OSLO, Norway, Sporting Alert — Manchester United continued their preparation for the upcoming season with a 3-0 victory over Valerenga in a 2017 pre-season fixture at Ullevaal Stadion here in Oslo, on Sunday.
The game came off the back of a successful tour of the United State and it was a quick turnaround so Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho opted to use his players wisely.
After coming close on several occasion, including hitting the post from a Paul Pogba left-footed shot, Manchester United took the lead just before half-time.
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who is being linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, made his case to remain in Mourinho’s plans for the upcoming season when he scored his team’s opener in the 44th minute.
The Belgium international headed home the game’s first goal when he met a corner kick from Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the back post a minute before the break.
Romelu Lukaku and Scott McTominay then got on the scoresheet in the second half.
Fellaini, who has been linked with a move to Galatasaray this summer, was one of the important players for Mourinho last season and the boss continued to outline the value of the former Everton star during his post game press conference.
“It’s easier for Galatasaray to get me than Marouane,” he said. “If they need a manager, they have a chance, but Marouane?
“Forget it. He is too important to me.”
Meanwhile, Lukaku came off the bench to net the second for Manchester United two-minutes into the second half when he headed home a powerful corner kick past goalkeeper Markus Sandberg, who was also a substitute for Valerenga at half-time.
The Belgian, who finished off Andreas Pereira’s corner at the near post, was scoring his third goal in six games this summer since his £75m move from Everton.
Talented midfielder McTominay added a third for the English Premier League side after 70 minutes with a clever turn and finish, following a strong move by Anthony Martial, who unsettled Valerenga’s defence with a powerful run inside the area.
“I am satisfied,” Mourinho told reporters at his post-match press conference. “It was good for us because of the good pitch, the opponent was very well organised, trying to play from the back.
“After the US and jet lag, it was a good match where I could play 45 minutes each player and now a little rest before the Sampdoria match.
“Until now, no injuries, so let’s see if we can start the season in this positive situation.”
The boss was pleased to see Lukaka getting on the scoresheet again but said “It’s not important” for him, but to the striker,
“It’s nice, you know, strikers like to score,” Mourinho said. “It’s not important for me but it’s important for him, for his confidence and self-esteem.
“Us managers, we are many times happy with them even when they don’t score because of how they contribute to the game plan, but for them to score goals is always important.”
In the meantime, Manchester United could lock up their third signing of the summer, following the news that Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is on the verge of signing on a £40 million deal.
Matic, who won the Premier League title under Mourinho while the Portuguese coach was in charge at Chelsea, is a player that is rated highly by the former Blues boss and he believes it’s only a matter of time before the deal is completed.
“I’m waiting for news,” he said. “I know that he wants that very, very much (move to Manchester United) and when a player wants very, very much the chance is bigger, so I think we have a chance, but in football until it’s official, I have seen so many things happen that I refuse to say more than I am telling you now.”