Manchester United slumped to a 4-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the heat of Shanghai, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal against his former club being the only bright spot.
United manager Jose Mourinho had said beforehand that the result was not important but the manner of defeat may have concerned him, as he suffered his first loss since taking over.
By the time Mkhitaryan had scored a consolation goal, United were already 3-0 behind, as Dortmund showed off how much fitter they were, with their attacking play looking sharper and exposing a poor defensive showing by the Premier League club.
Gonzalo Castro struck twice, including one stunning effort, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also scored from the spot and Ousmane Dembele netted the other, in a comfortable win for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
It was a damaging afternoon for Memphis Depay, who again failed to deliver, as he was used up front. Phil Jones also started for United at centre-back but gave an unconvincing showing.
It was a better day for Juan Mata, who ended the game wearing the captain’s armband and — like in the win over Wigan on Saturday — set up this team’s opening goal.
In front of a surprisingly high number of empty seats in Shanghai, United struggled to penetrate even in the early stages and fell behind after Daley Blind brought down Castro, leading to a free kick.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone kept out the free kick effort from Aubameyang then the follow-up from Dembele, but Castro eventually scored as United failed to clear the danger.
The heat was taking its toll on both sides and, soon after a drinks break, United fell further behind in the 35th minute as Antonio Valencia gave away a penalty for handball from an effort by Aubameyang, who then scored from the spot by striking down the middle.
Aubameyang had further chances to add to the scoring before the break, which he failed to take, but he was looking dangerous.
Mourinho had not planned on using Marcus Rashford on the pitch in China, but brought him on at half-time as United tried to claw back some respectability.
Things got even worse for United though when Dortmund added their third. Dembele evaded the attentions of Marcos Rojo with a smart turn then struck beyond Sergio Romero, who had also come on at half-time.
United finally got on the scoresheet when Mata delivered another assist, delivering for Mkhitaryan to tap in.
Dortmund, though, kept pressing, as Nuri Sahin headed wide, and added their fourth late on when Castro struck so impressively from outside the box.