Kagawa scored with just over 20 minutes remaining following great work by Bebe down the right and although United enjoyed enough chances to rack up a cricket score, the summer signing’s goal proved decisive.
With Shenhua content to defend deep and hit the visitors on the break, United enjoyed plenty of the early possession and the pattern continued for the first half. But it was the hosts minus their illustrious former Premier League stars that had the first chance on goal, space opening up in front of Yan Song who saw his shot fielded by Anders Lindegaard.
Davide Petrucci looked the likeliest in the final third for United, the Italian forcing Qiu Shengjiong to scramble across to save on the quarter hour mark. He then turned provider with a perfect ball that found Nick Powell completely unmarked in the box with only the keeper to beat but the youngster fluffed his lines and his shot, which he scuffed wide of Shengjiong’s left hand post.
United continued to press for the opener with Federico Macheda finding the side netting from an acute angle but it was the hosts who should have gone into the break ahead against the run of play, Aussie striker Joel Griffiths played clean through on goal only for Lindegaard to save brilliantly over the bar.
If United enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half, the second was one-way traffic and the visitors could have had a hatful. As expected, Ferguson rang the changes at the break, Paul Scholes, Chicharito and Bebe amongst the replacements.
Bebe flashed a shot just wide before Macheda spurned a glorious opportunity after being played in on goal by the excellent Kagawa. Qiu Shengjiong was forced into further saves from Bebe and Kagawa before the two combined to produce United’s opener, the Portuguese ghosting past two defenders before crossing for Kagawa to notch his first of what could be many in the famous red shirt.
Further chances followed, most notably for Scholes who headed over from three yards out from Marnick Vermijl’s pinpoint cross.
United continue their pre-season friendlies with a match against Valerenga of Norway on August 5 before visiting Catalan giants Barcelona three days later.