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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′)

Starting XI: Rashford leads the line against Valerenga

Manchester United take on Valerenga at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, Norway this evening. The two sides last met in pre-season during the summer of 2012, before Robin van Persie arrived at the club with the final result being a 0-0 stalemate. United will be looking to change that this summer, leaving Norway with a victory in the back which will keep the team in good spirits ahead of their next pre-season match against Sampdoria on Wednesday evening in Dublin, Ireland. Jose Mourinho has a nearly full team at his disposal with only Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines. Both Ander Herrera and Juan Mata should be fit enough to be involved. Herrera has travelled with the team as he was seen in the images put out by the club earlier in the day.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Jones, Blind;

Carrick, Fellaini, Pogba;

Mata, Rashford, Mkhitaryan

Substitutes:

J. Pereira; Darmian, Lindelof, Mitchell, Smalling, Tuanzebe; Herrera, McTominay, A. Pereira; Martial, Lukaku

United have one more pre-season match left of the summer against Sampdoria at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Wednesday evening. Then, United face Real Madrid in Skopje, Macedonia to contest the UEFA Super Cup this summer where the UEFA Champions League holders will be pitted against the UEFA Europa League winners for supremacy ahead of the new season. United kick off their Premier League season at Old Trafford with West Ham United their first opposition on Sunday 13th August 2017. United’s pre-season has been a good one with five matches played in the United States of America, three being won in 90 minutes, one on penalties and one defeat. United will be looking to beat Valerenga this evening.

Preview: Mourinho looking to see his team score in Oslo on Sunday!

Valerenga -v- Manchester United

Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway

Sunday 30th July 2017; KO 18:00 BST

Live on MUTV in the United Kingdom

Manchester United face Valerenga at the Ullevaal Stadium in Olso, Norway on Sunday, their sixth pre-season match of the summer. United will travel to Dublin, Ireland to face Italian side Sampdoria a few days later which will wrap up the club’s pre-season tour of the United States of America, Norway and Ireland this summer. United have one more match before the Premier League season commence with the UEFA Super Cup match against Real Madrid, the second time the two clubs have faced each other this season, being played in Skopje, Macedonia on Tuesday 8th August, just five days before the club entertains West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday 13th August 2017. This has been a good pre-season tour with United winning four matches; LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and Manchester, one on penalties; Real Madrid and being defeated once, at the hands of Barcelona.

Valerenga have not done all that well this season and sit in seventh place in the Tippeligaen with 16 matches played, it should have been 17 but a match earlier this month was postponed. The club have scored 22 goals in the league, one of them an own goal, so scoring goals seems to be a problem for the Norwegian side led by former Celtic manager Ronny Deila. United will be looking for another victory in this match after failing to beat the side on their pre-season tour five years ago, suffering a 0-0 draw, which is something us supporters have become used to over the past few years. United should have a full squad to take to Norway with Luka Shaw, Ashley Young, and Marcos Rojo all out of action.

Jose Mourinho could well allow some youth players to be given a chance against Valerenga on Sunday with many not really getting many minutes during the USA leg of the tour over the past fortnight. The likes of Joel Pereira, Demetri Mitchell, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Timothy Fosu-Mensah could well be starting the match as Mourinho will be looking to see with the player on the fringe of the first team can offer ahead of the new season. United are still looking for two more signings this summer; a defensive minded midfielder and a winger, which could well be the difference ahead of the new season with Mourinho’s United expected to challenge in the Premier League and beyond.

Have Manchester United have been involved in a 0-0 stalemate against Valerenga in pre-season

Manchester United and Valerenga were involved in a 0-0 stalemate back in the summer of 2012 as Sir Alex Ferguson embarked on his last campaign as Manchester United manager. The match was played at the Ullevaal Stadion on the 5th August 2012 with Ferguson having a strong side in Norway with Anders Lindegaard, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Keane, Nani, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, and Danny Welbeck all starting. Anderson, Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard, Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa all being substitutes in the draw. David De Gea, Phil Jones, Dimitar Berbatov, and Federico Macheda did not play in the match. Of course, at the time in 2012 United had not yet signed Robin van Persie from Arsenal, his signing coming in the weeks after the match. United will be looking to break the deadlock this summer in Oslo.

