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August 12, 2014
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 58381
D. Fletcher 49'
M. Fellaini 90'+
That's all from me. I've been Keeghann Sinanan and it's been a pleasure!
Valencia can have no complaints, their positivity was too few and far between. United will head into their Premier League opener against Swansea with some confidence now.
United round off their pre-season with another win, their sixth from six games. That late winner was the stuff that Old Trafford was built on and even drew a smile from Louis van Gaal.
90' + 2'
That's the last kick of the game! It's all over!
90' + 1'
Assist Tyler Blackett
90' + 1'
Goal Marouane Fellaini
FELLAINI HAS DONE IT AS ONLY HE CAN! The ball is pumped long into the box and the midfielder uses all his muscle and afro to disrupt the defender and goalkeeper, before taking the ball on his chest and slotting into an empty net! He's won it at the death!
90' + 1'
Rodrigo heads off the pitch after a job well done. He was more of a facilitator than finisher today, but still popped up in the right place at the right time to score the leveler. On comes Araujo for the one and only minute of added time here.
Fellaini has been on the ball a lot since coming on. To his credit, he's broken up a few attacks and probably doesn't deserve the ironic cheers that he's getting from the United fans. He's attracted public interest from Napoli this summer after a disastrous first season at Old Trafford.
Cleverley pings a great cross-field ball to James on the left, who controls it with equal poise. United continue to build from the back and the crowd is expectant, but Valencia have shut the door. Time is fast running out.
Manchester United are really ramping up the pressure in the final stages. Januzaj had added some real thrust to their attack and Rooney has also looked increasingly dangerous. The passing and movement is crisp in the final third - can Valencia hold on in what little time remains?
Rooney sprays a superb pass wide to Kagawa with one touch from his right, but the Japanese cannot get the return ball past the first defender at the near post. That was a slick interchange that showcased Rooney at his best. Too bad there wasn't more of that earlier.
GENIUS FROM DE GEA! The keeper parries a shot from distance but the rebound spills for Alcacer, who seems primed to slot home for a goal. However, De Gea climbs to his feet and manages to block the second attempt! That keeps the scores tied!
The rain is beginning to pelt down at Old Trafford. Still locked at one apiece here heading into the final stretch. United have shaken off their nerves after conceding and are now the side in the ascendancy.
Wonderful pass from Januzaj with his left foot picks out Rooney open at the top of the box. The forward turns well, and bends a shot towards the top corner, but he can't keep it down! Alves was stretching though and for the second time against Rooney, he might have had it covered.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
The expected introduction of the Belgium duo comes as a welcome respite for United. They have been rocking since conceding, with Valencia swarming all over them in the hunt for the go-ahead goal. Chicharito and Herrera are sacrificed.
Gomes has put together some succinct passes tonight but his race is run. He makes way for the energetic Guardado, who had some good times for Mexico in the World Cup, particularly catching the eye off the bench in their win against Croatia.
PIATTI NEARLY COMPLETES THE COMEBACK! Nearly a quickfire second for the Spanish side, with the substitute missing from point blank range under pressure from De Gea! From that position, the keeper should have had no chance! It has to go down as a massive miss!
VALENCIA TIE IT UP! Cleverly just handed the equaliser to Rodrigo on a platter. A simple free kick sees Herrera and Cleverly miscommunicate, with the latter inadvertently clearing the ball right to Rodrigo at the far post, who makes no mistake. Van Gaal looks murderous.
The Belgium duo Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini are spotted going through their warmup on the sidelines. The pair were given an extended break after their exploits for Marc Wilmots' Belgium side in the World Cup but are set to enter the fray shortly.
I've not been wholly impressed with what Rooney has had to offer tonight. He's dropped deep to link with his teammates yes, and has been unselfish, but he fluffed his lines from his two great chances and hasn't really taken the game by the scruff of the neck. At least he's looked involved though.
James has also been quietly consistent out on the left hand side. He links well with Rooney on this occasion, exchanging some neat passes before seeing his attempt at a cross cleared out for a corner, which doesn't bear fruit for the home side.
Four changes from United to recap. Off goes Fletcher, Mata, Young and Smalling. Fletcher and Young both can hold their heads up high after their performances tonight. On comes Keane, Kagawa, Lingard and Cleverly for the final 25 minutes or so.
Young, like he has done a few times this pre-season, is putting on a crossing exhibition. His latest delivery is nearly turned in by the combined efforts of Chicharito and Mata. Having him as a wing back has allowed him to cross from deeper positions further away from the byline, which has improved his aim exponentially.
