Manchester United’s American tour ended in defeat but Jose Mourinho returns home in a positive mood, having been impressed by his team’s improved second-half display against Barcelona in Washington.
The FedEx Field was host for the Reds’ fifth friendly in as many cities and bore witness to their biggest test yet given Barca’s frontline boasted Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The latter, amid talk of a move to Paris Saint-Germain, fired home in the first-half, securing a 1-0 win for Barcelona despite United improving after the break.
“I think for the crowd it was good,” Mourinho said after 80,162 saw the Reds’ first defeat of the tour. “I think in pre-season it is important also to play for that.
“When you come to the US and you have a stadium with a few thousand very enthusiastic (fans), this is what they want – they want Messi, Neymar, Pogba, they want the best players to show what they are.
“I think it happened. First half was 1-0 but could be 2-2, 3-2, 2-3 because lots of chances, an open game.
“We didn’t defend well, I was not happy with the way we were defending, but that’s pre-season.
“In the second half, lots of changes for them and lots of changes for us, but both teams played for the result in spite of it being a friendly and the result not being the most important thing.
“We tried to equalise, they tried to keep the ball and keep possession and defend well, so even in the second half the match was positive.”