Team News: Juan Mata and Ander Herrera could both be fit to face Valerenga

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will be paired in the centre of defence for the match in Norway with both Ander Herrera and Juan Mata both likely to return after suffering injuries in the USA. Mata came off against Real Salt Lake and did not recover to take part in the following three matches, whereas Herrera came off almost as soon as he came on against Real Madrid. Shaw, Young and Rojo will, of course, miss this match, but could well travel with the team for Sunday’s match. Mourinho, speaking to the official Manchester United website on Tuesday about Herrera and Mata, said:

“They cannot play tomorrow [against Barcelona] but I think they will recover in time to be integrated with the team when we go back to work next Saturday. They will probably play on Sunday [against Valerenga].”

Predicted Starting XI: Talented youth could be given a shot against Valrenga in Oslo

Match Prediction:

Valerenga 1-3 Manchester United

Scouting The Opposition: Valerenga looking to learn from Manchester United match to inspire them this season?

Manchester United travel to Oslo, Norway for Sunday’s match against Valerenga. It will be United’s sixth pre-season match of the summer with one more remaining before the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid on the 8th August. United have played Valerenga before during the pre-season tour of 2012, the start of the final season under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. The result in that match was 0-0, hopefully, that will not be the scoreline again this summer at the Ullevaal Stadion on Sunday. The match will kick off at 18:00 BST and will be broadcast live on MUTV in the United Kingdom.

Valerenga’s season is around the half way point after it started on the 3rd April 2017 with 16 matches played with the side sitting seventh in the Tippeligaen, three points about their finishing place last season. Rosenborg currently sits at the top of the league with twelve points more than Valerenga in seventh place. Ronny Deila’s side will need to put in a lot of work to finish in a higher place this season with only five points between them in seventh in 14th place, which carries a relegation play off at the end of the season to avoid the drop into the lower leagues. Valerenga will be looking to ensure they continue the form from their last six matches in which they have not lost, drawing four and winning just twice.

Ronny Deila was the former manager of Celtic before former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers took the position. Delia seems to have his work cut out for him in his native Norway. Former Manchester United striker and reserve league coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still manages Molde in the Tippeligaen, his side beating Valerenga 4-0 in the fourth game of the season, played on the 17th April 2017. Valerenga has a game in hand over five of the six teams above them at this stage of the season after their clash with Haugesund, who sit fifth in the league with two points more than Valerenga, was cancelled on the 12th July. Valerenga have not played since the 17th July, a 1-1 draw against Kristiansund. Valerenga will face Elverum in the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup.

The Norwegian side will not play another Tippeligaen match for a week after the pre-season friendly with Manchester United this Sunday. It is fair to suggest Deila’s side will be looking to challenge United, stopping them from scoring five years ago in their last pre-season friendly, ending 0-0 despite United having many chances to score. United will have the majority of their squad with Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, and Marcos Rojo remaining on the sidelines through injury, which should see them back in September, October and December respectively. Goals are something Valerenga seem to be struggling with this season, scoring just 22 (one of them an own goal) in 17 Tippeligaen matches this season with the league leaders scoring 33 goals so far in this campaign.

Midfielder Ghayas Zahid is the club top scorer in the league, scoring five goals, plus a further three in the Norwegian Cup. Forward Bård Finne has four goals in the league, plus another in the cup. Defender Jonatan Tollås has three goals in the league. Forward Mohammed Abdellaoue and midfielder Herman Stengel both have two league goals with forward Muhamed Keita, midfielders Magnus Grødem and Christian Grindheim and defenders Robert Lundström and Enar Jääger all scoring one goal a piece. Valerenga had also capitalised form an own goal during the league season.

Looking at the goals scored during the first half of the season, comparing that to Manchester United’s squad, even with the youth being given a chance, I don’t think Valerenga will have the tools required to beat Jose Mourinho’s side, but never say never in football. Stranger things have happened. One thing is for sure, the Norwegian Red Devils will be happy to see their team play in their native country once again this summer.

copyright: JW