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Manchester United 3-1 RC Lens: Second half surge sees Reds win Old Trafford dress rehearsal

Reds return to Old Trafford in style…


Manchester United cruises to victory in their dress rehearsal friendly at Old Trafford, downing French side RC Lens 3-1 on Saturday.

The Reds found themselves behind a goal after a poor turnover in possession, but they recovered well to take control in the second half and convert some of their many chances in transition.

The goal United conceded was one that will no doubt stir conversation a bit. Diogo Dalot’s high line turnover left the rest of the defense exposed as Florian Sotoca acted quickly to catch Andre Onana out. The new signing between the posts couldn’t recover in time to swat away the well hit strike from near the halfway line, and the visitors found themselves up 1-0.

It was one of a few dangerous turnovers of possession by United, who need more time adjusting to positioning and building out from the back in their new structure. Onana may catch some criticism for his positioning, but being careless on the ball was not his doing.

United trailed at the half, but came out of the dressing room with purpose. The first team got a full dress rehearsal, with no changes being made until past the hour mark, and they adjusted well after the break to take over the match.

Both the equalizer and the eventual winner came in quick succession, with Antony assisting Marcus Rashford in the break in the 48th minute and Alejandro Garnacho serving up the Brazilian in the 53rd. Erik ten Hag stated his intention for United to be one of the best teams in transition, and the goals certainly indicate that intent.

United added a third goal from a set piece, with Casemiro somewhat unknowingly continuing his trend of heading in free kicks. Luke Shaw’s delivery initially found the head of Rashford, but the Englishman’s header directed it into the forehead of his Brazilian midfield teammate rather than the corner of the net, and the deflection took the ball the rest of the way.

Jadon Sancho and Omari Forson made appearances off the bench as United comfortably finished of the match, and while there were a couple more sloppy moments in defense there wasn’t anything too worrying. Onana had to make one good save in the 90th minute as a deflected shot nearly looped into the top corner, but he stretched out to palm it away and force a corner.

United have one more friendly before it’s business time, a Sunday outing against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin. Kickoff around 4 pm local time, 11 am eastern time in the US, with viewing options on MUTV and ESPN in the states.