A Lively First 45 Minutes
Luke Shaw looked like the player we want to see bombing down that left side and definitely looked way fitter than he did this time last year.
Sam Johnstone impressed in goal and it would be nice to see him given chances in the lesser tournaments this season.
Juan Mata had an excellent half as did Memphis, who scored with a very composed finish.
The only weakness looked to be at the back, where we know we still have have to strengthen. Jones and Blind in the middle of the defense just didn’t cut it for me; if they are paired in these positions against top opposition, it could be a long day at the office. On the plus side, Damian looked good both defensively and going forward.
Rooney looked sharp – he was full of energy and leading by example.
Carrick and Schneiderlin totally dominated the middle of the park, and Ashley Young had some good moments on the left with Shaw.
It was an encouraging half but just lacked that killer touch in the final third, whilst the centre of our defence still looked suspect. We are crying out for a real leader in that position before the start of the season.
10 Changes for the Second Half
Lingard and Pereira looked sharp and combined really effectively for a move finished well by the young Brazilian.
Schweini looked as composed as ever in midfield, and Herrera barely put a foot wrong.
Overall, I would like to see us play with more pace like we showed against Spurs, Liverpool and City last season. Right now, it still looks a bit too slow and predictable.
Of course this is just pre-season; the insights we can glean are limited, but hopefully there will be more encouragement than causes for concern against Barca on Saturday.