Before the anticipated match against Arsenal, Manchester United’s manager, Erik Ten Haag, made it clear to the media that “we don’t play friendly matches.” On Saturday afternoon at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the Red Devils backed up his statement by defeating the Gunners 2-0.
Within the first half, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho scored within eight minutes of each other, providing United with a comfortable lead and securing their third consecutive preseason shutout.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale watched as Bruno Fernandes’ shot slipped past him and into the net. Arsenal’s center-back Gabriel’s clearance attempt lacked strength, allowing Jadon Sancho to capitalize fully.
United effectively made life difficult for Arsenal with a well-organized defensive setup led by Gabriel Magalhães, thwarting several early opportunities for the Gunners and maintaining control with physical challenges and swift changes in possession. Arsenal failed to pose any significant threats in the second half, with many of their attempts seen as relatively routine for United.
United played really well enough to deserve a victory and was the better team on the day, showcasing a solid game plan. Arsenal, on the other hand, fielded new arrivals Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, and Jurian Timber, but none managed to make a significant impact on the match. Although Mason Mount provided United with an early lead, he was still trying to secure his place in the team. New goalkeeper André Onana was present in the stadium but did not manage to keep a clean sheet for United.
Both teams will now shift their focus to their next matches in West Coast. United will face off against Sain Diego on Tuesday night, while Arsenal is set to meet Barcelona on Wednesday, July 26, provided the Spanish club overcomes their fitness issues, which led to the cancellation of their friendly match against Juventus on July 22.
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