Glory, Perth Glory Man United


United dominated the game throughout, eventually overcoming the doughty Perth resistance on the hour mark, making it 2-0 in the closing minutes.

Glory gave the ball away in dangerous defensive positions twice and such was the class of their opponents they were ruthlessly punished on both occasions.

The first half remained goalless.

Tahith Chong, the 19-year-old Dutchman from Curacao, was causing multiple mischief down the left wing, barely contained at times by Glory defenders Joel Chianese and Jacob Tratt.

The spectacularly dreadlocked Chong was reminiscent of a young Ruud Gullit as he repeatedly tortured the Perth defence, ably assisted by new signing 21-year-old Welshman Daniel James, the recent acquisition from Swansea City.

Liam Reddy stood tall in the first half, although he was aided as much by the side netting as the stalwart defenders in front of him.

Glory captain Shane Lowry marshalled his defence well, here keeping out Mason Greenwood. Photo credit: Ashby Images/Prost

Exhausted and harassed as they were, the Glory players must have been delighted to hear the half-time whistle with the scores still level.

But they had merely resisted the first wave of United’s star attack, as they had to contend with an entirely new array of talent, in the shape of the other 11 squad members, in the second half.

The second half United team seemed more incisive and energetic than their earlier counterparts. But whether that was due to a superior team performance or the increasing stress and exhaustion of the Glory side is open to conjecture.

The gallant Glory defence was breached on the hour mark.

After painstakingly resisting a tsunami of attacks, which put a whole new meaning to Glory Hunters (as the Red Devils’ fans are derisively described by their rivals), there was finally a loose defensive pass in a dangerous area. Unfortunately for the Perth side it fell to Mancunian Marcus Rashford who lethally first time volleyed it past the flailing Liam Reddy.

Coach’s son Kristian Popovic is alert to the danger posed by Pogba. Photo credit: Ashby Images/Prost

The Perth side then went on to have their best spell in the match. They got themselves into dangerous areas but the sublime skills of the United defensive players prevented them getting a shot on target.

It became a bit of a family affair on 76 minutes as Glory coach Tony Popovic decided to throw his sons 17-year-old Kristian and 15-year-old Gabriel into the fray.

The Glory faithful went wild as the pair combined in a threatening position in the United penalty area. Gabriel created the chance and slipped it to his brother on the left. Sadly, Kristian couldn’t get his foot over the ball and the chance went a begging.

In the 83rd minute Birkenhead boy James Garner came on for Luke Shaw. Another loose defensive ball landed at the feet of the 18-year-old midfielder and with his first touch of the ball he smashed it past substitute Perth goalie Tando Velaphi in the 85th minute.

Both goals had been scored by products of United’s academy, Rashford and Garner both serving in the under eights team. They are already veteran Red Devils at the ripe old ages of 21 and 18 respectively.

The game had been over as a contest early on but there was now no doubt about the result.

At the post-match press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played tribute to his team and felt the new signings showed that they had the potential to cement their status as Manchester United players.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer congratulates Axel Tuanzebe as he comes off. Photo credit Ashby Images/Prost

“We were up against a very well-organised team, but we eventually made the chances to win the match.”

Tony Popovic was pleased his charges didn’t take the path of least resistance against their world class opposition.

“We played out from the back. It made it more difficult for us, but the only way you learn is through extreme stress.”

Manchester United stay in Perth till Wednesday when they play Leeds United, in what should be a more competitive fixture.

Perth Glory squad:

Starting XI: Liam Reddy (gk), Jacob Tratt, Shane Lowry, Ivan Franjic, Joel Chianese, Bruno Fornaroli, Chris Harold, Tomislav Mrcela, Jake Brimmer, Juande, Neil Kilkenny.

Substitutes: Tando Velaphi (gk), Luke Bodnar, Ethan Brooks, Joshua Rawlins, Brandon Wilson, Gabriel Popovic, Nick D’Agostino, Kristian Popovic.

Manchester United squad:

Starting XI: Sergio Romero (gk), Phil Jones, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Diogo Dalot, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong.

Substiutes: David De Gea (gk), Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, James Garner, Scott McTominay, Joel Perreira (gk).

Attendance 50,206.









About Author

Scozzie reporting on A-League and other stuff from the Indian Ocean shores. St. Johnstone fan. Follow me on twitter @perthmcneela.

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