Man U roar past Gala's Lions as Ibra gets off to an acrobatic start

Published 01.08.2016 01:22
Updated 01.08.2016 01:27
Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin in action with Galatasaray's Selçuk Inan (Reuters Photo)
Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin in action with Galatasaray's Selçuk Inan (Reuters Photo)

A pre-season friendly gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic a chance to score his first goal for Manchester United while Istanbul club Galatasaray took a lesson in their shortcomings with a 5-2 defeat

New signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an acrobatic scissor kick within four minutes of pulling on a Manchester United shirt for the first time in a 5-2 friendly rout of Galatasaray on Saturday.

The superstar forward, who moved from Paris Saint Germain earlier in the summer, was finally unleashed by new manager Jose Mourinho in Gothenburg in his native Sweden.

He had hardly broken sweat when, after just 190 seconds, Antonio Valencia, who was to grab three assists in all, swung over a deep cross and Ibrahimovic launched a right boot at it.

It was not the cleanest of volleys, and Mourinho barely acknowledged the goal, but it was enough to bounce into the ground and into the top left corner to deceive Fernando Muslera in the Galatasaray goal.

The 34-year-old Ibrahimovic was replaced at the break by Marcus Rashford, when Galatasaray led 2-1 through Sinan Gümüş and Bruma.

Wayne Rooney scored a penalty in a second-half brace and Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata were also on the scoresheet as United came on strong after half-time.

"We have something big going on. It looks very interesting," Ibrahimovic told Swedish television afterwards.

United are tight-lipped about talks with Juventus and French international midfielder Paul Pogba, with British media speculating a mega-money move could be close.

"Let's see if Pogba will also (come), then it will be even more interesting," added Ibrahimovic.

Mourinho played down the victory over Galatasaray, ahead of their season opener on August 14 at Bournemouth, and refused to single out Ibrahimovic for his fast start in United colors.

The Swede, Anthony Martial and Rooney all started in an attacking side that also included another new signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

"Of course Marcus (Rashford) and Ibra showed glimpses of the things they can bring. But when I see guys like Fellaini, Martial and (Morgan) Schneiderlin, they train two days and they come here," Mourinho told MUTV.

"I just told them, 'Don't try to go with the intensity of the game, try to go with an intensity that makes you comfortable'. I prefer this way.

"We are going to play 60 matches (in a season) - you cannot do it with 11 players. To be in this squad, you have to understand the squad is more important than any individual, the club is more important than all of us.

"To be in the squad, you have to be ready to play, not to play, play a lot, play less, play 90 minutes, play one minute, be not selected."

Gala's Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink remains optimistic about the team despite the crushing defeat. He said in a post-game press conference that the Lions' gameplay in the first half was what he expected to see in future games. Riekerink acknowledged Manchester United are a powerful team but said Galatasaray played up to his expectations. He admitted that the team was still lacking in attacking strategy and needs to improve their timing. Riekerink tied the less-than-stellar performance of his players in the second half to the off-season.

Joining Riekerink, Sinan Gümüş said it was their "toughest pre-season friendly" but they managed to fend off Manchester United's attack in the first half.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter