Live Commentary: Manchester United vs. Valencia - as it happened

Sports Mole covers Louis van Gaal's first game in charge at Old Trafford, as Manchester United take on Valencia.

Manchester United went into their final friendly fixture of the summer against Valencia on the back of winning every game of their tour of America.

The hosts took the lead through Darren Fletcher shortly after half time, as Louis van Gaal sought to turn his first appearance at Old Trafford as a United manager into a win.

Some lackluster defending from Tom Cleverley allowed Rodrigo to grab an equaliser at the back post, while United made a host of changes before Saturday's Premier League opener against Swansea City.

Things looked headed for a draw until substitute Marouane Fellaini made the most of a late mix-up to tap home deep into injury time.

Find out how all of the action developed by reading our minute-by-minute updates below.

7.05pmGood evening everyone and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage as Manchester United welcome Valencia to Old Trafford. Louis van Gaal will be taking charge of his first game for United at the ground, as the Reds prepare for Saturday's opening Premier League fixture.

7.07pmThe Red Devils have enjoyed an enterprising start under the Dutchman, who has managed to lead United to victory in all of his games since taking over. The club took the US by storm this month as they dispatched the likes of LA Galaxy, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Liverpool during their tour.

7.10pmTonight's starting XI could provide a major indication as to how United will begin their Premier League campaign against Swansea City on Saturday, with many predicting that Van Gaal will stick with United's new 3-5-2 formation incorporating the use of wing-backs.

7.12pmA number of players have already undergone minor revivals under the guidance of the former Netherlands boss, including Ashley Young who has been given a new lease of life at left wing-back, while defender Chris Smalling has also been given increased responsibility as part of a three-man defence.

7.14pmSome team news for you now...

7.15pmManchester United starting XI: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Blackett; Young, Fletcher, Herrera, James; Mata; Rooney, Hernandez

7.15pmUnited substitutes: Amos, M Keane, Cleverley, Fellaini, Kagawa, Lingard, Januzaj

7.18pmValencia starting XI: Alves; Barragan, Vezo, Otamendi, Gaya; Parejo, Fuego, Andre Gomes; Feghouli, Alcacer, Rodrigo

7.18pmSo United have decided to name Wayne Rooney as captain for tonight's fixture. Could this be a sign of things to come this season? The England striker is to be partnered by Javier Hernandez, as Robin van Persie is rested ahead of the new campaign.

7.20pmThe hosts' back-three is to be made up from Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and the young Tyler Blackett. Darren Fletcher and Ander Herrera are to sit in midfield, with Ashley Young and Reece James playing out wide.

7.24pmUnited's new boss has left his faith in Juan Mata to operate behind his strikers, though Shinji Kagawa is likely to be given a run-out at some point - with the Japanese international starting on the bench.

7.26pmWe're just five minutes away from kickoff now and it's probably time I gave a prediction for tonight's outcome. I fancy United to continue their impressive pre-season form by bagging another win. I'm saying 3-1 to Van Gaal's charges.

7.29pmThe teams are now out on the pitch as they proceed to shake hands ahead of the clash. Can Van Gaal continue his impressive form since taking over from David Moyes, I think so...

7.30pmHowever, Valencia also have a new manager and will be looking to impress. This should be a feisty affair as both sets of players look to impress their respective new bosses.

7.30pmKICKOFF! Here we go then, referee Jon Moss gets us underway, with United kicking from left to right in the first half.

2 minUnited look to settle the pace in the opening stages as Fletcher sets his stall out in midfield with a few neat passes, allowing United to nurse their way into possession.

3 minYoung is already looking to use his pace down the right flank. He collects the ball from Jones, but is crowded out as he tries to progress towards the corner flag.

4 minSome nice, tidy passing from United in the middle as Herrera and Fletcher keep the carousel moving. The ball is eventually fed out to James down the left, but Feghouli is on hand to make a great tackle and win back the ball.

6 minNothing noteworthy from the visitors yet, as they look to hassle United in the middle. Gomes clashes with Young, however the United man is back on his feet after a brief stoppage.

8 minValencia carve out their first real chance as Feghouli marauds down the right flank. He has plenty of time to pick out a shot, but instead decides to square the ball across the box. Thankfully for United, Smalling is on hand to cut the ball out and Blackett clears.

10 minMata sees his first glimpse of the ball as the Spaniard makes a great run in behind the defence. He's picked out by Fletcher, though the resulting cross is cleared away at the first time of asking by the Valencia defence.

12 minUnited have started brightly in this encounter, with Fletcher and Herrera looking to set the tempo of passing from midfield. Valencia standing firm, though.

14 minCLOSE! United win a free kick in a dangerous area, with Mata whipping the ball in towards the back post. Hernandez gambles, but Alves is equal to it and comes out of goal to claim with authority.

16 minVan Gaal's men continue to dominate possession in these early moments, though they haven't done much with the ball so far. It's lots of short, neat passes, but nothing to really threaten the visitors.

18 minYoung looks to use his pace to split in behind the defence, with Jones providing a wonderful dinked ball over the top. However, two defenders come across in time and are able to see away the danger before Young can take the ball under control.

20 minBlackett decides to come forward from defence and is able to beat two Valencia men. He lifts in a ball towards Rooney, but it doesn't quite have the quality to reach the striker and is cleared away from the box.

23 minSHOT! United's midfield are knocking it around with real quality, lots of neat triangles around the Valencia box. After seven or eight, the ball drops to Herrera who tries to unload from distance, but can only skew the ball wide of the post.

25 minWe haven't seen much of Mata other than that initial run. He should be key in this system as he looks to link up the midfield with United's front-line. At the moment though, it's mainly long balls forward, which Hernandez can't quite win.

27 minSAVE! United give the ball away oddly in the middle of the park, allowing Feghouli with time and space in front of the box. He drops his shoulder and takes a pop at goal, though De Gea makes a comfortable save down low.

29 minBlackett is beginning to have a real impact on this game from an unlikely position. He's being given far too much space to bomb forward and this time picks out James, whose cross isn't the best and gets cleared by the first man.

31 minRooney gets his first chance to test the keeper as Herrera wins a free kick on the edge of the area. However, United's skipper can't get the ball up and down in time and his effort sails tamely over the bar.

31 minPenalty to United! Herrera feeds Young with a wonderful ball out wide, inviting the winger to cross first time. The cross finds the on-coming Rooney who is given a slight nudge in the back and wins a penalty for his side.

31 minRooney gets his first chance to test the keeper as Herrera wins a free kick on the edge of the area. However, United's skipper can't get the ball up and down in time and his effort sails tamely over the bar.

32 minPENALTY TO UNITED! Herrera finds Young with a wonderful ball out on the flank, inviting the winger to cross first time. He finds the on-coming Rooney inside the box, who gets a nudge in the back and wins his side the spot-kick.


34 minAnd Rooney misses from the spot... The striker steps up looking confident but fires his effort straight against the post, with Alves also guessing the right way and nearly getting a hand to it. Close to being a great penalty, as well as a great save. The post wins this time and the scores remain level.

40 minCHANCE! Rooney makes a well-timed run in behind the fence and is spotted by Fletcher, who provides a ball of perfect weight. However, Rooney somehow is unable to take the ball under control and Alves is left to gather on the edge of the area.

42 minCLOSE! Valencia almost carve out a neat chance as Rodrigo slips a ball through the defence, leaving Alcacer potentially with the chance to tuck home, though the striker misses the pass and the ball filters through to De Gea who collects on his knees.

44 minUnited have had vast amounts of possession, but have rarely threatened like they have done early this summer. Valencia are comfortable here as they pick out some of the more average balls lumped forward into Hernandez and Rooney.


8.20pmSo the referee calls time on the first half and United should really be ahead, however Rooney's missed penalty sees the scores level at 0-0. Van Gaal's men have dominated the first 45, but don't really have anything to show for it.

8.22pmFletcher and Herrera have controlled the game, but a lack of quality on the wingers has hindered United going forward. Mata has barely touched the ball either and United will want to get him involved in proceedings more often.

8.24pmThe hosts haven't had much to worry about in terms of Valencia coming forward, however they have looked slightly vulnerable when the visitors win the ball high up the pitch.

8.26pmIt should be interesting to see what Van Gaal does now with the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Kagawa on the bench.

8.27pmLet's not forget that United are also missing Van Persie tonight, with the Dutchman having the potential to become an important player in Van Gaal's new system.

8.30pmHerrera has been the most impressive of the players at Old Trafford tonight. United's new signing has showed great industry when tackling, as well as moving the ball with a touch of class and purpose from the centre of the pitch. He looks like he'll be an important player in the coming campaign.

