Jose Mourinho failed in his first major test as Manchester United manager as his team fell 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund in a pre-season friendly.
The German side - though three games fitter than their opponents - taught them a lesson in passing, movement and dynamism, easing to a convincing win.
The early stages of the game were even as both sides struggled with the pitch and humidity, but then on 20 minutes Sam Johnstone failed to hold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's free-kick, and eventually, Gonzalo Castro scrambled in the opener.
Borussia Dortmund's Gonzalo Castro celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates as Manchester United's Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard look dejected
Image credit: Reuters
Dortmund went further ahead on 35 minutes when Antonio Valencia handled unnecessarily - Aubameyang slotted home the penalty with noteworthy ease - as United struggled to make an impression.
Then, after 56 minutes came the crucial moment. First, Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed a one-on-one when put through by Marcus Rashford, before, a minute later, Ousmane Dembele scored a spectacular third. Though Mkhitaryan scored for United just two minutes later, the game was effectively over, and with four minutes remaining, Castro was allowed all sorts of space to thunder in a beauty.
Dortmund are a very fine team indeed; the standard will not have been lost on United, nor Jose Mourinho.
TALKING POINT - UNITED STRIKING SITUATION
Though it is not saying much, United improved when Marcus Rashford came on, his direct running and intelligent movement causing Dortmund's defence a problem. But with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Wayne Rooney ahead of him, it is not easy to see where he might play. That, or Jose Mourinho will soon have to make a difficult decision.
MAN OF THE MATCH - GONZALO CASTRO
United could not get close to Dortmund in midfield, and though Sebastian Rode was a significant reason for that too, it was Castro who constantly prompted around the box, who opened the scoring, and whose brilliant finish closed it.
Manchester United: Johnstone 5, Valencia 5, Jones 5, Bailly 6, Shaw 6, Herrera 5, Blind 6, Mata 5, Mkhitaryan 6, Lingard 5, Memphis 5. Subs: Romero 6, Rojo 5, Young 5, Januzaj 6, Rashford 7, McNair 6.
20 - GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (Castro) Dortmund won a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre, and Aubameyang hit it low. Johnstone was slow to get across, shovelled it out, and Dembele thrashed the rebound at him - he saved well. Kagawa then had a hack, foiled by Jones, before Castro achieved the necessary sliced contact to send the ball spinning into the roof of the net.
35 - PENALTY TO DORTMUND! Castro and Kagawa mess about down the right, the cross comes over and Aubameyang goes for the overhead. He misses, but just as everyone's beginning to laugh, Valencia controls the bouncing ball with his wrist for something to do. Superb leadership!
Manchester United's Antonio Valencia in action with Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele
Image credit: Reuters
35' - GOAL! Manchester United 0-2 Borussia Dortmund (Aubameyang, pen) Johnstone dives right, the ball goes straight, and that's 2-0.
57 - WHAT A GOAL! Manchester United 0-3 Borussia Dortmund (Dembele) Dembele, at inside-right, bundles past Shaw, then runs at Rojo - you can probably guess the rest. But he feints inside, flips outside, and slams a rising shot past Romero at his near post. The boy can play.
59' - GOAL! Manchester United 1-3 Borussia Dortmund (Mhkhitaryan) A brilliant reverse-pass from Blind, threaded through 43 defenders, finds Mata inside the box, right-hand side. Weidenfeller dashes out, so he squares to Mkhitaryan, playing through the middle now, with Rashford on the left, and he taps home before retrieving the ball. Thought that counts, I guess.
86' - WHAT A GOAL! Manchester United 1-4 Borussia Dortmund (Castro) And this is now a thrashing! Castro takes up possession 35 yards out and is permitted to carry the ball forwards and right without so much as an aggressive glance. Then, when he's good and ready and only when he's good and ready, he absolutely murders a shot into the far top corner.