Neymar shows his worth by sinking United
Striker gives Barcelona victory in Washington, but Mourinho is upbeat in defeat
A goal from PSG transfer target Neymar condemned Manchester United to a 1-0 defeat against Barcelona in their last match of their US tour.
The Brazilian striker showed why the French giants are reportedly contemplating a £196m move, says the Daily Telegraph.
“Fresh from crushing Juventus with two bewitching goals in New Jersey on Saturday, Neymar ensured Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the US ended in disappointment as he inflicted their first defeat in five matches.
“It was a characteristically cool finish from the Brazilian in front of a near capacity crowd of 80,162 at Washington's FedEx Field and another reminder of his worth at a time when PSG are committed to triggering his €222 million release clause.”
United boss Jose Mourinho still managed to put a positive spin on the defeat, describing the International Champions Cup result as "very important".
The Sun reports that Mourinho told MUTV: “The defeat is good. It's very important to lose a match in pre-season.
“It would have been very bad for us to leave the US without a defeat with the teams we've played.”
Having drawn with Real Madrid (and then beaten them in the penalty shoot-out) at the weekend, Mourinho sent out a team showing eight changes, which included starts for David de Gea, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and new signings Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof.
"The first half was 1-0 but it could have been 2-2, 3-3 or 4-0," said Mourinho. "In the second half there were lots of changes but both teams were playing for a result, despite it being a friendly when the result is not the most important thing.
“The attitude was very good, the defending in the second half was better. Phil Jones and Eric Bailly pressed really high, we got into dangerous positions and we could have scored.”
United kick off their Premier League campaign in a little over two weeks and Mourinho is in an upbeat mood about the state of his squad.
"We tried to equalise, they kept the ball and possession, and defended well. Even in the second half the match was positive... we did some very good things and we did bad things. The very good things are to keep and the bad things are to improve."
Barcelona also fielded a near full-strength side, with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez up front, and Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in midfield. The experience of playing against such talent will serve United well as they turn their attention to playing Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup on 8 August.
Before then the Red Devils have further warm-up matches against Norwegian champions Valerenga in Oslo and Serie A side Sampdoria in Dublin but Mourinho believes the tour to the States has served his squad well, says Metro.