Mason Greenwood scores winner as Man Utd beat Inter Milan in Singapore

By Simon StoneBBC Sport in Singapore
Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood scored his second goal of pre-season in the victory over Inter Milan

Teenage striker Mason Greenwood scored Manchester United's second-half winner against Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup.

Greenwood, 17, fired home 14 minutes from time, then hit the bar as United deservedly won 1-0 in Singapore.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side created a series of decent first-half chances.

Luke Shaw's 20-yard shot went narrowly wide, then he crossed for Marcus Rashford, who couldn't get a touch inside the six-yard box.

The first half also saw a sensational pass with the outside of his foot by Paul Pogba, who sent the ball curling 40 yards for Rashford to run on to, only for Inter keeper Samir Handanovic to rush out just in time.

Skipper Nemanja Matic headed against a post after half-time, so it took the introduction of Greenwood for United to get the goal their dominance deserved.

The Yorkshire teenager feinted right, then cut in on his left foot before smashing a shot through a crowd of bodies.

He nearly had a second when he clipped the bar trying to finish off Tahith Chong's pass.

On Wednesday, it seemed a bit outrageous when Solskjaer said the teenager could start United's opening Premier League game against Chelsea at Old Trafford on 11 August.

Maybe it is not so far-fetched after all.

The negative from the match was that some fans booed Ashley Young when he came on as a substitute after an hour.

"We want our fans to support our players," said Solskjaer. "Ash has been a very loyal servant to this club for many years and he will keep on performing when he plays."

What's the message with Tuanzebe?

In his side's two games prior to this in Australia, Solskjaer had switched his entire team at half-time.

On Friday, he revealed an intention to keep some on for longer despite the additional heat and humidity in Singapore, so there was an awareness that he is starting to send out messages to his large squad for the season ahead.

For Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo, there was a very interesting one - with fellow defender Axel Tuanzebe selected ahead of all four of them.

When United's players returned for pre-season training at the beginning of July, it was anticipated Tuanzebe would probably be sent out on loan, possibly back to Aston Villa, who he helped into the Premier League last season.

But Tuanzebe has impressed on this trip, so much so that the 21-year-old was picked alongside Victor Lindelof for the toughest test of United's pre-season so far.

Axel Tuanzebe
Axel Tuanzebe partnered Victor Lindelof at the heart of Manchester United's defence against Inter Milan

The England Under-21 international did well. He occasionally drifted out of position, but Lindelof and skipper Nemanja Matic soon corrected him.

And, while it is tough to see how Tuanzebe could have shown enough to persuade Solskjaer he did not need to buy someone of the stature of England's Harry Maguire, he could be being cemented in a back-up role.

That would have major repercussions for his more experienced team-mates, particularly Smalling and Rojo, who were left on the bench throughout.

"Axel has got a future at Manchester United, yes of course he has," said Solskjaer. "Today was a test for him playing against different opposition.

"We know he can play at that level [Championship], that's why he didn't play against Leeds, and he's shown he's very capable of playing at this level. Axel is going to be the future of this club."

Pace, pace, pace

It has been obvious for some time that Solskjaer's strategy is going to rely on pace.

His starting line-up was stacked with it. The key is going to be allying that with an end product.

United coaching staff view £15m signing Daniel James as a bit of a gamble. They have been working on the Wales winger's final pass and it was clear in Singapore's National Stadium there is still work to do.

James had his head in his hands when he blazed Lindelof's lay-off wide from an acute angle. In fairness, James was hitting it with his weaker foot but he needs to take an extra half-second before shooting.

It was also interesting to see Pogba come over to offer encouragement after James had missed. If the Frenchman is to remain at Old Trafford this summer, as Solskjaer is convinced he will, Pogba needs to take on more responsibility.

United stay in Singapore for another day before heading to China, where they will play Premier League rivals Tottenham on Thursday.

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