Manchester United 2 - 1 Sampdoria: Juan Mata nets winner for Manchester United against Sampdoria

Posted Thursday, August 03, 2017 by ESPN

Manchester United 2 - 1 Sampdoria: Juan Mata nets winner for Manchester United against Sampdoria
Manchester United players celebrate after a Henrikh Mkhitaryan goal in a friendly against Sampdoria.

Nemanja Matic made his Manchester United debut as Jose Mourinho's side warmed up for the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Dublin.

The new £35 million midfielder played the first 45 minutes at the Aviva Stadium, his first action of the summer after training alone at Chelsea before his move to Old Trafford.

The Serbian impressed enough to suggest he will start against European champions Real Madrid in Macedonia on Aug. 8.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan should, too, after he scored another preseason goal to put United ahead against Sampdoria. The Serie A side equalised after half-time before Juan Mata scored the winner nine minutes from time.

United's opener came at the end of an eventful two-minute spell.

It started with Daley Blind, playing on the left of a back three, passing the ball back to David De Gea from 25 yards without looking.

De Gea was forced to scamper back towards his goal-line and make a good save, although his punishment for handling a back-pass was an indirect free kick six yards out.

Sampdoria's effort was blocked on the line, and United broke quickly with Andreas Pereira, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian before the Italian's cross from the left was headed in at the back post by Mkhitaryan. United were ahead after just nine minutes.

Mkhitaryan could have had a hat-trick of headers before half-time after seeing one saved by Christian Puggioni and another drift wide of the far post.

Mourinho made four changes at the break bringing on Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata for Matic, Paul Pogba, Pereira and Mkhitaryan.

The back five of Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Valencia, Darmian and Blind were left on, perhaps a hint they will start the Super Cup in Skopje on Tuesday with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones suspended. Sampdoria, Italy's 10th best team last season, equalised just after the hour.

The Italians attacked down the left, Vasco Regini's cross was only cleared to the edge of the box by Smalling and Dennis Praet beat De Gea.

It was Sampdoria's first real chance, and came just minutes after Mourinho had switched to a back four.

It was left to Mata to wrap United's sixth win in seven preseason games.

Anthony Martial capped a mazy run down the left with a cross which found the Spaniard in enough space in the penalty area to side foot his finish into the net.



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