Gritty Glory go down to United
Perth Glory produced a valiant defensive display in Saturday’s friendly against Manchester United at Optus Stadium before eventually succumbing to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the EPL giants.
United were kept at bay for an hour until Marcus Rashford eventually broke the deadlock and fellow-substitute James Garner added the second five minutes from time.
A bumper crowd of 50,206 saw Tony Popovic’s men retain their shape and discipline well amidst a barrage of pressure from the English side and the Head Coach was impressed by his charges’ resilience.
“I’m extremely proud,”said.
“Obviously you can see the quality that United have, but it was great to see our lads fight so hard and defensively they were excellent.
“We spoke at half time about the need to stay strong, stay disciplined and fight the fatigue and the challenges that that brings.
“In the end, although they [United] created a lot of good openings, the two goals came when we lost the ball twice.
“That shows you the quality they have and the level that they’re at; you lose the ball twice and they punish you twice.
“But I believe that we should all be proud of that performance.
“The players, their families, Perth Glory and the A-League should all be proud.”
United’s Daniel James set the tone in the opening exchanges with his pace down the left and the Welshman forced Liam Reddy into action after 12 minutes to block his low cross.
Six minutes later it was Ashley Young’s turn to threaten Reddy’s goal when his 22m free-kick found the side-netting and Anthony Martial then also ruffled the outside of the net after turning neatly in the box.
As United continued to threaten, Jesse Lingard jinked his way into the box only to see his well-struck effort tipped over acrobatically by Reddy.
After changing their entire eleven at the break, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men created the first chance of the second half when Mason Greenwood eluded Ivan Franjic before firing his low, angled shot narrowly wide of the target.
Glory’s brave resistance was finally broken, however, when a loose ball fell kindly for Rashford in the box and he fizzed an unstoppable shot across Reddy into the far corner of the net.
Greenwood could and perhaps should have doubled his side’s lead moments later, dragging his effort wastefully wide having been played in by a clever reverse-pass from Juan Mata.
Glory, meanwhile, made a number of changes of their own as the second half wore on, with teenage brothers Gabriel and Kristian Popovic among those who came off the bench.
But there was nothing they could do to prevent United from making it 2-0 late in the piece, Garner finding the net with a long-range volley that drew the massed ranks of United fans to their feet.
There was still time for Glory to introduce a second 15-year-old into the fray as Joshua Rawlins made his senior debut in place of Franjic, before referee Alex King brought another memorable Optus Stadium occasion to an end.
Manchester United 2 (Rashford 60′, Garner 85′) Perth Glory 0
Referee: Alex King
Manchester United First Half: 22.Sergio ROMERO (GK), 4.Phil JONES, 11.Anthony MARTIAL, 14.Jesse LINGARD, 15.Andreas PEREIRA, 18.Ashley YOUNG, 20.Diogo DALOT, 21.Daniel JAMES, 31.Nemaja MATIC, 38.Axel TUANZEBE, 44.Tahith CHONG
Manchester United Second Half: 40.Joel PEREIRA (GK), 6.Paul POGBA, 8.Juan MATA, 10.Marcus RASHFORD, 12.Chris SMALLING, 16.Marcos ROJO, 23.Luke SHAW (37.James GARNER 84′), 26.Mason GREENWOOD, 28.Angel GOMES, 29.Aaron WAN-BISSAKA, 39.Scott MCTOMINAY
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (1.Tando VELAPHI 77′), 3.Jacob TRATT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC (12.Joshua RAWLINS 90′), 7.Joel CHIANESE (22.Kristian POPOVIC 76′), 10.Bruno FORNAROLI (18.Gabriel POPOVIC 76′), 14.Chris HAROLD (26.Nick D’AGOSTINO 62′), 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 20.Jake BRIMMER (15.Brandon WILSON 62′), 27.Juande, 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 6.Luke BODNAR, 11.Ethan BROOKS
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None