After three matches, Manchester United are still without a win on the U.S. pre-season tour following a 1 – 1 draw against AC Milan in Los Angeles in the early hours of today.
The match which needed a win proceeded to a penalty shootout which was edged 9 – 8 by the Premier League side after 26 spot kicks..
Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera and Andreas Pereira were the stand-out players for Jose Mourinho’s side who will travel to Michigan to play Liverpool on Saturday in their second game of the International Champions Cup.
The United v Milan game was switched from the 92,000 capacity Pasadena Bowl to the 27,000 capacity home of the LA Galaxy, but the venue was still 6,000 short of capacity. The same venue was full a year ago for United’s first pre-season against an LA Galaxy reserve side a year ago.
Those who attended were not disappointed as they watched Sanchez give the English side the lead after 12 minutes as he finished a fine counter attack involving Scott McTominay and Juan Mata.
“The game was good, a good training session against a team with more time [preparing] than us, with more players than us, so was a good training session,” Mourinho said.
“We played in a system we don’t play in many times, so it was a good experience, too. We made a couple of defensive mistakes but with the ball we were dangerous, especially when we were fresh. Our problem at the moment is to play for 90 minutes, but for 65 minutes we were very good.
Mourinho believes United played their best football of the tour so far.
“We had a chance not to just score goals but beautiful goals,” added Mourinho, who praised the counter attack which led to Sanchez’s goal. Milan’s 14th equaliser came from Suso before that extended penalty shoot-out.
“In the end the penalties mean nothing but I think football fans, especially American football fans, enjoy the penalty shoot-out and was good fun,” added a now smiling Mourinho, who also explained that forward Anthony Martial has returned to Paris to attend the birth of his second child.
Despite missing nine players who had featured in the World Cup finals, Mourinho played his strongest side.
Unusually, he named Italian defender Matteo Darmian as his captain, explaining: “The captaincy because he is a fantastic guy in my two years and with Mr [Louis] Van Gaal before me. He is the kind of guy who is always ready to give what he has, he grew up in AC Milan and to play against his childhood club and be captain in a friendly has a nice meaning.”