Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof pulled on the Manchester United shirt for the first time during a 5-2 victory against LA Galaxy.
Jose Mourinho’s summer buys had to make do with a place on the bench for the first half as United raced into a three-goal lead, but both played the full second half as United ran out comfortable winners in LA.
But how did Lukaku and Lindelof do? We assess their performances at the StubHub Center…
Lukaku’s friendship with Paul Pogba off the field is well documented and within minutes of the Belgium international’s introduction against LA Galaxy the Frenchman gifted his new team-mate with a glorious opportunity to open his Manchester United account.
Pogba pounced on a loose clearance from substitute goalkeeper Brian Rowe and could have shot himself, but decided to lay the chance on a plate for Lukaku. One-on-one with the goalkeeper, Lukaku picked his spot but Rowe atoned for his earlier error with a smart stop to deny the former Everton striker a goal.
After that, the chances were few and far between for Lukaku but he showed the other elements to his game in the 45-minute cameo.
Playing alongside Anthony Martial, he linked the play up well and showed the power he possesses, holding off the challenge of Ashley Cole and bundling him to the floor in the process.
The 24-year-old also played a part in Martial’s goal. His run to the near post freed up space for the Frenchman, who was picked out by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
For a first outing, there were glimpses of the attributes Lukaku has at his disposal and Mourinho was impressed.
“He is a team player. He is not selfish and not obsessed with goals,” the United boss told reporters.
“He was not worried about himself, he was worried about the improvement of the team. So that’s all good.”
United continued with three at the back after the break with Lindelof playing as the central centre-back in between Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe.
With Galaxy struggling to get a foothold in the game the 22-year-old, who cost United an initial £30.7m, was not really tested in defence but he did look composed on the ball with a good range of passing as United attempting to build from the back.
He could have made a major impact in attack when the ball fell at his feet from a corner, however, the former Benfica defender snatched at his shot, firing the ball high over the crossbar.
Lindelof was eventually required to show some of the defensive traits which convinced Mourinho to bring him to Old Trafford, sliding in to make a perfectly timed tackle with Emmanuel Boateng breaking into the penalty area.
The Sweden international also showed an excellent ability to read the game, intercepting an attempted through ball before turning defence into attack with quick feet and a darting run into the Galaxy half. He then laid the ball off and continued his run into the penalty area as United worked the ball to Fosu-Mensah, but the wing-back ignored the run, firing a shot high over the bar.
The one disappointment would have been the part he played in LA Galaxy’s first goal. Lindelof was left somewhat flat-footed as Giovani dos Santos’ excellent first touch easily took him past the Swede and in on goal as the former Tottenham star grabbed his first goal.Euro Soccer Bonus
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