Tour 2015: Manchester United 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG: Luke Shaw (og25), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (34)
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.
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. In the 17th minute, 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.
Against the run of play, PSG took the lead on 25 minutes after confusion in the United backline. A ball over the top was chased down by Blaise Matuidi and as Phil Jones and Shaw chased back, De Gea ran from his goal and was left helpless when Shaw’s inadvertent touch rolled into the goal.
Rooney did his utmost to get the Reds going again, flashing a couple of efforts just over the bar in quick succession, before PSG doubled their advantage on 34 minutes. Ibrahimovic picked up possession in midfield and played a one-two with Maxwell before slotting home unmarked from close range.
Memphis had a free-kick well saved by Kevin Trapp as half-time approached, with PSG just about clearing their lines from the follow-up as Rooney looked to pounce.
Van Gaal made three changes at the break with Sam Johnstone, Schneiderlin and Andreas Pereira replacing De Gea, Schweinsteiger and Ashley Young. Pereira looked a livewire on the left wing and it was his chipped pass into Rooney, who laid a header on for Memphis, which almost led to a goal for United, but the Dutchman was unable to get enough contact on it to trouble Trapp.
Seconds later, Ibrahimovic attempted a chipped finish with Johnstone out of position after a nice lay-off from Edison Cavani, but Daley Blind was on hand to clear.
PSG held firm at the back thereafter with the Reds unable to stage a fightback. Van Gaal's men now return to Manchester to continue preparations for the start of the new campaign, with all the focus now on ensuring a winning start to the competitive season.
United: De Gea (Johnstone 46), Darmian, Jones (Smalling 65), Blind, Shaw (Valencia 65), Carrick (Goss 81), Schweinsteiger (Schneiderlin 46), Mata (Lingard 81), Memphis, Young (Pereira 46), Rooney.
Paris Saint-Germain: Trapp, Da Silva, Maxwell (Digne 53), Aurier (Luiz 48), van der Wiel (Marquinhos 50), Stambouli, Matuidi, Verratti, Moura (Ongenda 69), Augustin (Cavani 47), Ibrahimovic (Bahebeck 69).