Manchester United kickstart their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 victory over Derby after Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri netted at Pride Park… with Colin Kazim-Richards firing home for Wayne Rooney’s hosts
Manchester United have opened their pre-season preparations ahead of the new campaign with a 2-1 victory over Derby at a sunny Pride Park.
A heavily-rotated United team in the early throes of their first sessions this summer took the lead through Tahith Chong, before Facundo Pellistri netted the second goal.
The hosts, meanwhile, sported several players vying for contracts and delivered a showing which will give boss Wayne Rooney plenty to be optimistic about.
Colin Kazim-Richards drilled home a fine effort into the far corner to halve the deficit in the second half.
To little surprise, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to field a youthful side – with Tom Heaton making his second debut for the club and Juan Mata named as captain.
James Garner, Dylan Levitt, Anthony Elanga and Teden Mengi started, while Chong was a surprise name on the team sheet ahead of his loan spell with Birmingham.
But it was Derby who started the brighter ahead of the fresh-faced United, and goalkeeper Heaton, who arrived on a free transfer, was forced into action.
A ball was whipped into the box from the left-hand side, which Curtis Davies met and steered towards goal. Heaton clawed out superbly, and Brandon Williams cleared.
Soon after, though, United took the lead. Chong was able to steal the ball from Max Bird and attempted to clip neatly over the head of Kelle Roos.
The rebound then fell into his path kindly, and the Holland winger then slotted into the net from just a yard out.
There were appeals from the hosts over handball following the attempted chip, but with no VAR in operation, the goal was allowed to stand.
Derby again looked to take command following a much-needed water break in the sweltering conditions, and Tom Lawrence nodded narrowly over at the far post.
Veterans Curtis Davies, Phil Jagielka and United old boy Ravel Morrison all delivered tidy performances in the first half, and their team made two changes at the break.
United made a raft of substitutes, with Joe Hugill, Andreas Pereira, Shola Shoretire, Jesse Lingard and Pellistri among those given crucial minutes.
And it was the two starlets in Shoretire and Pellistri who combined for United’s second goal of the afternoon.
The former slotted through the forward with a neat flick with the outside of his boot, and Pellistri skipped around substitute David Marshall to tap home.
Solskjaer then introduced Will Fish and Di’Shon Bernard at the back, but Derby pulled one back soon after.
A sloppy pass was capitalised on in style by Kazim-Richards, who glanced up from 25 yards and thrashed hard and low across Lee Grant.
More to follow.