Manchester United’s pre-season tour ended on a disappointing note in Chicago after a 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, but Louis van Gaal will take plenty of positives from the trip as he gears up for the most important game of all, against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League.
The Reds came into the meeting with the French champions on the back of three impressive victories over Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and Barcelona during Tour 2015, presented by Aon, but indecision at the back was United’s undoing against Laurent Blanc’s side despite creating a number of openings at the other end; Luke Shaw’s own goal on 25 minutes and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 34th-minute strike proved to be the difference on the night.
Van Gaal made one change to the side that beat Barcelona four days earlier, bringing Bastian Schweinsteiger into midfield in place of Morgan Schneiderlin. The Reds had got off to the best possible start against the Spanish outfit with an early Wayne Rooney goal, but it was PSG who had the first sight of goal with David De Gea breathing a big sigh of relief after his clearance fell to Ibrahimovic inside the area on three minutes. Thankfully the Swedish captain blasted over.
Wayne Rooney had talked to MUTV a few days prior to the match about his developing understanding with Memphis Depay and the pair looked lively early on, and on 16 minutes Memphis was presented with a golden chance to put the Reds ahead when a lovely ball over the top from Schweinsteiger found Rooney. The skipper slipped a pass inside to Memphis on the edge of the box, but he could only blast wide.
PSG, and specifically Ibrahimovic went close soon after when he headed a Lucas Moura corner just wide, while the Reds had the ball in the net on 22 minutes after a sublime pass from Daley Blind to Juan Mata. The Spaniard’s control and smart finish was brilliant, but the flag was up for offside.