Andreas Pereira’s outrageous volley lit up Manchester United’s 2-2 friendly draw with Premier League new boys Brentford in front of 30,000 fans at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
It was a match of great goals, started by 19-year-old Anthony Elanga before Brentford’s Shandon Baptiste hit a swerving volleyed effort that went in off the woodwork.
Pereira’s stunning goal early in the second half was the pick of the bunch but it did not prove the winner as substitute Bryan Mbeumo curled home smartly to ensure it finished all square. Here, Sportsmail picks out five things we learned from the game as the new Premier League season approaches.
Andreas Pereira’s stunning volley lit up Manchester United’s 2-2 friendly draw with Brentford
Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo curled home smartly late on to ensure the Bees got a draw
Lingard offers something different to Fernandes
Jesse Lingard injected new life into his career with his performances out on loan at West Ham from January onwards.
There was talk over whether he would leave Old Trafford permanently this summer but, on this evidence, he looks a threat and somebody Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should keep around.
Sure, Lingard will largely play second fiddle to Bruno Fernandes for the No 10 role in the Premier League and Champions League but the England international definitely offers something different.
We saw him pick the ball up between Brentford’s midfield and defence on countless occasions and then turn and drive at pace towards their goal. Fernandes operates more as a playmaker but Lingard’s directness could be useful against teams who sit deep.
Solskjaer also likes to play on the counter in big games and Lingard’s pace and energy would see him flourish in that system, too. Lingard’s time at West Ham has clearly filled him with confidence and he could be like a new signing for United this season.
Jesse Lingard looked sharp as he ran at the Brentford defence and caused a lot of problems
Elanga looks ready for the Premier League
Elanga scored a fine goal in last weekend’s friendly defeat against Queens Park Rangers and continued his impressive form with another excellent display here.
He started up front as a lone striker with Lingard, Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood in support but definitely did not look out of his depth.
The 19-year-old came short to link play, drifted around to find space and drag Brentford’s defenders out of position and was always willing to make darting runs in behind with his pace.
He also made it two goals in two games with a fine acrobatic volley to open the scoring, adjusting his body with ease to convert Wan-Bissaka’s cross. There has been talk he could go on loan but he looks ready to make an impact now.
With Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho still on holiday and Anthony Martial working his way back from his knee injury, Elanga could be a threat off the bench in the first few weeks of the season.
Anthony Elanga netted the game’s opening goal and continued his impressive pre-season form
Tuanzebe needs to go out on loan
With the impending £42million arrival of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, the chances of Axel Tuanzebe getting regular first-team football at United this season are slim.
He played in the heart of United’s back four with Teden Mengi on Wednesday night and the youngsters were guilty of a few mis-placed passes and errors of judgement, which is to be expected as they develop.
But, at the age of 23, Tuanzebe needs regular first-team football at the top level if he is to ever develop into a Premier League centre back.
With Varane expected to partner Harry Maguire in Solskjaer’s first-choice defence, that leaves Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Tuanzebe in reserve.
There would be plenty of Premier League sides willing to take Tuanzebe on loan for the season. It seems like it would be the smartest move for all involved to let him go out and play regularly.
Axel Tuanzebe could benefit with a loan move so he can get regular Premier League minutes
Matic and Mata still have plenty to offer
There has been so much talk of new arrivals at Old Trafford this summer that it’s easy to forget the talent that is already at the club.
Solskjaer has so much young, exciting talent at his disposal but they need plenty of experience around them to carry them in the tough moments and ensure they reach their full potential.
Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are 32 and 33 respectively but both looked in great condition on Wednesday night as they dominated the midfield area.
Matic was at his best breaking up Brentford’s attacks before distributing the ball to those who are better further up the pitch.
Mata was his classy self on the ball. His touch is as good as ever and he links the play from the back four or holding midfielders to the attacking trio ahead of him.
There is plenty of excitement for Rashford, Sancho, Fernandes, Greenwood, Paul Pogba and Martial to play together but the likes of Mata and Matic have proven they can still cut it at the highest level for Solskjaer.
Nemanja Matic (left) and Juan Mata (right) both proved they have plenty still to offer United
Brentford can cause a stir in the Premier League
The Bees are something of an unknown quantity this season. Nobody knows what to expect from them as they make their top-flight return.
But, on this evidence, there is plenty to be excited about. Sure, it’s just a pre-season friendly but they more than held their own and caused United plenty of problems in the second half.
David Raya is a fine goalkeeper, Ethan Pinnock looks composed in defence, Vitaly Janelt looked solid in midfield while Bryan Mbeumo, Sergi Canos and Tariqe Fosu all looked dangerous on the flanks.
Thomas Frank’s Brentford side held their own at Old Trafford and will be dangerous this season
Ivan Toney looks like he’ll be a nightmare for Premier League defences. He was always looking for the ball into feet or competing with defenders for long balls from the goalkeeper.
He had a couple of chances to get himself on the scoresheet but made the wrong decision in and around the penalty area.
It will be tough for them to retain their top-flight status but, based on this evidence, Thomas Frank’s side will definitely surprise a few people when the season gets underway next month.