Manchester United suffer late defeat in Japan
Another defeat for United and this time in Japan. This is the second defeat in the pre-season matches under David Moyes.
Well, Moyes did named a youthful starting line-up, but another defeat should be alarming for him.
Jesse Lingard had scored another goal to continue his impressive run of form for the Premier League champions but, despite holding a half-time lead, United were unable to keep their advantage. Their hosts piled forward straight from the kick-off but when David de Gea produced an acrobatic save to deny veteran Brazilian striker Marquinhos, United thought they had been let off the hook. Instead, they struggled to regroup and when the ball was played back into the box, Marquinhos, 37, was on hand to turn it home with a first-time effort with not even half a minute on the clock. Well, there are some positives from the young players as they did not go down easily. In fact, the two of them combine brilliantly to haul United level after 18 minutes.
Lingard scored twice in in 5-1 win over A-League All Stars in Sydney on Saturday and is evidently still in good form. The 20-year-old played a pass out wide to Wilfried Zaha, then continued his run as the young England international burst into the box. Masakazu Tashiro stretched to cut out the cross but Lingard pounced on the loose ball to take himself one clear of Danny Welbeck as the tour's top scorer.
Tashiro was not having the best of evenings and it was his own goal that gave United their advantage as he tried to clear a vicious Adnan Januzaj free-kick. Jonny Evans failed to convert decent chances either side of the interval. The second in particular should have extended United's lead, only for the Northern Ireland international to turn Zaha's cut-back wide.
United had cause to regret that miss as, with the crowd distracted by national hero Kagawa's first appearance to warm-up, Marinos defender Fabio climbed highest at the far post to head home direct from a corner.
Welbeck spurned a glorious opportunity to restore United's lead virtually immediately and the visitors were still level on the hour when Kagawa was introduced. The Japanese star introduction definitely cause some excitement. The player just started full training on Monday after an extended break following the Confederation Cup.
Every touch was greeted with a sense of excitement and Kagawa almost set up a winner for fellow substitute Ashley Young, only for the England international's shot to get deflected into the side-netting.
A draw would have been a fair result but after good work from Jin Hanato, Fujita had the final word. While the result in pre-season is not too crucial in determining the team's performance for the season, it is important that Moyes knows what he is doing. And hopefully, he knows.