First action for the new introduction De Paul, who turns on a dime and smashes a shot towards goal from 20 yards. However, his attempt lacked any of the the savvy of his spin, flying closer to the corner flag than towards De Gea in the United goal.
Rodrigo Javier de Paul
Off goes Feghouli, who was on the end of a pair of Valencia breaks but couldn't find his range on either occasion. He's replaced by Piatti. Santo doesn't stop there, taking off Alcacer and bringing on De Paul.
A far more encouraging tempo to the match since the start of the second half. Fletcher's goal has loosened matters up, and there suddenly seems to be a lot more space around the Old Trafford pitch.
ROONEY FLUBS IT AGAIN! For the second time in this game, he's put behind the last defender and stays onside. He's on a slight angle, but there's still plenty of the goal to aim for. However, he cuts back onto his left foot, which allows the defence the chance to catch up. His attempted tee up into the path of Mata and Herrera is then intercepted.
CLOSE! Gomes whips in a bouncing ball that looks very awkward for the defence to deal with, particularly with Feghouli barreling through the centre to apply the finish. However, De Gea is there to smother the cross just before the Algerian can do so.
I can confirm that it was Rodrigo that got the last touch on Fletcher's shot before it nestled into the back of the net. Regardless, you have to say that United deserve that break on the balance of play since the first whistle.
Goal Darren Fletcher
UNITED SCORE! Young's corner is touched on to the top of the box, where Fletcher answers the cries of 'Shoot!' with a half volley. It takes a deflection in a sea of bodies and that's what wrong-foots Alves, leading to the opening goal!
Handy ball in from Young towards the far post and Herrera was angling to get on the end of it. Barragan reads the danger though, and has no choice but to chest the ball out for a corner.
No changes to report from either side at half time. A bit surprising, given that both sides had a lot of room for improvement based on their first half display. But after covering games this summer where teams put out entirely new XI's after the break, I'm not complaining too much.
Here we go again!
The hosts have been the better side but lacked a cutting edge to top off their monopoly of the ball. Valencia have flirted with a few devastating counter attacks, but have been far too rushed with their end product, settling for a few too many pops from distance.
Hardly one for the highlight reel. Goalless at the break in Manchester, though United could have been ahead had Rooney's penalty been a few inches more inside the post.
It's half time here at Old Trafford.
Young has been tenacious and pacey down the right hand side when he has had the opportunity, and he hustles a pair of defenders to win the ball back and swing in another teasing ball. Valencia have to clear for the corner, but the resulting delivery from Young doesn't match his earlier cross.
ROONEY. CAN'T. BRING. IT. DOWN. An absolutely outstanding ball over the top from Fletcher floats perfectly over the jump of the last defender and into the path of Rooney. The flag stays down and he has only Alves to beat, but his first touch sees the ball dribble right into the goalkeeper's hands! That was a big chance to break the deadlock!
Phil Jones, playing on the right side of United's three man defence, has gotten in the way of Young more than once. The former Blackburn man never shies away from driving forward, but his forays have led to a few moments of confusion with Young as to who makes the final overlap down the right.
Herrera has been my most impressive performer of the evening so far. It was his delightful diagonal that set Young on his bike in the buildup to the penalty and the Spaniard has been similarly poised in midfield for virtually all of his tasks. United have themselves a player.
That was a let off for Valencia there. I've seen the penalty via replay twice now and I still can't say for certain whether Alves got the slightest of touches onto Rooney's spot kick to help it onto the post.
Penalty save Diego Alves
Missed Penalty Wayne Rooney
ROONEY HITS THE POST! The United captain for the night aims for the left side of the goal but cracks it against the base of the woodwork and away! To be fair, Alves had guessed right all the way and had dived down to that same corner - he might have had it covered.
PENALTY TO UNITED! Young shows amazing pace to catch up to a long ball down the byline and swings in a great cross. Rooney goes to attack it and he's barged in the back by Barragan. The referee immediately points to the spot!
Oh dear. Parejo gets some ironic cheers from the United faithful after a terrible free kick that heads high into the stands. That took me back to Rooney's 'corner' against Italy in the World Cup that entered the history books as one of the all-time worst dead ball deliveries.
Valencia have had all 10 outfield players camped inside their own half for at least two minutes, but they get an opportunity to break the mold with a sloppy Fletcher giveaway. Rodrigo sprays it right to Feghouli, who takes aim from the top of the box but it's too easy for De Gea.
This match has a real pre-season feel to it. The tranquilized atmosphere of the crowd is not helping. You can clearly hear the shouts between the players and the touchline staff, broken up occasionally by smatterings of applause.
We haven't seen much from Hernandez in this game at all. You get the feeling that his style of play doesn't mesh with what Van Gaal wants to achieve at United. Mario Gomez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will attest to the fact that the Dutch manager doesn't always have need for a poacher.
Rodrigo and Gomes show off their Benfica connection down the left hand side with a series of one touch passes that leaves United on the back foot. However, when it came time for the latter to provide the killer ball to match the run of the former behind the defence, it wasn't accurate enough.
Apart from that earlier burst by Feghouli, Valencia have not shown anything to suggest that they're scoring any time soon. United are looking more and more poised as the half wears on, adding some thrust at the end of their waves of possession.
United win a corner which is taken by Young, but it's too close to Alves again who grabs, while Jones' appeals for a penalty after taking a tumble go unheeded. Young has impressed as a wing back in United's 3-5-2 under Van Gaal, breathing new life into a career that appeared to have peaked already.
A free kick from a solid position sees Mata stand over the ball. He has the option to go for goal himself or set up one of his teammates, and opts for the latter. It could have been awkward for Alves, but Mata's curler to the far post was within catching range.
Herrera has done an excellent job so far of setting the tempo from deep. His passing has been crisp and accurate, and he has shown a good understanding with fellow midfielder Fletcher.
Two free kicks in quick succession break up an emerging tempo to the game in the Valencia half, with United guilty on both occasions. This allows Valencia a rare chance to build an attack, but Parejo can't come anywhere near De Gea's goal with a first-time half-volley from a long way out.
A metronomic United passing sequence is broken up well by Otamendi. Not a whole lot happening in attacking areas so far, but it's Man United with the lion's share of possession as you would expect. Valencia have shown though that they have the pace and movement to happily play on the counter.
Splendid defending from Smalling! We get the first taste of Valencia's pacey front line as Rodrigo feeds Feghouli ahead of the back four. The Spanish forward races towards the far post for the return cross, but Smalling stretches to get a boot in the way of the ball!
Quiet in the Old Trafford stands to start this game, though the fans are briefly sparked into life when James makes inroads down the left, but he's too eager to beat Feghouli and ends up fouling the Algerian.
I mentioned that it's the first Old Trafford appearance for Van Gaal. Well, it's also the debut in this famous stadium for Ander Herrera - at least as a United player. He was on this pitch in Athletic Bilbao colours as they dismantled the Red Devils in the Europa League in 2012.
Here we go!
The teams are out, the hands shaken and the photos taken. We're set.
It's been a mixed bag for Valencia this summer under new coach Nuno Santo and new owner Peter Lim. They did well pre-season, winning the Emirates Cup and have made a few shrewd signings - although the likes of Gomes and Shkodran Mustafi are still very much in the 'potential' bracket. They were also in the right place at the right time to exploit Barcelona's desperation for a defender, getting a hefty sum for Jeremy Mathieu.
Louis van Gaal will mark his first appearance in the dugout at Old Trafford this evening. His has been a promising tenure so far, with five wins out of five in their pre-season tour of the United States - including a 3-1 comeback win over rivals Liverpool in the final of the International Champions Cup. It's only four days until United kick off their season proper against Swansea in the Premier League.
Valencia fans have a chance to see two of their summer signings in action. Andre Gomes and Rodrigo both line up in Los Che's XI. The pair have been snared on loan from Benfica, with the capture of the latter shaping up to be something of a coup. Lightning quick and with a deadly finish, Rodrigo's very presence ensures that Manchester United's defence will be kept on their toes.
As expected, it's 3-5-2 once again from Louis van Gaal. Javier Hernandez has been handed another chance to impress up front despite his future being far from certain. Ashley Young and 20-year-old Reece James will provide the thrust from the wing back positions, with Luke Shaw absent.
Valencia (4-3-3): Alves; Barragan, Vezo, Otamendi, Gaya; Parejo, Fuego, Andre Gomes; Feghouli, Alcacer, Rodrigo.
Manchester United (3-5-2): De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Blackett; Young, Fletcher, Herrera, James, Mata; Rooney, Hernandez.
Evening all, and welcome to live coverage of Manchester United's friendly with Valencia. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your guide for all the action.
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