Derby vs Manchester United highlights and reaction as Pellistri and Chong score in pre-season win

 Recap how Man Utd's first pre-season game of the summer unfolded as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side returned to action.

Manchester United were back in action this afternoon for the first time since their agonising Europa League final defeat on penalties to Villarreal.

It had been nearly two months away from club football for the United players, many of whom missed the friendly victory against Derby as they rest following Euro 2020.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford are among those who haven't returned to training yet, after helping England to the final of the European Championship over the summer. Others like Paul Pogba, Fred, Bruno Fernandes and David de Gea were also missing, though United were still able to complete a 2-1 win, thanks to Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri goals. Colin Kazim-Richards pulled one back for the Rams.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be content as his players got a decent run-out in sweltering conditions at Pride Park.

United: Heaton (Grant, 45); Wan-Bissaka (Galbraith, 45), Mengi (Bernard, 61), Tuanzebe (Fish, 61), Williams (Telles, 45); Levitt (Pereira, 45), Garner (Matic, 45); Elanga (Shoretire, 45), Mata (Lingard, 45), Chong (Pellistri, 45); Greenwood (Hugill, 45, Hannibal, 78).

That's all

Right that's about all for today's United match blog, the first we've run for a while of course, and it yielded a 2-1 pre-season win over Derby.

Lots of hard toil and more important games to come, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will be delighted to have begun their summer campaign with a win.

Join us next time!

DERBY, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Tahith Chong of Manchester United celebrates scoring their first goal during the pre-season friendly match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park on July 18, 2021 in Derby, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Rooney on Mengi

He would dearly like to sign United's Teden Mengi on loan again, but Derby are under transfer restrictions right now.

Lingard reflects on return

He'll be happy with getting a very decent 45 minutes under his belt this afternoon.

Solskjaer confirms Lingard plans

Jesse Lingard shone in the friendly win at Derby today, hitting the crossbar in the second-half, and Solskjaer lauded the academy graduate's form this calendar year.He aslso suggested Lingard would stay at United...

"He came seven or eight days later than the rest but he's a naturally fit boy. He's a man, he played with a few boys but he's one of the men! Jesse has come back, been bright, he wants to fight for his place and there's nothing better than seeing players want to fight for their place. What he did towards the end of last season, that's the true Jesse, that's what we know he's capable of and, for us, I think we saw towards the end that we lacked some options at times and Jesse is in the plans at the moment, yeah."

Lingard's gesture to the fans

Nice stuff, this.

Pellistri will go out on loan

He just said that he wanted to stay, but Solskjaer and United clearly have other ideas.

More from Solskjaer

On Tom Heaton's performance, the game in general and Jadon Sancho...

"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. I think he would have been in the England squad if not. Of course, he's got ambitions."

On Sancho: "Let's get all the paperwork done and get him over the line and then I can say what I truly feel about the player."

More reaction from Solskjaer

He spoke to MUTV after the Derby game:

On Lingard: "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."

On Rashford's injury: "We are looking at the best options. He went away to reflect on it a little bit. We have to take the best course of action for him and the club. We are still addressing that with the experts."

Solskjaer speaks to the United players during the Derby game (Image: 2021 Marc Atkins)

Pellistri on his immediate future

There's been some talk about another loan, but he claims he is keen to stay at United and fight for regular minutes.

Solskjaer says announcement is coming

We've been waiting days for the Jadon Sancho official unveiling to take place. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms it will happen very soon.

On your guard, everyone.

Match verdict

Here is the full time verdict from our chief United writer Samuel Luckhurst at Pride Park, as he assesses a United squad that is suddenly full of right-wing options.

That's after Pellistri and Chong score against Derby, and following the signing of Jadon Sancho, with Jesse Lingard also good today.

United ratings

It may 'only' have been a pre-season game, but we've still got the usual ratings and all that jazz to bring your way, as Facundo Pellistri, Tom Heaton and Jesse Lingard all impress in this United win.


