|Manchester United players celebrate, on Tuesday
Manchester: Louis van Gaal’s first match at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager ended in victory after Marouane Fellaini’s injury-time goal sealed a 2-1 friendly win over Spanish side Valencia, here, on Tuesday.
The Dutch boss, who took over after leading the Netherlands to third place at the World Cup last month, was left with plenty to ponder ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener against Swansea.
Wayne Rooney missed a penalty but Darren Fletcher drove in United’s opener shortly after the interval only for Rodrigo to equalise in the 71st minute before Fellaini scored his first goal in United colours.
Van Gaal, given the task of returning United to winning ways after David Moyes, Alex Ferguson’s chosen successor was sacked towards the end of a season where the club finished seventh in the Premier League, received a huge cheer as he emerged from the tunnel to supervise the warm-up.
He also endeared himself to the United fans by greeting lots of them at the front of the South Stand as he made his way to the dug-out after half-time.
With Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia, Nani, Anderson and Wilfried Zaha, as well as the injured Michael Carrick, among those watching from the stands, Van Gaal selected a makeshift side.
Defender Tyler Blackett, who has featured regularly throughout pre-season, started as one of three centre-backs, with Ashley Young and Reece James playing as wing-backs.
Although under less pressure, the defence retained the ball far better than in their recent 3-1 friendly win over Liverpool.
Ander Herrera, making his first home appearance since joining from Athletic Bilbao, impressed with his willingness to dictate play sitting in front of the back four.