Manchester United vs. Kitchee FC: Final score 5-2, Brilliant Zaha helps United cruise to win

Brendon Thorne

A phenomenal first-half display from Wilfried Zaha helped Manchester United crush Kitchee FC, with Adnan Januzaj also picking up his first goal for the club.

Manchester United immediately began playing effective football and put the concerns over the pitch behind them, which looked awful but did not appear to affect play too negatively. Combined with the reduced heat at the later kick-off time, United pressed high up the pitch and looked a lot more like their usual selves.

Wilfried Zaha was playing a much freer role than previously on the tour, and the decision paid dividends as Kitchee simply couldn't cope with his pace and creativity. Twice he linked up with Fabio displaying superb control, intelligence and athleticism to get down the right flank before both times setting up the full-back with smart instinctive passes, but the Brazilian saw a shot and then a cross blocked by the Kitchee defence.

Anderson soon almost put United in the lead from the edge of the area as the Reds dominated play, but they didn't have to wait much longer for their opening goal. Michael Carrick's long ball over the top was met with a volley from Ashley Young which struck the post but found Danny Welbeck, who swept the rebound home to open the scoring

Two fine crosses soon followed - Welbeck put in a great ball for Zaha, who ought to have gotten a deserved goal when he chested the ball down and stepped away from his marker but blazed over the bar. Just afterwards, however, Tom Cleverley drifted out to the right following a set-piece and put an even better ball in which Chris Smalling, who had stayed forward, planted into the far corner with a powerful header.

United's third goal was their best of the day, however, Zaha once again linking up with Fabio, exploding down the right channel with phenomenal pace before instantly playing a no-look pass through the defenders legs to put the ball in a good position for the full-back. Fabio provided the pass the finish it deserved, curling it beneath the keeper in his stride as the first half finished 3-0.

United introduced Adnan Januzaj, Alexander Buttner and Jesse Lingard at half-time at the expense of Ashley Young, Patrice Evra and Danny Welbeck respectively. Januzaj in particular continued his impressive run of form on the tour as he showed some great skill to get away from his markers down the right wing but saw his centre blocked.

Shortly afterwards however, Januzaj was to claim his first goal for the club - Alexander Buttner got to the byline down the left channel and stood up a fine cross which Januzaj met with a fine header into the top corner after eluding his markers.

Kitchee then mounted a mini-comeback however - first Matt Lam took advantage of being allowed some space outside the area to smash in a piledriver that flew over Ben Amos' head. United were beginning to look lethargic, and were punished as it was 4-2 shortly afterwards following a finish from close range after some slack defending from Buttner.

Lingard, who had been quiet until that point, scored a contender for the best goal of the tour shortly afterwards, picking up the ball outside the area and smashing an utterly brilliant goal into the top corner to restore United's lead to three goals.

Chris Smalling had the chance to make it six for United as the ball fell to him in space at the end of the game, but his finish was poor and United had to settle for five. Although a worse scoreline than their defeat of the A-League all-stars, it was easily their best performance of the tour so far, and highly encouraging for Wilfried Zaha in particular, the clear man of the match.

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