Fans flock to WACA for Man Utd training

Up to 10,000 fans turned out to the WACA Ground for Manchester United's open training session. Picture: Manchester United/Twitter
Up to 10,000 fans turned out to the WACA Ground for Manchester United's open training session. Picture: Manchester United/Twitter

PERTH’S love affair with Manchester United continued on Thursday evening during the team’s open training session, but there was also a cheeky dig from the club’s arch rivals Liverpool.

Up to 10,000 fans turned out to the WACA Ground to watch their Manchester United heroes go through their paces.

But a cheeky Liverpool fan couldn’t help but have a crack at Manchester United about an hour before training began.

A plane flew above the WACA with a banner reading: ‘Liverpool FC – 6x European Champions!’

Liverpool won their sixth Champions League title last season, ensuring they have now doubled Manchester United’s tally.

United failed to win a single trophy last year and finished sixth in the English Premier League – a whopping 32 points behind winners Manchester City.

Perth has been painted red during Manchester United’s visit.

Red lights have bathed some of the city’s most famous structures, including the new $1.6 billion Optus Stadium, with thousands of fans walking around the streets with their Manchester United jerseys.

Manchester United will take on Perth Glory on Saturday night, before facing off against Leeds four days later.

French midfielder Paul Pogba has dominated headlines since arriving in Perth, with his future and relationship with his teammates put under the spotlight.

Pogba received a loud cheer from the crowd but also some boos when his name was read out at the start of training.

Romelu Lukaku, who is another player who is reportedly keen to leave Manchester United, also received a sprinkling of boos amidst a strong cheer.

The biggest cheer was saved for coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is a club legend and has now been handed the task of ensuring Manchester United becomes an on-field powerhouse yet again.

Players looked relaxed as they went through the 70-minute session.

Marcus Rashford addresses the media. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Earlier, Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford admits he knows very little about Perth Glory, and says it’s too hard to predict whether Saturday night’s game will turn into a thrashing.

United will start as the hottest of favourites when they take on a Glory outfit missing a host of their best players at Optus Stadium.

Glory skipper Diego Castro, striker Andy Keogh, forward Chris Ikonomidis, and defenders Matthew Spiranovic and Dino Djulbic are among the players who will miss the marquee clash.

Defender Jason Davidson also won’t be there after leaving the club recently.

Perth turns red for Manchester United

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Perth Glory will be missing a host of their best players.

It remains unclear what strength side Manchester United will play in the game, but even their lowest-paid player will be leagues above what Glory have to offer.

Glory put up stiff resistance against Chelsea a year ago, only losing 1-0.

Rashford doesn’t know what to expect from Glory.

“To be honest I don’t know much about them,” Rashford said.

“We know the facilities have been good here. We’ve had a good couple of days of training. Everyone is looking forward to that game, and I’m sure Perth are as well.”

When asked if fans could expect a thrashing in the vicinity of 5-0 given the gulf of class between the two sides, Rashford replied: “It jus”t depends on fitness levels.”

“They could be fitter than us, or we could be fitter than them.

“In pre-season that’s probably the biggest challenge. But we know we’ve worked hard, so we are looking forward to the game.”

The Red Devils will also face Leeds United in Perth on Wednesday night before departing Australia.

United finished sixth in the English Premier League last season, and Rashford said the team were desperate to atone for that poor performance.

Seeing Manchester City win the EPL title and Liverpool triumph in the European Champions League have fuelled the desire of United’s players.

“We never shy away from a challenge, so it’s important that we face it head on,” Rashford said.

“What’s happened has happened. We have to move forward as a team.”