Pellistri decisive as Man Utd begin pre-season with win over Rooney's Derby

By Sports Desk July 18, 2021

Facundo Pellistri got the decisive goal as Manchester United began their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 win over Wayne Rooney's Derby County.

United great Rooney took over from Phillip Cocu in November and was managing against his former club for the first time.

It was, understandably, an unfamiliar-looking United side, however. With numerous players yet to return after Euro 2020 and the Copa America, and several set to feature at the Olympics, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was without 16 players.

As such, Tom Heaton started in goal following his return to the club, and he made an important save from point-blank range just before the end of a first half that was made to look like something of a struggle due to the heat.

Nevertheless, United held a 1-0 lead at the interval as Tahith Chong – who is set to go on loan to Derby's Championship rivals Birmingham City – seized on a defensive error and bundled in from close range after seeing his initial chip attempt blocked back on to him.

Solskjaer made as many as nine changes at the break, with Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi the only players to remain in the team. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic, Lee Grant and Alex Telles were among those to come into the side, with several youngsters also involved.

Two of the young hopefuls combined to put United 2-0 up.

Shola Shoretire – who became United's youngest ever player in European competition back in February – sliced through the defence with a clever throughball and Pellistri coolly rounded the goalkeeper before tucking home.

Colin Kazim-Richards pulled one back for Derby from distance, but Pellistri's well-taken goal was enough to give United a winning start to their pre-season

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Manchester City set to pursue Leicester City midfielder James Maddison Rumour Has It: Manchester City set to pursue Leicester City midfielder James Maddison

    Manchester City are reportedly planning a move for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison at the end of the season.

    Maddison, 26, has been one of the top goal-creating midfielders in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons, collecting seven goals and four assists from 14 fixtures this campaign after a 2021-22 season with 12 goals and eight assists.

    He closed last campaign with goals in each of his final four Premier League outings and was heavily sought after in pre-season, but Leicester opted to hold onto their midfield star.

    Regardless of what happens in the second half of the season, Maddison has less than 18 months remaining on his contract and has reportedly shown no interest in extending, which will likely force Leicester's hand unless they want to lose him on a free transfer as appears likely with Youri Tielemans.

    TOP STORY – CITY VIEW MADDISON AS KEY COG IN THEIR FUTURE MIDFIELD

    According to the Daily Mail, City boss Pep Guardiola is an admirer of Maddison, and with plenty of upheaval expected in the club's engine room, a space could open up for the Foxes star.

    The report states Leicester set their asking price at £60million when Newcastle United came knocking prior to this season, but they held firm as the offers "did not come close" to their valuation.

    City midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva are both expected to depart at the conclusion of the campaign, and their supposed £70m demand for the latter would likely pay for Maddison's arrival.

    Leicester are already set to lose Tielemans on a free transfer after spending £32m to purchase his services in 2019, and they will likely be eager to avoid a similar fate with Maddison, while Brendan Rodgers could then use the fee to fund a mini rebuild.

    ROUND-UP

    – Calciomercato is reporting Chelsea enquired about 25-year-old Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella but were told the Italian club have no interest in selling, as he remains tied to the club until 2026.

    – According to Sky Sports Italia, disgruntled Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo had a change of heart and wanted to head to Bournemouth, but the English side turned him down after spending their funds elsewhere.

    – Fabrizio Romano is reporting Barcelona have an anxious wait to see if their €4m ($4.35m) transfer for 21-year-old LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo will be processed as the deal was signed seconds after the deadline.

    – Manchester United captain Harry Maguire never considered a loan move to Inter and will remain with the club until at least the end of the season, per Fabrizio Romano.

  • Southampton set new club-record transfer fee to secure Rennes winger Sulemana Southampton set new club-record transfer fee to secure Rennes winger Sulemana

    Southampton have completed their club-record signing of Ghana and Rennes winger Kamaldeen Sulemana for £22million (€24.95m).

    Sulemana, 22, arrived at Rennes prior to the 2021-22 season for a €20m fee. He made 11 starts among his 20 appearances during his first Ligue 1 campaign before his season was cut short in February due to a back injury.

    He has struggled to force his way back into the club's best XI this time around, with only two league starts to his name, but his stock received a massive boost after a terrific showing for Ghana at the Qatar World Cup.

    Sulemana appeared in all three of Ghana's group stage matches, where he clocked the fastest sprint speed (35.7kp/h) out of every player at the tournament.

    He has earned 15 senior international caps so far, although the lightning-quick forward is yet to record his first goal for his country.

    The £22m fee exceeds the £20m paid to sign Danny Ings from Liverpool in 2019, and has the potential to rise to £24.6m if certain add-ons are activated.

    In a second under-the-radar move, Southampton also confirmed the signing of 28-year-old Genk striker Paul Onuachu, who is the leading scorer in the Belgian top flight.

    Onuachu, a Nigerian international, has scored 16 goals in his past 13 league games, and the towering 201cm presence was secured for a fee of £18.5m (€22m).

  • PSG considering appeal after Chelsea paperwork issue prevents Ziyech loan PSG considering appeal after Chelsea paperwork issue prevents Ziyech loan

    A paperwork error from Chelsea's side has reportedly prevented the loan deal that would have sent Hakim Ziyech to Paris Saint-Germain.

    Ziyech, 29, arrived in Paris on Tuesday to complete the move, with both clubs on board after the former £35million signing struggled to force his way into Graham Potter's plans.

    The Moroccan international has made only four starts this Premier League season to go with six brief substitute appearances, collecting his first goal involvement with an assist against Crystal Palace on January 15.

    According to The Athletic, Chelsea are the side being accused of failing to submit the necessary paperwork in time for the move to be processed, while an anonymous Paris Saint-Germain source is quoted calling the situation a "Class A circus".

    ESPN adds that the French giants believe the paperwork was filed in time and will appeal the Ligue 1 decision, but there is no timetable for the appeal process.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.