Louis van Gaal delighted with the performance of the Red Devils, including a bright showing from Ander Herrera
A new chapter of Manchester United’s history began on Wednesday as the Red Devils played their first friendly match under Louis van Gaal and the outcome was better than anyone could have expected.
While we shouldn’t read too much into the 7-0 scoreline, the emphatic United victory served notice that this will be an entirely different beast to the team that competed so meekly under David Moyes last term.
A crowd of over 86,000 saw United run riot, with Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and Reece James twice finding the net, while it was Danny Welbeck that opened the scoring for the Red Devils.
Louis van Gaal fielded a strong team for the first half of the match, featuring Rooney and Welbeck in attack, although many eyes were on new boy Ander Herrera and he didn’t disappoint in midfield.
Van Gaal went for three at the back which enabled Luke Shaw to operate as part of a four man midfield behind Juan Mata who played the supporting role for the two strikers.
In the second half, the Dutchman switched things to a 5-3-2 formation which saw the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Nani and Young stake their claim for a first-team place this season.
Herrera was the only player to get a full ninety minutes and Van Gaal was delighted by some of the performances on show.
“The result always matters. With such a result you get confidence,” the new United boss said.
“It is fantastic how they have performed today. When you see us train, you can expect something but not 7-0. It was a surprise, but they were beautiful goals and beautiful attacks.”
Van Gaal sent United out in the 3-5-2 system which he used to great effect with the Netherlands at the World Cup.
“We introduced a new system that we have only played two times on the training pitch 11 v 11. But the boys are willing to pick up the information,” he said.
“It is fantastic how they have performed. Last week, 10 players who played tonight were not even in our training complex.
“When you want to change a system, you must start at once. We don’t have time to prepare for other things. The other system they can play is 4-3-3 and they have played it for many years.
“I can change back if the system doesn’t work. With the quality of the players we have, I can play 4-3-3 with three strikers on the bench, but I want to play with two strikers.
“We have four number 10s, so the selection is not balanced in my eyes.
“I have decided to play this system because of the quality of the players. But if we lose, I can change back to another system.”
LA Galaxy (4-1-3-2) Penedo; Gargan, Meyer, Leonardo, DLG; Ishizaki, Sarvas, Juninho, Husidic; R Keane, Zardes
Manchester United (3-4-1-2) De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans; Valencia, Fletcher, Herrera, Shaw; Mata; Rooney, Welbeck.
Second-half – (5-3-2) Lindegaard; Rafael, M Keane, Fletcher, Blackett, James; Herrera, Cleverley, Kagawa; Young, Nani.