Manchester United 1-4 Borussia Dortmund: Gonzalo Castro brace sees off Red Devils
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 23/07/16 9:37am
Manchester United were beaten 4-1 by Borussia Dortmund in the opening match of the International Champions Cup in Shanghai on Friday.
The Bundesliga side led 2-0 at the break after a goal from Gonzalo Castro (19) and a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty (36).
Things did not improve after half-time for United as further strikes from Ousmane Dembele (57) and Castro (86), sandwiched in between a consolation effort by Henrikh Mkhitaryan against his old club (59), sealed the win for Dortmund.
Jose Mourinho opted to leave both captain Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper David de Gea out of his squad for this opening match of the tournament, due to their involvement in Euro 2016.
Dortmund, meanwhile, did not include recent new signings Mario Gotze or Andre Schurrle, the latter who only arrived at the club on Friday after a €32m capture from Wolfsburg.
Thomas Tuchel's team were playing their fifth pre-season game of the summer, compared to United's second, something that was evident in the first period as they took control of proceedings.
Both sides took time to adjust though to the terrible playing surface at the Shanghai Stadium, with the bobbly nature of the pitch playing a role in Dortmund's opening strike.
After Daley Blind fouled Castro some 35 yards out, Aubameyang's subsequent free-kick could only be parried straight to Dembele by United's reserve goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
However, after a scramble in the box, Castro found himself in the right place to toe-poke the loose ball high into the net, although United's ability to clear the danger was not helped by the pitch which had already started to cut up by that point.
A quarter of an hour later and Dortmund doubled their lead via the penalty spot after United captain Antonio Valencia was adjudged to have handled Aubameyang's acrobatic overhead kick in the box.
The Gabon international, who was Dortmund's top scorer last season, kept his cool from the spot by placing the ball straight down the middle as Johnstone dived to his right.
In fact, it could have been even worse for United had Johnstone not made an excellent diving save to keep out Aubameyang's close-range effort three minutes before the break.
Both teams made a raft of changes at half-time, with Mourinho introducing the likes of Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo, Marcus Rashford and Sergio Romero as United's new manager looked to give his entire bench a run-out.
However, after Mkhitaryan missed a great chance to reduce the deficit 10 minutes into the second half - the Armenian attacker shot straight at Roman Weidenfeller when clean through on goal - Dortmund further increased their lead.
And what a goal it was, as Dembele - only bought from Rennes earlier this summer - beat first Luke Shaw and then Rojo, before thumping an unstoppable effort high into the net from just inside the area.
United took just two minutes to respond, though, as Juan Mata found himself free in the box after a clever dummy had freed the Spaniard, who then unselfishly picked out the unmarked Mkhitaryan for a simple tap in.
It was Dortmund, however, who had the final say as the outstanding Castro beat Romero with a sensational long-range shot from the right-hand edge of the area to leave Mourinho with much to ponder before United face rivals Man City on Monday.
You can watch highlights of Friday's game, and all of United's International Champions Cup fixtures, on both Sky Sports 1 HD and all digital platforms from midnight.
The International Champions Cup continues on Saturday, with Melbourne Victory v Juventus (SS1, 10am) and Celtic v Leicester City (SS1, 5pm) both live on Sky Sports.