Manchester United suffered a 2-0 defeat to La Liga giants Real Madrid in their preseason friendly at the San Diego Stadium.
It was Manchester United’s second consecutive preseason friendly defeat after two consective wins against Leeds United and Arsenal.
The loss against Wrexham did not raise eyebrows as Erik Ten Hag rest the big names while offering a chance to academy players to prove themselves.
Ten Hag also chose to rest the big players ahead of the highly anticipated clash against Real Madrid – a game which provided a good test for the team’s preparedness of the high-end challenge of contending for the Premier League title next season.
There were a lot of take homes for Man United fans in the crunch tie from the sold-out Stadium, Onana’s impressive debut, Mainoo’s injury, and other top highlights.
San Diego’s 34,000-capacity Stadium sold out
After Man United’s clash against Arsenal, the game against Real Madrid was the second biggest preseason friendly in the US. The San Diego’s 34,000-capacity stadium was sold out with fans cramping into the stadium to watch the crunch tie. The two teams paraded their first eleven and it was a worthwhile encounter.
Andre Onana makes an impressive debut
Despite the defeat, Andre Onana impressed on his debut for Manchester United and proved a good departure from De Gea’s ‘stuck-in approach’ on goal.
The Cameroonian goalkeeper exuded those sterling qualities that made him a top target for Erik Ten Hag and a good fit for Ten Hag’s deep press style.
He came upfield, aided attacks and nearly set up Mason Mount for a goal. His confidence with the ball was a big asset helping the defenders build press from the back and whittling down Real Madrid offensive.
Onana also made big saves against the likes of Joselu and Vinicius Jr. It was an overall impressive debut for the Cameroonian.
Kobbie Mainoo suffered heavy injury blow
Kobbie Mainoo is a big talent. He paired well with Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes against the experience of Jude Bellingham, Camavinga, and Tchouameni. After assisting United’s goal against Arsenal, Mainoo was definitely set for a break-in into Ten Hag’s first eleven, but the youngster suffered a devastating injury blow that saw him replaced by Christian Eriksen.
Erik Ten Hag lineup problem with Mason Mount’s signing
Erik Ten Hag will be facing a dilemma how to slot in Mason Mount in his 4-2-3-1 attacking system. With Casemiro dropping deep and Bruno Fernandes sent into the wide areas, Mason Mount played a full central midfield role against Real Madrid. The tactical approach did little to contain the deadly midfield trio of Bellingham, Camavinga, and Tchouameni although Mount impressed on the role.
Erik Ten Hag had to switch Fernandes into the central midfield role as the game progressed while Mason Mount rocked the out wide areas. Next season, Ten Hag will have to decide how to effectively deploy the two midfielders.
A stronger performance in the second half with striker problem
Man United grabbed the game by the neck in the second half mounting immense pressure on Real Madrid but could not make the dominance count.
Erik Ten Hag will definitely need a frontline striker to navigate the right positions during press and convert chances.
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