetri Mitchell, Juan Mata, Scott McTominay, and Lee Grant. United started the game in good stead, pressing the American side for an early goal. Valencia saw his cross into the box cleared, thwarting the attack.

In the fourth minute of the match, United were in possession in the San Jose box. Sanchez whipped in a cross which Bailly got to the end of, hitting the inside of the crossbar instead of the back of the net. It was a good chance for United. However, in the eighth minute of the match, Valencia was replaced by Matteo Darmian due to injury.

United were looking bright in the early stages of the match and Sanchez, after a long summer holiday, looked ready to drive United forward. The Chilean had the chance to cross the ball into the box, after chasing it into the corner but could not get the cross away from his man. San Jose, whose fitness levels will be much better then United with them being three months into their season, saw them enter a purple patch.

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In the twelfth minute, United had better possession of the ball with Shaw driving forward into space. Martial, as the striker, was not getting the service he needed, which has been problematic over the past few seasons but right now it will be because of the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, also Fred not being part of the tour, so far at least.

Sanchez was fouled by Florian Jungworth in the 17th minute of the match, the German seemingly grabbing the next of the Chilean, bringing him down. The San Jose captain was shown the yellow card, the first one of the match. Twenty minutes into the match, Shaw conceded a free-kick, which came to nothing for the Earthquakes. United, despite not having much creativity, were doing well thus far.

In the 24th minute, Martial had a break on the ball, got into the box, looked like he was going to shoot and got dispossessed at the last second. Shaw had a chance in the 26th minute but his volley hit the ground, taking the thunder out of the strike and sending it over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Martial fed the ball into Ander Herrera but the return from the Spaniard was not strong enough.

Sanchez won a free-kick on the half hour mark of the match, took it himself and saw his shot whistle just wide of the target. Two minutes later, there was a water break in the game, which was something both teams look like they needed at this stage. On the sidelines during the break, Kieran McKenna was speaking to a number of the players, giving them instructions, presumably from the manager.

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The break ended three minutes later and two minutes into the restart, seemingly one of the highlights of the first half, a dead bird had to be removed from the pitch with Jungworth removing his shirt, taking the bird off the grass and returning to the pitch to continue the game. San Jose won a free-kick at the edge of United’s box in the 40th minute of the game, which came to nothing for the MLS side.

The time from the water break was added on at the end of the half with United seeking to go into the break a goal to the good. However, it was not happening for Mourinho’s side. San Jose were adjudged to be offside twice in the added time, seeking to capitalise themselves. The half ended 0-0 with the chances from the game both coming from United with Bailly’s crossbar rattler and Sanchez’s free-kick.

At the start of the second half, Mourinho made five changes with Grant replaced Pereira, Timothy Fosu-Mensah replacing Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe replacing Smalling, Scott McTominay replacing Garner, and Mata replacing Chong. United had a chance through Pereira in the 51st minute but it was always going to be wide of the target. United needed to be a little more clinical in this half of the game.

In the 57th minute of the match, San Jose could have found the first goal, seemingly beating Grant with Fosu-Mensah clearing the ball off the line, which may earn him some plaudits with Mourinho, especially in the fact he is seeking a new central defender this summer. Perhaps the Dutchman could be a player in contention with the media driving the agenda of United seeking to buy?

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United had a good chance on goal in the 65th minute of the match with Herrera through on goal but he was offside. United made another change with Sanchez being replaced by Mason Greenwood. United had more possession in the second half of the game but in terms of chances being created, there was little that needed to be spoken about.

San Jose had another shot on goal but Grant made a great save to deny the MLS side from taking the lead in this game. From the corner, the Earthquakes had another shot but it was rising over the crossbar despite Grant rising to tip the ball over the crossbar. United, after breaking forward, won a free-kick after Herrera was taken down just on the edge of the box in the right-hand side.

Mata took the free-kick, floating the ball into the box but the Earthquakes made the clearance with United having to regain possession and start their counter again. United won another corner with 15 minutes remaining after Greenwood was calling for the ball in the centre of the box and the ball being put out of play. Nothing came of the corner.

Mourinho made another change with Mitchell replacing Shaw in the 76th minute of the match, just before another water break delayed the match from continuing. United had another chance with McTominay in the box with Greenwood playing the cross into the box but the Scotland international did not put enough on the chance.

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United started to press late into the game but that inspired San Jose to break forward themselves. With ten minutes to play, the MLS side nearly scored, beating Grant with only the crossbar saving United blushes. In the 83rd minute of the match, Mourinho made another change with Angel Gomes replacing Pereira. Grant made another save late on, denying Chris Wondolowski. United then had a corner, which came to nothing.

Two minutes of added time was played at the end of the half with both sides seeking that winning goal. The match ended 0-0 with little to congratulate either side for. Grant was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second half. In terms of creativity, United need to find something from somewhere otherwise the start of the season is going to be tough with at least seven first team players missing from the squad.

Manchester United: J. Pereira (Grant 46′); Valencia (Darmian 8′), Bailly (Fosu-Mensah 46′), Smalling (Tuanzebe 46′), Shaw (Mitchell 76′); Herrera, Garner (McTominay 46′), A. Pereira (Gomes 83′); Chong (Mata 46′), Martial, Sanchez (Greenwood 65′)

Substitutes Not Used: Williams; Bohui, Hamilton

Bookings: Axel Tuanzebe 90′

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