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July 24, 2014
• Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Referee: B. Toledo
• Attendance: 86432
D. Welbeck 13'
W. Rooney 42', 45'+
R. James 62', 84'
A. Young 88', 90'
The referee finally puts LA Galaxy out of their misery as United run out emphatic 7-0 winners after a very impressive display. Rooney, Young and youngster James netted two each, with the other coming from Danny Welbeck in the early stages, but the star of the show was undoubtedly Ander Herrera, who put in a sublime display on his debut. Manchester United have been crying out for a talented central midfielder for a couple of years now, and judging by today's game, Herrera fits the bill. I hope you enjoyed the action today. Farewell until next time.
90' + 2'
Assist Ander Herrera
Goal Ashley Young
GOAL!!! Yes, United have a seventh! It is the exact same combination as the sixth goal. Herrera, yet again, slips a lovely pass into the danger zone for Young, who confidently smashed into the net.
Assist Ander Herrera
Goal Ashley Young
GOAL!!! UNITED HIT GALAXY FOR SIX! It probably doesn't need to be said as you are probably assuming that Herrera played a role, but the Spaniard again slips a pass in behind the Galaxy defence and Young raced on to the ball, skipping past the on-rushing goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net from 25 yards.
Galaxy really have not covered themselves in glory here today. Many were expecting the Americans to give United a run for their money due to the significant difference in terms of their fitness stages, but Bruce Arena's men have been calamitous.
Goal Reece James
GOAL!!! United make it five! Unsurprisingly, Herrera plays an integral role as he roams through the middle and feeds a clever pass into the area for Young. The winger sees his effort saved after trying to get back on to his right foot, but James calmly slots home the rebound with a good finish to double his tally.
KAGAWA GOES INCHES WIDE! The Japan star is played into the left side of the Galaxy area and, after shaping to shoot, he cuts inside and on to his right foot, but his eventual effort goes agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.
Lovely touch by Young as he receives a pass on the edge of the area, produces a first-time backheel to Herrera and then looks to receive a return pass in the area, but the Spaniard's pass is slightly too heavy.
More good play by Herrera as he picks up the ball in the final third, surges forward and then feeds Nani into the area. The winger collects possession and flashes a good ball across the face of goal, but there is not centre-forward on the pitch to knock in.
Good opportunity for Galaxy as Hoffman looks set to latch on to a lofted pass from the right, but Lindegaard rushes out and manages to make an important interception. earning United possession in the process.
Rafael finds himself in an advanced position again on the right and he delivers into the centre. His cross is partially cut out, but Herrera pounces on the airbourne ball and finds the target with a header, which is easily saved.
Decent move by the visitors as Nani manages to flick a ball on in the air, nodding it on to Young, who brings it down. Herrera is quickly involved and he searches for Rafael on the right. The Brazilian crosses, but Galaxy cut it out.
Galaxy create a chance of their own as Donovan's free-kick delivery is wildly directed off target with a header, but once again the assistant's flag is up for offside.
United are keeping possession easily and they are patiently knocking the ball around. Nani almost gets released into the Galaxy area, but he is flagged offside.
With United's centre-back trio of Michael Keane, Fletcher and Blackett looking unfamiliar, you would have expected Galaxy to look to test their visitors. That has not happened, though. United look as comfortable as ever.
United are looking for a fifth. Herrera's throughball is just about cut out by a defender before Young can latch on to it, but the ball soon drops for Nani out on the left. He produces a couple of stepovers and then cuts a pass back to Kagawa, but the Japan international can't get a shot away following a heavy first touch.
If it isn't already, this match is in serious danger of getting a little embarrassing for Galaxy. They have been dreadful so far, showing very little initiative and United look like scoring every time they get forward.
Assist Ashley Young
Goal Reece James
GOAL!!! DEBUT GOAL FOR JAMES! Herrera is involved yet again as he picks out a good pass down the wing for Young, who cuts a low cross back towards Reece James and the defender calmly finds the bottom-right corner of the net.
Among the Galaxy changes, Landon Donovan, who has been out of favour recently, gets on to the pitch.
Once again, United waste the set-piece as Galaxy are able to mop up with relative ease. This second half still hasn't really livened up as Galaxy prepare another six changes.
Another corner presents itself for United as Young is played into the final third and he attacks the right side of the hosts' area, before crossing. His delivery is deflected behind, however.
United are awarded with a couple of corners, but neither sees them craft much of an opening as the first is almost immediately nodded behind by a defender, and the second is played short.
Nani runs at the Galaxy left-back and, despite the overlapping run of Rafael, the Portugual winger tries to cross into the danger area and his delivery is knocked behind for a corner.
