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5 things we noticed as Man Utd lose first game with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes

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Manchester United saw their first glimpse of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in action together – but it ended in defeat.

 

The Red Devils played two friendlies against Championship side West Brom at an empty Old Trafford on Friday afternoon.

The first of the two 60-minute matches saw Pogba and Fernandes finally link-up in midfield.

But that game ended in a 2-1 defeat, whilst a brace from Andreas Pereira and a goal from Tahith Chong ensured they won the second game 3-1.

It was a mixed afternoon as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘s side took another look at his options to take on Tottenham on their Premier League return after two inter-squad friendlies.

Here’s five things we noticed from Old Trafford.
1) Fernandes and Pogba on the same wavelength.

manchester united vs westbrom

Footage from the game has been limited, but Manchester United did release a short clip of highlights on their app.

The footage includes the first glimpse of Pogba and Fernandes linking up – and they appear to be on the same wavelength.

Pogba played a tremendous, raking long ball from midway inside the West Brom half, splitting the defence as he spotted Fernandes’ run from deep.

The ball reached the outstretched Portuguese star but he was unable to divert it goal wards, instead hitting the side netting.

But he instantly acknowledged his colleague for spotting his run and delivering a good long ball.

2) Penalty duties for Fernandes?

manchester united vs westbrom

Paul Pogba has been one of Manchester United’s penalty takers.

But with both on the pitch, it was Fernandes who stepped up to convert the only goal from 12 yards. Utilising the stutter run-up Pogba has made famous, he slammed the ball into the back of the net.

Could that mean he has now taken duties from Pogba moving forwards?

3) Rashford looking sharp

manchester united vs westbrom

Like Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford is returning from a spell on the sidelines.

But he looked like he had never been away, with footage showing him terrorising the West Brom defence.
He turned one defender inside out with a spell-binding turn, and also came close to scoring twice after wiggling shooting room inside the box.

It was a stunning backheel which saw United win the penalty which Fernandes converted.

He looks fit and raring to go.

4) Pereira sends message

manchester united vs westbrom

But he sent a clear message to Solskjaer that he won’t go down without a fight, scoring twice as his side won the second game 3-1.

5) Giving nothing away
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly wants to give nothing away to Jose Mourinho. His side take on Spurs in their first game back and all eyes were on Solskjaer’s side to give an indication as to his plans.

But he arranged two friendlies instead of one and rotated his stars across both teams, with some playing a part in both games.

It is impossible to really devise any conclusions from his line-ups, and who will start on June 19 is still anyone’s guess.

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Football

PICTURES: Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell join Chelsea training

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Chelsea returned to training today (Wednesday) at Cobham, and there were two new faces joining the rest of the squad, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. The two summer arrivals had yet to train with the squad since signing, dealing with quarantine (presumably) and heel injury issues, respectively.

It’s unclear if either will be fit and ready for this weekend’s match against Liverpool, but it’s still nice to see them in training with the rest of the group! (Those who played on Monday apparently had a lighter session, but were all out there nonetheless.)

There’s no word on how close Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic may be. Ziyech is probably still a couple weeks out with his knee problem, at least, but Pulisic was supposed to be close before suffering a potential setback with his hamstring late last week. Neither were pictured in training, and one would assume their presence would get emphasized had they been there.

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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