A record crowd of 109,318 watched as Manchester United put three goals past Real Madrid to win in Michigan. This was the final game of United preseason trip to the United States before the English Premier league starts on August 16th.
Ashley Young grabbed two goals whilst Javier Hernandez scored the final goal for United as they beat the European Champions. This was Louis van Gaal’s fourth win as manager in four pre-season matches.
Former Tottenham player (and one time United target) Gareth Bale grabbed himself a goal via the penalty spot, but this was all real could muster in response. The European Champions seemed unable to respond to United’s attack even with the introduction of former Red Devil Cristiano Ronaldo.
With Van Gaal enjoying wins over Roma, Inter Milan, LA Galaxy and Real Madrid fans will be in confident mood ahead of Mondays International Champions Cup final between Liverpool and Manchester United.
Liverpool will be a very different challenge for the Red Devils as their rebuilding continues. Liverpool qualified for the final only after Manchester City lost on penalties to Olympiakos.
So, the real question is what does this mean? Do four pre-season wins against some stiff opposition mean anything? Does hammering LA Galaxy 7 nil mean United have improved? Let’s be honest and with no disrespect to LA Galaxy they are hardly a real test for United, especially in a pre-season friendly.
Certainly, van Gaal would be under greater pressure had he lost the first four pre-season friendlies. However, even if that was the case you can bet your bottom dollar that they would have said friendlies and preseason results are meaningless. Nevertheless, the results are being used by fans as proof that the good times are returning to Old Trafford.
It is worth noting that the Liverpool revival took more than just some pre-season games, that said they had not just replaced their manager… they did stick with him for a further season. Brenden Roger was fortunate not be another casualty of a board with an itchy trigger finger that year, but I digress.
It has certainly been a positive preseason which could not be said of last season. Even then David Moyes looked nervous and unsure of himself which was not something you would have said of the man when he was at Everton.
So a few preseason wins do not make a season, nor does it guarantee a change in fortune but it does give fans confidence that there will be some fight this year. Whether the likes of Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, Inter Milan and Roma are at all concerned at their own preseason form is another question.
One thing is for sure, Louis van Gaal has made a good start to his United career and he certainly is making the right noises about discipline and hard work. For preseason wins to translate into league form the team need to understand each other and I for one am happy to see improved understanding between players, certainly it is much better than it was last year.