It ends, Derby County 1-2 Manchester United.

Added time

Two minutes of stoppage time will be played, after Lingard is just denied in the box.

He's had a lively 45 minutes.

Almost time

We probably should be having a fair bit of added time, given the number of changes and the water break that we've had.

But this being a pre-season game, the referee might call time early.

Could be 3-1

Hannibal gets away down the left and tries to thread it through to Pellistri, but doesn't quite get it right.

United appear to be in control here, to see this one out.

Lingard ticking it over

United fans are singing Wayne Rooney's name as their side keeps possession well towards the end of this game.

Lingard has seen a lot of the ball and is keeping things ticking.

Fish stops Derby break

A dangerous break from Derby there, with the hosts enjoying a massive overload, but Fish gets back to make an important defensive header away for a corner.

United were wide open then.

Hannibal down

Hannibal receives a nice pass from Lingard and gets into the box, but he goes down under pressure, looking for a penalty.

Nothing doing there, as we head into the final 10 minutes.

Hannibal on

Hannibal does indeed come on, replacing Joe Hugill.

A final change?

We might see Hannibal Mejbri in the final stages.

Lingard hits the woodwork

Goodness. What an effort from Lingard. Think his England goal against Panama in the 2018 World Cup, only this time it hits the crossbar.

A lovely curling shot, classic Lingard really, after cutting inside on his right foot. Close.

Lively now

United are still moving the ball nicely in attack, quick and incisive with their passing.

Pereira is just nudged off the ball there, Derby have certainly livened up since the goal.

Derby chance

Another chance for Derby on the break, as Kazim-Richards sets up another counter, but it's skewed just wide of Grant's goal.

The home fans are making some noise now.

Time for smart football

Derby had plenty of chances in the first half, but United managed to keep them at bay, largely thanks to Tom Heaton's heroics in goal. Grant wasn't close to that shot, to be fair.

Time for United to play smart football and make sure they stay ahead in this one.


Out of not very much, Derby have scored. Kazim-Richards with a long ranger that stuns Lee Grant.

A great strike, but United will be disappointed to have given him so much space.

United on top

More good play from Pellistri, running directly at Derby and then laying off to teammates.

United fans are serenading Solskjaer in the stands. Their side is dominating now.

Fish header

Matic has added some real steel to the United midfield since coming on. It shows what experience can do, as Garner and Levitt couldn't really wrestle control of that area in the first half. United work a free-kick short before a cross onto Will Fish's head that goes wide.

Pellistri purring

Matic plays through Pellistri down the right, to win United a corner.

Telles takes it but Derby are equal to the delivery. United then come back through Pellistri and Lingard, who have looked sharper than most so far.

Lingard's pressing and Pellistri's finish

Time to reflect on that second goal as we reach a drinks break.

United are bringing on their two centre-backs, Fish and Bernard.

Lovely goal

Again, United score through a young winger after winning it high up the pitch.

Shoretire played a delightful through-ball through to the Uruguayan, who rounds the keeper Roos and prods it home. Great stuff.

Lingard fouled

It's a bit fragmented in this second half, with Lingard the latest to be shoved from the back.

United are getting a bit more joy playing through Derby, hence the fouls.

Pellistri bright

Pellistri has been on the end of a couple of cynical tackles so far, but he's definitely giving Derby some headaches. Telles is delivering a few decent balls into the box, but United cannot take advantage yet.

Galbraith has temporarily moved into his normal midfield position.

Pereira's poor return

Andreas Pereira has had a dismal start back in red. He’s found the advertising hoarding and been dispossessed so far.

There is little chance of him making a competitive appearance for United again but he had such an unsuccessful loan with Lazio last season that any move away is unlikely to be swift. Particularly as he has two years left on his contract.

Derby a threat

Lingarrd cannot quite get onto a through ball as United look to get him away on the counter-attack. He's playing as a second striker at the moment.

