By 90Min
July 30, 2019

Juan Mata scored a last ditch penalty as Manchester United edged out Kristiansund in their penultimate pre-season friendly in Oslo on Tuesday.

United dominated the game, but it took until the 92nd minute for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men to break the deadlock. Solskjaer's son Noah also made his debut for Kristiansund in what was a wonderful moment as cheers rung out.

Kristiansund hold the best defensive record in the Eliteserien, and it was clear to see why in the opening exchanges. Jesse Lingard came closest to breaking the deadlock early on, curling a shot from the edge of the box inches wide of the far post. Phil Jones also had a headed opportunity but it was comfortable for Sean McDermott.

United continued to dominate the first half, with Marcus Rashford forcing a save from a free-kick. Scott McTominay forged a number of opportunities for himself, rattling the post with a ferocious shot.

In the second half, Kristiansund had a glorious chance to take the lead, but Sondre Sørli nodded wide from five yards out. However, normal service soon resumed and United got back on the front foot with Rashford forcing a brilliant save moments later. The chances continued to present themselves but the end product was still missing. 

However, Mata latched on to a cute Paul Pogba pass and was taken down by the goalkeeper - the Spaniard stood up and slotted the ball home with almost the last kick of the game to win it for United.


Manchester United

Key Talking Point


United once again looked sharp as they prepare for the 2019/20 season. The front four of Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Lingard and Rashford were very keen to initiate the high press as soon as the ball was lost - a prominent feature of United's play in pre-season. 

The Reds played some intricate one-touch football as they carved out a plethora of chances in front of goal. The thing that will continue to aggravate United fans is the lack of ruthlessness going forward. 

As United continued to lay siege on the Kristiansund goal, there was a growing frustration considering the number of chances they managed to create but not finish.

It's not the first time United have struggled to make their dominance count, and this performance will slightly unnerve fans despite the obvious positives from the game. 

However, one big positive from the night was Mason Greenwood, who again was outstanding in his 30 minute cameo. The 17-year-old took up some intelligent positions and committed defenders, making a real difference off the bench. 

Is he really only 17?


Player Ratings


Starting XI: De Gea (6); Wan-Bissaka (6), Jones (6), Lindelof (6), Shaw (7); Matic (4), McTominay (8*); James (6), Lingard (6), Martial (7); Rashford (7).


Substitutes: Romero (6), Dalot (6), Tuanzebe (6), Rojo (5), Young (5), Pereira (6), Fred (6), Mata (7), Pogba (7), Chong (6), Greenwood (7).


STAR MAN - McTominay was outstanding in midfield, showing phenomenal athleticism and creativity. The Scotland international snuffed out any potential threat whilst also racing forward to create countless opportunities for the forwards.

He did not shy away from leading the team from the centre of the park, carrying the ball forwards with a sense of urgency. His work rate set the tempo and others responded in similar fashion. The 22-year-old most certainly did his chances of starting his side's Premier League's opener against Chelsea no harm.


The club may well be looking to complete deals for midfielders such as Bruno Fernandes, but McTominay appears to be one player who is certainly not wiling to give up his spot in the team without a fight. 


Looking Ahead


The Red Devils take on Chelsea on the opening weekend of the Premier League. Before that, United face Milan at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday - their final match of pre-season. 

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