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Five talking points from Manchester United’s 2-0 pre-season victory vs Arsenal



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Credit: Manchester United

Manchester United continue Erik ten Hag’s great pre-season run as they defeat Arsenal 2-0 in New York, with Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho scoring.

Bruno Fernandes proved that he is back with a bang, opening the score at around 30 minutes with a zipping effort past Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Manchester United then added a quick second, with Jadon Sancho capitalising on a mistake from the Gunners’ Gabriel to race through on goal and thunder Erik ten Hag‘s men into a 2-0 lead before half-time.

Read More: “Written offer expected” – Man United transfer news as Reds edge closer to signing

The second half saw all 10 outfield players replaced with Ten Hag wanting to get as many minutes in his squad’s legs as possible across the tour – although Amad had to be replaced by Facundo Pellistri just before 60 minutes due to an ankle problem.

As the fixture drew to a close, the tempo died down, with the referee eventually blowing for full time with a 2-0 victory in United’s favour.

Here are five talking points from the game:

#1 – Heaton puts in a shift

While André Onana is currently not fit enough to play, Tom Heaton was the man to step in goal for United against Arsenal.

Heaton performed admirably, with a double save in the first half a highlight.

For United’s first goal, it was Heaton’s goal kick that set it all off. Taking his time to pick his pass, Heaton found Mainoo on the right-hand side with a long ball, who then shifted the ball to Bruno Fernandes, with the new club captain thundering it in past Ramsdale.

#2 – New year, same Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes did not look like a man who has not played football in a number of weeks.

Emerging from the tunnel as the new club captain of Manchester United, Fernandes instantly took the role as seriously as you could ask for, opening the scoring.

He was sharp, fast, and decisive in his first 45 minutes back playing football, which Ten Hag will no doubt be keen to capitalise on throughout the pre-season tour.

#3 – Mount and Fernandes combine

This fixture represented the first time that Mason Mount and Fernandes were able to combine on the field together.

Having trained together for the last week, Fernandes and Mount looked sharp running the midfield alongside 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo, who we shall speak about further in the next point.

Mount is looking sharper as every minute passes on pre-season, and with Fernandes and others now back training in the squad, the new signing will be able to further develop partnerships with his new teammates.

#4 – United have made the correct decision on Mainoo’s future

Manchester United decided last week that Mainoo will not be loaned out – with Ten Hag keen to use the player in his first-team squad this coming season.

Mainoo was fantastic against a full-strength Arsenal midfield. Playing as the deepest player against Declan Rice, Martin Ødegaard, and Kai Havertz, Mainoo did not look out of his depth for a second.

#5 – An injury worry for Amad

Just 13 minutes into the second half, Amad had to be substituted due to an injury he sustained on his left ankle.

Initially receiving treatment off the field, it was then decided by club doctors that Amad was unable to continue, and he was videoed walking gingerly on his ankle after he was removed from play.

It could spell a bit of trouble for Amad if the injury turns out to be serious, as after a fantastic campaign with Sunderland in the Championship last term, pre-season is the perfect opportunity for Amad to impress and force his way into Ten Hag’s plans.