MAN UTD 3, RC LENS 1
Manchester United proved they can score goals without new £72million striker Rasmus Hojlund.
The Dane, who was paraded before fans pre-match, watched as the Reds came from behind to blitz RC Lens with three goals in a deadly 10-minute spell early in the second half.
Marcus Rashford, with 30 goals last season, picked up where he left off while Antony and Casemiro were also on target against the side with the best defensive record in France’s La Ligue last season.
It was just as well they were firing as Hojlund will miss the start to the season after picking up an injury pre-season with Italian club Atalanta.
Yet it was Lens who scored the pick of the goals, a stunning Florian Sotoca strike from within the centre circle after spotting goalkeeper Andre Onana off his line.
With the exception of Hojlund, this was possibly the starting line up which will kick off the new campaign with most of the 11 named substitutes likely to start Sunday’s friendly in Dublin.
There were first Old Trafford appearances for summer signings, Onana and forward Mason Mount.
Former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba was the Lens captain as the French side made their first-ever appearance against the Reds.
Such was the interest that Lens had a following numbering several hundred vociferous fans.
Mount was guilty of an unbelievable miss in the 15th minute as he ought to have opened his goalscoring account at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes sprayed a crossfield pass to release Alejandro Garnacho on the left and he squared the ball to Mount who was free six yards out, but he completely miss-kicked with the goal at his mercy.
Mount was set up again not long after by Garnacho but this time saw his effort deflected over the bar.
How United were to pay for those misses as Lens went ahead mid-half through a stunning strike from inside the centre circle.Embed from Getty Images
Diogo Dalot’s pass failed to find Raphael Varane and Sotoca intercepted and, seeing Onana well off his line, chipped the keeper from almost 50 yards.
United pressed for a leveller as Antony had a shot deflected narrowly over and Luke Shaw’s effort, also deflected, was saved by Samba.
The equaliser came within three minutes of the restart from Rashford who was released by Antony’s fine through ball and saw his shot deflect off defender Kevin Danso and low past Samba.
And the turnabout was completed when the Reds went ahead in the 53rd minute.
Garnacho sprinted clear down the left and crossed to Antony who fired home a low shot from 12 yards past the advancing Samba.
The afternoon became even better when United added a third goal in 10 minutes when Casemiro headed home Shaw’s free kick from eight yards.
United’s first change midway through the second half saw Garnacho replaced by Jadon Sancho.
Lens almost scored a second when Facundo Medina’s effort was deflected off Onana and, as the ball rolled towards goal, Dalot cleared off the line.
There was a second switch with nine minutes left when Antony made way for youngster Omari Forson.
Onana showed by United signed him as he made a super save in the last minute to turn away an effort from Morgan Guilvgui which was deflected off Lisandro Martinez.