Cadiz feels a world away from Qatar and the business end of the World Cup involving most of Manchester United’s stars, but those left behind ramped up their domestic season preparations to resume with defeat at the Nuevo Mirandilla on Wednesday night.
A United side featuring Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka trailed 2–1 at half-time before making way for many of the club’s FA Youth Cup winning sides to to seize their chance.
Although Kobbie Mainoo shot at United level early in the second half, the side second from bottom in La Liga emerged victorious as goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was beaten four times on his second appearance since joining Newcastle on loan at Old Trafford moved.
An inexperienced Manchester United side came loose in a 4-2 friendly defeat at Cadiz
Anthony Martial scored a brutal panenka penalty won by Zidane Iqbal in the first half
Kobbie Mainoo then equalized for United after the break, but it was not enough to avoid defeat
The defeat won’t worry manager Erik ten Hag too much as United return to their training base outside Cadiz on Saturday ahead of their second game against Real Betis in Seville.
CADIZ CF (4-4-2): Conan; Lautaro, Hernandez, Garcia, Lozano (38 Gimenez); Alejo, Alcarez, Brian Alex; Negredo, Arzamendia.
Subs: Gil, Mari, Sobrino, Bongonda, Alarcon, Perez, Iza, Gimenez, Espino, Genar, Bastida, Liebanas.
Scorers: Garcia 4, Lozano 14, Sobrino 57, Alarcon 77
Manager: Sergio Gonzalez
MAN UTD (4-2-3-1): Dubravka; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Mengi, Williams; McTominay, Iqbal; Garnacho, Van de Beek, Elanga; martial
Subs: Bishop, Heaton, Shoretire, Savage, Hugill, McNeill, Emeran, Bernard, Jurado, Hardley, Bennett, Hansen, Gore, Mainoo, Oyedele, Murray, Fredricson.
Scorers: Martial pen 21, Mainoo 48
Administrator: Erik ten Hag
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano
In an interview with MUTV earlier in the day, Ten Hag had urged the players on this trip to seize their chance in the absence of United’s World Cup stars.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for them,” said the United boss. “Normally we don’t have this break. There are a lot of players in the World Cup, so positions are available and they can get used to these positions. They can show themselves and they can challenge players who play in the Premier League, so it’s fantastic for them.”
An unknown side couldn’t have started much worse, however, as they went two goals down in the first 13 minutes.
The omens were not promising from the start. Brian Ocampo pushed his way past two defenders in the fourth minute and it took a timely block from Van de Beek to extinguish the danger. Dubravka then let Lindelof’s back pass roll under his feet and had to react quickly to steal the ball away from Anthony Lozano. Alejandro Garnacho let Brandon Williams know what he thought of a subpar pass, and Wan-Bissaka then handed possession to Ocampo, which almost proved costly.
After such a sloppy opening, it was no surprise that United went behind in the eighth minute. Alex Fernandez played a free kick short of Ivan Alejo whose back pass took Garnacho out of the equation. It gave Fernandez time to measure a cross to the edge of the sixteen-yard box where Lindelof timed his jump halfway through, allowing Carlos Garcia to beat Dubravka.
Five minutes later, United were two behind. This time it started with an attack that failed on the edge of Cadiz’s penalty area, and the Spaniards broke down their left side. United opened up far too easily as the ball was played low for Lozano to arrive unmarked and blast home.
Up to that point, Garnacho had tried to inject some urgency into Ten Hag’s side with a series of probing runs that came to naught, while United’s biggest threat came from Martial. The Frenchman, who had been turned down by French coach Didier Deschamps even after Karim Benzema pulled out of the World Cup through injury, had a long-range effort well saved by Conan Ledesma and fired another high and wide from a free kick.
Anthony Martial was United’s best player in the first half, holding the ball well
Carlos Garcia-Die Sanchez scored the opening goal for Cadiz in just eight minutes
Martial’s aim was slightly better from the penalty spot when Luis Hernandez fouled Zidane Iqbal in the 20th minute as he stepped forward to beat Ledesma with a brutal panenka.
Tempers flared before the half-time break of what should have been a friendly when Ten Hag protested to the fourth official about a free kick awarded to Alejo – a bit soft in the opinion of the Dutchman, who also exchanged words with Cadiz no. 11.
McTominay also angrily kicked out at Alejo right in front of the referee, who also faced protests from Lindelof when he blew at half-time.
Erik ten Hag admitted before the game that he does not like friendlies and will be disappointed with the result
Both teams made large-scale changes during the interval, with Ten Hag replacing all 10 outfield players to give United an even younger look for the second period, with no fewer than six of their Youth Cup-winning side on the field.
They were level within three minutes of the restart when Marc Jurado took down Mainoo, whose effort deflected towards substitute keeper David Gil.
However, Cadiz took the lead again in the 57th minute as Dubravka conceded for the third time. Iza Carcelen fired in a cross from the right and Ruben Sobrino reached out to turn the ball into the roof of the net. Sobrino looked suspiciously offside, but with no flag to prove it, calls from United’s young players were in vain.
Tomas Alarcon secured the win as he put through in the 77th minute by lifting the ball over Dubravka.
United once failed to take the lead with Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka