Pre-season tours: Louis van Gaal furious with lacklustre United

Manager blasts new signing Bastian Schweinsteiger for inept display in 3-1 win

Afp July 22, 2015
Schweinsteiger, who enjoyed an illustrious career with Bayern Munich and Germany, was subject to criticism by his manager in just his second game with Manchester United. PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE/ PASADENA/ SAN JOSE: Louis van Gaal criticised new signing Bastian Schweinsteiger and his Manchester United teammates after the Premier League giants eased to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

United recorded a second straight victory on their US tour and never really looked troubled against their mid-table opponents from Major League Soccer.

Juan Mata and man-of-the-match Memphis Depay scored first half goals for United before Brazilian youngster Andreas Pereira added a third in the second half.

But United boss van Gaal was furious at the performance of his team after the break when he made 10 changes, including the introduction of Schweinsteiger.

“The first half I was satisfied — the players have performed what we wanted in the defensive organisation, and they have created a lot of chances, 10, and they scored two goals so I was satisfied,” said the Dutchman. “But the second half I thought we played very bad — a lot of ball losses, very unnecessary. The only highlight was the goal from Pereira.”

Asked to assess the performance of new signing Schweinsteiger, van Gaal didn’t mince his words.

“He was also bad,” said van Gaal. “Players can play bad, certainly when you have only three days or six days training session in your legs and you have to play 45 minutes.”

Suarez, Roberto lift Barcelona to 2-1 win

Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto scored as European Champions Barcelona launched their pre-season North American tour with a convincing 2-1 win over Los Angeles Galaxy.

Uruguay international Suarez came out on top in a clash with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard — the Galaxy’s latest acquisition from Europe.

His 45th-minute strike and Roberto’s 56th-minute goal ensured that even without such stars as Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazilian Neymar —  let off the pre-season tour after Copa America duty — Barcelona got the win their dominant performance deserved in front of 93,226 fans at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

In preparation for their defence of their La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League treble, Barcelona next travel up the coast to take on Manchester United on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium.

Record signing Sterling up to speed: Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says record signing Raheem Sterling will benefit from playing with the technical players in City’s squad this season.

Sterling gave a glimpse of what he can bring to the 2014 English champions with his searing pace and link play with Spanish star David Silva in the penalty shootout win over Italy’s AS Roma in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Sterling, the most expensive English footballer in history, took just two minutes and 17 seconds to open his account for the big-spending English club in the International Champions Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It was the 20-year-old Jamaica-born Londoner’s first game for Manchester City since his move from Liverpool last week in a five-year deal worth an initial £44 million that could rise to £49 million.

“It’s important to score, particularly early in the game, and he just played 45 minutes after having just a few days working with the team,” said Pellegrini. “I’m happy with the way he played. He demonstrated why he’s here, not only his value as a player, he’s a very young player so I think he will improve a lot in the future, playing with Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero. I’m very happy with him and I’m very happy that we’ve bought him.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.

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