Controversial Mata penalty gives Manchester United narrow win over Kristiansund

A Manchester United side lacking sharpness escaped with a last-gasp 1-0 friendly win against Norwegian side Kristiansund on Tuesday.

Juan Mata coolly converted in stoppage time, sparing Manchester United's blushes against a Kristiansund side which sits seventh in the ongoing Eliteserien.   -  Getty Images

Juan Mata's stoppage-time penalty gave a profligate Manchester United a controversial 1-0 friendly win over Norwegian outfit Kristiansund in Oslo on Tuesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side lacked sharpness in its penultimate pre-season friendly and wasted a host of chances - Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford the prime culprits.

Scott McTominay hit the post in the first half, too, and a draw seemed on the cards until Mata went down in the penalty area in stoppage time. The Spaniard stepped up to take the spot-kick and coolly converted, sparing Solskjaer's blushes against a Kristiansund side which sits seventh in the ongoing Eliteserien.

Much of the pre-match build-up surrounded Noah Solskjaer, the 19-year-old son of the Manchester United boss who has occasionally featured for Kristiansund's B team.

Solskjaer Jr. was a late substitute, while new Manchester United signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James started for the visitors.

The chances came thick and fast in a one-sided opening half but Kristiansund held firm with a mix of defiant defence, a goalkeeper in inspired form and the odd stroke of luck. Defender Christoffer Aasbak produced two vital interventions in the space of four minutes, first producing a last-ditch challenge that deflected a Lingard effort over before he cleared a dangerous Luke Shaw cross that James was waiting to tap in at the far post.

Kristiansund keeeper Sean McDermott was called upon at regular intervals - saving sharply from a Rashford free-kick, denying the same player with his legs and producing a one-handed stop to keep out a Lingard strike.

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United's first half was summed up by McTominay's 42nd-minute strike that he thrashed into the woodwork before watching it bounce away to safety.

Kristiansund should have taken a shock lead six minutes into the second half but Sondre Sorli missed the target with a free header from close range and the near-miss kicked Solskjaer's men into action.

Solskjaer made 11 changes in a bid for the elusive first goal.

Mason Greenwood fired into the side netting and Fred then curled wide before the decisive moment, as Mata went down softly after Andreas Vaikla - the third goalkeeper to play in the match for Kristiansund - rushed off his line.

United has one more pre-season friendly remaining and will take on AC Milan on Saturday. A clash against Chelsea - now managed by former player Frank Lampard - will follow on the first weekend of the Premier League season.

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