8.33pmWe're awaiting news of any changes now as the players prepare to come out for the second period. We'll provide you with any information as it comes in.

45 minKICKOFF! Valencia get us back underway as the second half begins...

47 minNo changes for United yet as Van Gaal looks to give this crop of players a chance in the second period. Young is given space on the right and he pings a ball towards Mata at the back post, leaving the full-back to clear.


50 minThe resulting corner comes in and the ball is cleared out of the box, but only as far as the United midfielder. He crashes an effort towards goal, which looks like it could have taken a slight deflection to send the goalkeeper the wrong way.

52 minValencia respond by looking to keep the ball. They eventually feed it out to the flanks, where a teasing ball comes in for Alcacer, however De Gea is quick off his line to intercept and prevent the danger from developing.

54 minCLOSE! A great ball from Young sees Rooney played in behind the defence. He finds himself one-on-one with the keeper, but makes the wrong decision in trying to turn inside instead of finishing across goal, where he is dismissed by the retreating Barragan.

59 minUnited have stepped off the pace since the goal and have allowed the visitors to claw back some possession. Van Gaal looks set to make some changes in the coming half, with Michael Keane warming up on the touchline.

61 minCLOSE! Young produces another teasing cross as he breaks down the right. It's perfectly weighted as Hernandez rises highest, however the Mexican just can't get his head to it.

63 min SUBSTITUTIONS: United make a whole raft of changes as Tom Cleverly, Kagawa, Jesse Lingard and Keane enter the fray, with the likes of Fletcher, Young and Mata all leaving the field

65 minSome neat play down the left sees James exchanges passes with Rooney, with the wing-back finally being thwarted as his cross is cleared for a corner.

68 minJames sees some more of the ball this time as he comes in off the flank and fires off an effort towards goal. However, his shot catches a defender and the venom is taken out of it, leaving Alves to gather with ease.


73 minIt's a real poor goal to concede and Van Gaal will be livid with his team. A set-piece is lifted into the box, with both Cleverley and Herrera going to claim the same clearance. Herrera backs away as Cleverly swipes at the ball, sending it towards the back post where Rodrigo is waiting to tuck into the net past De Gea.

75 minCLOSE! Hernandez makes a good clearance as the ball is fizzed in towards goal as United fail to initially clear their lines.

77 minSUBSTITUTIONS: United make two more changes as Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj are introduced to the Old Trafford crowd.

78 minCLOSE! Rooney goes close to putting United back in front as he is played in by a wonderful ball from Januzaj. The striker gets the ball out from his feet, but can't apply the finish as he blasts over from the edge of the area.

80 minSAVE! De Gea keeps United level this time as he does well to parry a shot from distance, however the ball drops to Alcacer who looks certain to tap in. Somehow, though, the keeper clambers back into the frame and smothers the striker's shot a few yards out from goal.

83 minCLOSE! Some quick interchanges on the edge of the United box see Rooney feed in Kagawa out on the flank. He nips in behind before his cross is cut out and cleared for a corner.

85 minThe hosts have upped the tempo in the closing minutes, with Januzaj looking to impact down the right, though he can't latch onto Keane's forward pass this time, allowing Valencia to clear their lines.

87 minFellaini is seeing a lot of the ball in the middle, which is being met by ironic cheers from some of the Old Trafford faithful. He's done well since his introduction, winning the ball on a number of occasions and looking to establish forward moves.

89 minRooney breaks forward now but he shows a lack of quality as he scoops a lazy pass out towards Januzaj on the right wing, which speeds out into touch with the young Belgium winger looking a tad baffled.


90+2 minWell, well, well... Blackett sends a simple diagonal ball into the box from the left-back position, with Alves coming off his line as he attempts to claim. He makes a mess of it, allowing Fellaini to steal in and prod into an empty net. His first goal for the club, could it be his last too?


9.24pmThere we have it, then. United are led to wins in all of their pre-season fixtures under Van Gaal. It wasn't the most cohesive of performances during his time at the club, but the manager also sought to give a lot of players chances to impress this evening. United will now go into their next fixture against Swansea City full of confidence, with the much talked about 3-5-2 formation proving lucrative throughout the summer.

Manchester United's newly-appointed Dutch manager Louis van Gaal addresses a press conference at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on July 17, 2014
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