Derby are still threatening here, with their substitute Kazim-Richards rising for a header but he cannot quite reach it.

Telles close

Telles takes the resulting free-kick with a low, hard effort and it's been touched just wide.

A really good one from the left-footer. He takes the corner, which is scrappy, with the ball eventually being crossed out of play.

Pellistri fouled

Andreas Pereira resumes his United career, after last season's loan spell at Lazio, with a very wayward pass into touch.

Pellistri is making his first United senior appearance (albeit in a non competitive game) and wins a free-kick on the edge of the box.

A lack of centre-backs

Mengi and Tuanzebe are staying on because the only other centre halves are Fish and Bernard. Lindelof and Maguire are obviously on leave after the Euros, Bailly is preparing for the Olympics, Phil Jones is Phil Jones and Raphael Varane isn’t a United player - yet.

Solskjaer gives first half verdict on MUTV

"It was the first 45 minutes for these players and you can see they struggled to catch their breath for a while, and it is tough in this heat. It is a proper game and they should enjoy it. We've asked for more goals and more enthusiam in the second half and hopefully they can enjoy it. [Chong] won the ball well, he's got some talent and hopefully he'll enjoy his time at Birmingham. You can learn from these games. It's just taking it step by step, these are professionals they're playing against, Tom Lawrence, Ravel. I need more voices from them as well, even though they're young, to stamp their authority on the game."

He revealed the whole team, apart from the two centre-backs, will change for the second half. Will Fish and Di'Shon Bernard will come on after around 60 minutes.

Solskjaer before the Derby game (Image: 2021 Manchester United FC)

First half ratings concluded

Levitt -Very quiet next to Garner. 5

Greenwood - Anonymous until a late run reminded everyone of his class. 5

Mata - Not got on the ball enough but started growing into the game. 6

Chong - Scored scruffily in an otherwise timid performance. 6

Elanga- Lacked the physicality against second-tier defenders. 5


1-0 United as the whistle sounds for the break. Chong's goal is the difference.

Morrison involved

Morrison and Lawrence nearly combine again to deadly effect for Derby, with United hanging on a bit here, still leading but hardly dominant.

They're trying to push Derby back.

Wan-Bissaka undone

United’s coaching staff won’t have enjoyed seeing Tom Lawrence getting on the inside of Aaron Wan-Bissaka there.

Wan-Bissaka is regularly credited for his defending and his one-on-one defending is excellent, but his weakness is to crosses from United’s left when he’s often on his heels and caught dawdling, as he was then. That’s definitely an area where he needs to improve.

The odd word from Solskjaer

Solskjaer was out earlier to berate Williams for a needlessly crude foul that would have been a booking in a competitive game. Otherwise, he has mainly stayed in the dugout while the game is going on. Just as I type that, he has called Greenwood over. Greenwood has been anonymous through the middle but is now moving to the right.

Lawrence spurns a big headed chance after United allowed the ball to bounce in the box after Aluko's cross.

Tuanzebe solid

Some good defending by Axel Tuanzebe gets United out of trouble. He's been pretty solid so far, showing why he deserves more minutes, either at United or elsewhere.

Derby untroubled

Derby’s centre backs have a combined age of 74 but they’ve not had a great deal to do so far. It isn’t about winning matches for United at this stage of pre-season but they’ve struggled to get any of the front four in the game.

It’s very much a training exercise so far, Garner has organised well in midfield and Levitt has played a couple of nice passes, but beyond that there’s not much to write home about.

Lethargic at times from United

That was a decent save from Heaton (no replays here, so impossible to tell how good/routine it was).

United are playing like the mishmash of a team they are. There is a general lethargy about their play which you expect in these games and none of the front six have got a foothold in the game. They could do with getting Garner on the ball more to start attacks and bring some fluidity to the play.

You can tell Heaton played under Sean Dyche. He’s easily audible amid the return of matchgoers.