Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has expressed satisfaction with his side’s performance in Saturday night’s win over Inter Milan.
United remained top of the International Champions Cup (ICC) group with five points thanks to a 5-3 shootout win after regulation time had ended goalless in Washington DC.
The former Netherlands boss stuck with his pre-season squad rotation policy, making eight changes at the break.
With the game deadlocked after 90 minutes, Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverly, Shinji Kagawa and Darren Fletcher all converted from 12 yards, while Inter’s only miss came from Marco Andreolli.
“I am very pleased,” said the 62-year-old manager. “I think we played by far the best match of our sequence of three.
“They only had one shot on our goal and that was given by the referee [a free-kick], but I think we also created six or seven chances, so then it is seven against one.
“I was very pleased with our ball possession; it was much better than the other matches. And I think also the positions were better covered.
“So I was tonight very pleased with the performance of my players, both in the first half and the second half.”
United have now kept two clean sheets in three matches so far in the tour of the United States.
Goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard made way for Spaniard David de Gea at the interval, which also witnessed the arrival of young defenders Michael Keane and Tyler Blackett- both who the manager said “he like” at his post-game briefing.
Van Gaal attributed his side’s success on the spot-kick to “practice” and a bit of “luck”.
“We practised penalties yesterday and also the sequence,” he said. “That is why De Gea was our goalkeeper in the second half, because he is the best of the four at penalties.
“Fletcher hit the post in training so it’s also a little bit of luck, but we deserved the victory.”
The United boss felt he had to redeploy Kagawa back to the midfield role because it was the Japanese’s most preferred position.
“I know him from Borussia Dortmund and he played in the no.10 position,” Van Gaal added. “I wanted to try him in the no.6 or no.8 position in our system in the first two matches, and then I also gave him a chance at no.10 because he wanted to play in that position. He did it much better than in the two matches before.”
Wilfried Zaha finally got his chance to impress the new manager in the second-half, and that he did.
“I was pleased with Wilfried’s performance but we have to wait and see. He has a lot of competition with the other strikers,” said Van Gaal.
Left wing-back Luke Shaw was not in the manager’s plan for the game but had to come on because Reece James got injured.
He continued: “And so I asked him (Shaw to play) in spite of a very heavy training session this morning and I think he did very well.”