Galaxy win themslves a free-kick inside the United half, but Ishizaki's delivery is dealt with comfortably by United, who are quick to clear and launch an attack of their own.
Patient build-up here for United as they knock the ball around in confident fashion in midfield, biding their time as Galaxy sit back.
It has been a rather tepid start to the second half. Perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise considering the sheer volume of changes at the break, but hopefully the first half's intensity shall return.
Yellow Card Robbie Keane
The feisty Herrera does well to harry Robbie Keane into a mistake and the Spaniard then wins a free-kick as they tussle on the right-hand side. Keane also gets a yellow card, somewhat surprisingly.
In terms of United changes, Lindegaard, Rafael, Michael Keane, Blackett, James, Cleverley, Nani, Young and Kagawa are all on. Herrera and Fletcher are the only two to remain on the pitch for the visitors.
David de Gea
We are back underway for the second half.
It looks as though both sides have made wholesale changes ahead of the second half.
It's fair to say that this match is over as a contest as United take a resounding 3-0 lead into the break. Galaxy have been pretty terrible in all honesty, while United have looked very impressive at times, particularly Welbeck, Mata and Herrera. Van Gaal will undoubtedly be pleased with his first half in charge of United, with the Premier League side pressing excellently in the middle, while there has been a noticeable dynamism and fluidity to their midfield when in possession. A good start for United.
45' + 2'
45' + 1'
Goal Wayne Rooney
GOAL!!! UNITED GET A THIRD! It was a good move by United, but Galaxy have had an absolute nightmare with this goal. Welbeck's low cross is completely missed by Meyer and Rooney, who is effectively unmarked, finds the net despite seeing his initial effort saved by Penedo.
A two-goal lead is nothing less than United deserve so far. They have been very good, particularly in the middle of the park, while Galaxy have been very unimpressive.
Penalty Goal Wayne Rooney
GOAL!!! United double their lead! Rooney steps up and, although Penedo dives the right way, the England forward confidently burries his spot-kick into the right side of the goal.
PENALTY TO UNITED! Valencia causes problems down the right and charges into the right side of the Galaxy area, getting to the byline and digging a cross out. His delivery, however, hits the hand of DeLaGarza and the referee points to the spot.
Brilliant play by Herrera as he coolly controls the ball and then picks out a sublime left-footed pass out to the left flank for Shaw. The left-back gets a cross into the area, but Galaxy clear fairly comfortably.
United are forced into a rare bout of defending as Galaxy probe their Premier League visitors. DeLaGarza is fed into the left side of the United area and, although Valencia is covering, the left-back is able to get a delivery away. Nevertheless, it was very poor and his effort went straight into the hands of De Gea.
Rooney fires his corner delivery into the area, but the ball is halted by the unchallenged Penedo, who plucks the ball out of the air with ease.
Mata takes the free-kick, but his effort crashes into the wall and then goes out for a corner. Rooney trudges over to take it.
Yellow Card Leonardo
Lovely move by United! Welbeck plays an excellent give-and-go and collects Mata's return pass after taking Leonardo out of the equation. The England man looks set to run through on goal, but he is hauled down by Leonardo, who slipped. No card given, but United get a free-kick.
Chris Smalling is seeking medical attention for an apparent foot injury, but he does seem to be okay to continue.
Galaxy seem to have woken up a little in the last few moments. Juninho is the latest to get into a decent position as the Brazilian tries his luck from 25 yards, but his effort flies just wide of the right-hand post. De Gea never looked particularly worried, though.
The hosts almost craft a decent chance as Robbie Keane is slipped into the area, but he is unable to latch on to the pass, partly due to the attentions of Jones. The former Liverpool man wants a penalty, but the referee ignores his protests.
The free-kick is floated in towards the back post, but ultimately the Galaxy delivery pretty much goes straight out of play. Considering how little they have done from open play, that was a big waste.
Galaxy are perhaps a little lucky to win themselves a free-kick just inside the United half. Zardes is caught in possession by Herrera, who produces a strong challenge and, although he seems to win the ball, the referee awards a free-kick.
Herrera continues to star in this contest. The Spaniard has produced countless very classy touches so far and his link-up play with Mata already looks almost telepathic.
Herrera shows good vision to pick Valencia out on the right flank. The Ecuadorian is given a lot of space and he then flashes a decent cross into the area, but the delivery is ultimately too close to Penedo, who catches comfortably.
Galaxy win themselves a free-kick about 35 yards from their own goal following an aerial clash between Rooney and Meyer. The United man is perhaps lucky to escape a sanction there, as the centre-back seeks treatment following an elbow to the face.
