Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were humbled in China, losing 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the opening game of the International Champions Cup.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal against his former team wasn’t enough to hide the disappointment of the defeat. With the Premier League fast approaching, Mourinho has some work to do if United are to become a force to be reckoned with.
Gonzalo Castro’s brace sandwiched goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele as Thomas Tuchel’s time begin their rebuilding process following the departures of Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan.
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The reconstruction of Dortmund’s team is a seemingly annual process. Each year they lose important players and yet still manage to put out a competitive team each season.
This time around, the aforementioned names have been replaced in the squad by Marc Bartra, Sebastian Rode, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle, among others.
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But the most exciting of Tuchel’s signings is Dembele. The forward arrived from Rennes in May and has made an immediate impression in the pre-season.
Just look at the way he bamboozles Marcos Rojo - not the most difficult of tasks, admittedly - before firing past Sergio Romero to make it 3-0.
Liverpool fans are gutted
5,500 miles away, Liverpool fans winced at the sight of Dembele showing off his skills.
The Reds were interested in the 19-year-old but couldn’t convince him to reject Germany for England. He eventually joined BVB for £28m.
“I had a lot of offers, but I made it clear right from the start that I was only interested in joining Dortmund. I knew right away that I only wanted Dortmund," Dembele told Sport Bild, per FourFourTwo.
"The way they showed an interest in me and gave me the feeling they really wanted me convinced me to join Dortmund.
"Dortmund are the perfect club for young players, the past has shown that. I cannot wait to play my first game for Dortmund in front of the home fans."
Naturally, Liverpool fans expressed their dismay on Twitter. Dembele could have been producing the goods in a red shirt at Anfield but the absence of European football couldn’t have helped their case.
Liverpool fans must hope that £30 million man Sadio Mane quickly becomes a hit on Merseyside.