Man United beat Arsenal 2-0 in New Jersey yesterday, but what did we learn from the encounter? Let’s take a look.
Fair play, Manchester United made pretty light work of a very average Arsenal side yesterday evening in the United States. Erik ten Hag’s side looked sharp against The Gunners, who went almost full strength.
Yes, it was just a friendly game, but the match itself was anything but. Both sides went out there to win, though United were just that little bit sharper in every aspect. It was a really pleasing performance on the whole.
No only did United win the match 2-0 via goals from Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho, the Reds also won the penalty shootout 5-3, without missing a single spot-kick. That’ll also be good for the confidence levels.
Anyway, let’s get right into the five biggest things that we learned from this all-Premier League encounter.
Kobbie Mainoo continues to impress
I genuinely think we’re underestimating how spectacular this young man looks when he takes to the field. I fully believe he’ll be playing regular minutes this upcoming season. I’m not quite sure whose place he’s going to take but man, Kobbie Mainoo is unreal.
Good in possession, press resistant and willing to cover every single blade of grass for the cause. He’s outstanding.
There’s no such thing as a friendly against Arsenal
Just ask Lisandro Martinez! Jokes aside, it was a fiery encounter with both sides putting in some cynical tackles. You never want to lose to your Premier League rivals and it showed.
This is exactly what you need, though. It’s excellent preparation for when the serious stuff starts next month.
Perhaps there’s still something Jadon Sancho can offer
Maybe I’m getting suckered back in, but Jadon Sancho played with confidence and belief yesterday evening. He looked super comfortable on the ball, while showing genuine intent and purpose. That’s exactly what he’s been lacking for a couple of years now.
The problem is that when the serious stuff starts, I’m not quite sure whether he’ll be handed regular opportunities to start matches with regularity.
Tom Heaton is an excellent back-up option
Credit where it’s due. Tom Heaton looked good. He made an excellent double save in the first 45 minutes to help preserve his clean sheet.
On top of that, his distribution was quality. With the ball at feet, Heaton found a United shirt more often than not and it was really pleasing to see.
Erik ten Hag is improving this United side
To a man, United are getting better under this manager. This is exactly what you want from your boss. He’s turning 6/10 players into 8/10 and we’re witnessing that right before our very eyes.
We’re very lucky to have a gaffer like this in place and I get the feeling he will not rest until United are winning major honours with regularity again.