Manchester United 2-0 Leeds: 4 things we learned from first pre-season game

Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United’s crowded pre-season fixtures commenced with a fruitful trip to Oslo where they faced off against their now-relegated rivals Leeds United.

The game went quite late until a clear winner emerged but it was the Mancunian giants who secured victory with an impressive second-half performance with the scoreline culminating 2-0 with goals from youngsters Noam Emeran and Joe Hugill.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the inaugural pre-season fixture.

1. Mason Mount’s Debut

The game was the first time that the no.7 jersey was seen donned by Mason Mount since his big move from Chelsea. The first half was a promising sight for most supporters who liked the intensity he brought to the pitch as well as the fearless fashion in which he attempted long shots.

His pass completion was likewise a promising stat but fans were quite peeved by a couple of his misses- the most prominent of which nearly hit the roof of the stadium.

2. Youngsters Stood Out

As is often the case with pre-season fixtures, the starlets from the academy and youth setups got all the time to shine. In particular, the likes of Kobbie Mainoo and Hannibal Mejbri, by now household United names from the academy, made a lot of positive moves doing little wrong.

But the most pleasant surprise came from Emeran and Hugill. The former was quite prolific and had a goal and assist to his name while the latter had all the arrogance of a United forward.

3. Kovar the Keeper

While supporters are eagerly awaiting Andre Onana to fill in the gloves of David De Gea, in Matej Kovar they got a good idea of what a confident keeper who plays well from the back looks like.

In fact, quite a few supporters were of the opinion that the shot-stopper could be the backup to Onana and that the club need not spend more on another talent. Could this be a career-defining performance for the 23-year-old?

4. Centre-forward Woes

What did not change however was the woeful fashion in which the forward line continued to not have a reliable force in the middle through whom to score goals and finish chances. Misses like the one Mount kept making were at the heart of the issue.

While a lot of transfer talk has focused on the goalkeeping side of things, Erik ten Hag and company must now zero down on a reliable striker.