Decent attempt by DeLaGarza as the left-back charges forward and then cuts inside, before shooting from about 25 yards. De Gea, however, gets down to his right and saves easily.
Good football again in the middle by United as Welbeck flicks a pass to Rooney who, despite being surrounded, takes a touch and then finds his England team-mate again. Mata is subsequently involved again a few seconds later as the visitors look to keep things tidy in the middle.
United almost craft another good opening as a long ball from the back is well controlled by Rooney, who then nudges a pass onwards for Herrera. However, the Spaniard uncharacteristically gifts possession straight back to Galaxy when looking to play a return pass.
Few would claim Mata showed his best in a Manchester United shirt last season, but fans will be very encouraged with his start here. He has been involved in most of United's attacks and he is in his favoured central position.
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Danny Welbeck
GOAL!!! The first goal of the Van Gaal era and Manchester United is scored by Danny Welbeck! Mata pounced on a poor pass and, after being bundled to the ground about 25 yards out, Welbeck hits the loose ball with a first-time effort, sending it in off the left-hand post.
Robbie Keane has been dropping very deep so far. The former Tottenham forward produces a very clever turn in the centre circle to evade the attentions of Herrera, but the attack doesn't really go anywhere.
Very good start to this match. Both sides are looking to play attacking football, while the combination of Mata, Welbeck and Herrera is working well at the moment for Van Gaal.
Galaxy get themselves a chance, meanwhile. Ishizaki does well to exploit space behind Shaw down the right flank and he fires a low cross in towards the penalty spot for Zardes, but the forward's first-time effort is struck straight at De Gea.
Penedo is forced into another save. Welbeck does brilliantly to poke the ball past a defender to Mata, who immediately plays a pass back to the England man. Welbeck produces a stepover to beat another man and then shoots left-footed, but Penedo makes the stop.
United fail to make the most of the corner, however, and Galaxy are quickly back in possession. Nevertheless, United fans will be encouraged by their team's start.
PENEDO TO THE RESCUE! Good move by United as Mata drops deep to pick up possessio and then, after driving forward, he lays a pass off to the advancing Herrera, who sees his long-range effort deflected and tipped over the crossbar by Penedo.
There is Herrera's first involvement in a United shirt. The midfielder receives a pass from Welbeck and, despite being under pressure, the former Athletic Club star quickly gets the ball back to his team-mate, releasing the England international into the final third. The attack ends, though, as Shaw's low cross is cut out.
Almost an encouraging moment for Galaxy there as Fletcher produces a heavy first touch when controlling De Gea's kick. However, Robbie Keane eventually accidentally knocks the ball out of play for a goalkick.
We are a little late getting started, but United take the kick-off in Pasadena.
Just a few minutes until kick-off now as the two teams make their way out on to the pitch.
Van Gaal has on more than one occasion insisted that he does not expect to add any new faces to his squad over the next couple of weeks as he runs the rule over the current crop. However, a look at the squad on their tour of the United States brings up a bizarre fact; they have more goalkeepers in attendance than recognised central midfielders. Surely that is something Van Gaal needs to address sooner rather than later?
Van Gaal also has a strong bench available to him if he decides to change things at any point. Many players such as Cleverley, Nani, Young and Zaha are battling to save their Manchester United futures, if reports are to be believed. They will be hopeful of proving a point should they be thrown into the fray.
There we have it. Louis van Gaal's first starting XI as Manchester United manager appears to be introducing a 3-4-1-2 formation for the English giants. Luis Antonio Valencia and new signing Luke Shaw look set to occupy the wide positions, while Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are deployed in a three-man defence. Another new boy, Ander Herrera, slots into the midfield alongside Darren Fletcher, who is captain.
Manchester United subs: Lindegaard, Amos, Johnstone, Rafael, Blackett, Michael Keane, James, Cleverley, Young, Zaha, Kagawa, Nani, Lingard, Will Keane.
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans; Valencia, Fletcher, Herrera, Shaw; Mata; Welbeck, Rooney.
La Galaxy subs: Rowe, Perk, Venter, Opare, Sorto, Garcia, Walker, Mendiola, BJ, Rugg, Friend, Donovan, McBean, Rogers.
LA Galaxy starting XI: Penedo; Gargan, Meyer, Leonardo, DeLaGarza; Ishizaki, Sarvas, Juninho, Husidic; Keane, Zardes.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Hello and welcome to the LIVE text commentary of Louis van Gaal's first match in charge of Manchester United, as the Premier League giants take on LA Galaxy. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California plays host to today's match and I, Ryan Benson, shall be describing the action for you.
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