Manchester United 2-1 Sampdoria: 5 talking points
Manchester United overcame Italian Serie A outfit Sampdoria 2-1 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, emerging 2-1 winners on the night thanks to two goals – one from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the other late on from Juan Mata.
The match was a decent contest between two competitive sides, but it was the Red Devils’ class that told in the end.
It also brought an end to United’s preseason contests, and will set them up nicely for the forthcoming UEFA Super Cup clash against Champions League winners Real Madrid next week, which Mourinho described as 'our first big match' before the season starts.
Take a read of our talking points of the match.
#1 United still suspect at the back
Although Jose Mourinho will be glad that his side emerged with a victory, a few eyebrows will surely have been raised at a number of defensive lapses that almost put paid to the great offensive work they had produced.
Obviously, the goal they conceded is not something that United fans would have been terribly happy about, especially considering that this was a match they could, and should, have won by several clear goals.
Dennis Praet’s goal, arriving in the 63rd minute, saw United fail to deal with a breakaway that led to Vasco Regini’s cross being only half cleared by the United rearguard as the ball bobbled into the path of the Belgian star to slot home.
The signs had been there from as early as the eighth minute, however, that United were a little shaky at the back.
Daley Blind’s over-hit back-pass for De Gea almost saw the ball roll into the back of the net only for the Spanish ‘keeper to reach out a palm to stop it. In the process, they conceded a free kick inside their own 18-yard box, and although that was cleared away, it was hard not to wonder how different the outcome could have been against a superior dead-ball specialist.
Sampdoria threatened little, but when they did, United looked suspect, like when Fabio Quagliarella latched onto a dinked through-ball with an attempted lob only to see his effort land marginally wide.
Lots of work for United to do at the back, then.