By Mark Weasley
Manchester United won 2-0 against bitter and local rivals, Manchester City in the first derby outside the shores of England. The Red Devils were better, expectedly so as it was our third match in the summer compared to City, who were only playing their first match.
Goals from new signing, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford ensured Jose Mourinho got one over his nemesis, Pep Guardiola, ahead of what promises to be a pivotal season for both managers. The crowd in Houston was huge, and now we take a look at 3 things we learnt from the International Champions Cup match.
Lukaku and Rashford can work
Most fans thought that the arrival of Romelu Lukaku would further relegate Marcus Rashford to the bench, but it seems that the 19-year-old has sufficiently impressed his manager who would be thinking of using the teenager and Lukaku in a front two.
Against City, the pair complemented each other, and helped create a balance. Lukaku’s brawn and physicality was matched by Rashford’s brilliance and technical ability, which ensured that both strikers got goals, and it could be a firm fixture going into next season.
Victor Lindelof will get better
Lindelof had a shocker in his first game in a United shirt against LA Galaxy, but against Sergio Aguero he stood tall. The 22-year-old Swede was bought for huge money from Benfica and is expected to form a mouth-watering partnership with Eric Bailly. He was very good on the ball, making tidy passes, getting good tackles in and communicating well with his other defenders.
A good pre-season will be good for his confidence and he must be another proof that Jose Mourinho rarely gets his defensive signings wrong.
Mkhitaryan will be key next season
Against City in the Premier League last season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was atrocious on his debut and was not seen in a United shirt until October as Mourinho questioned his adaptability and attitude. However, he regained form and was one key player as United enjoyed a solid end to the season.
Against the same opponents yesterday, he looked sharp and that bodes well going into next season. On his day, he is one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe and will only get better under the tutelage of Mourinho.