Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a happy man after seeing his side kick off their pre-season with a win over Wayne Rooney’s Derby. The 2-1 victory is the first of five for the Norwegian boss before their Premier League curtain-raiser against Leeds on August 14.
A first-half goal from Tahith Chong, who will leave the club on loan after pre-season, was followed by a sublime finish from Facundo Pellistri in the second half.
Pellistri was one of several changes in the second half as the entire original team was replaced. Jesse Lingard also made his first appearance for the club since earlier this year, last featuring in the FA Cup last season against Watford.
Manchester United’s inexperienced makeshift side were, however, tested for their resolve late in the game as a 20-yard strike from Colin Kazim-Richards pulled one back for the hosts.
“Jesse has come back, been bright, he wants to fight for his place. We lacked some options at times [last season]. Jesse is in the plans at the moment,” Solskjaer is quoted as saying after the game by the Manchester Evening News.
“The first game is always difficult, it’s the first test of 45 minutes, big pitch, took a bit of time to get going, loads of young players getting their chance to play with some of the first-team ones.
“[Tom Heaton] has conducted himself so well throughout his career. I was just on the end of my career when he was coming up, so I’m so happy to have him. Tom wants to play as well, I think he’s been unlucky with an injury last season.”
Next up for Solskjaer is a trip to London as he prepares to face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. After the best possible start to pre-season, the Norwegian boss will be hoping for successive victories when they take on Mark Warburton’s side on Saturday.