Manchester United’s reserve team played a friendly match against Wrexham yesterday, losing 3-1 in the process, but far more important for Erik Ten Hag was the match against Real Madrid in Houston.
Man United lost 2-0 to Carlo Ancelotti’s side, thanks to goals from their new signings – Jude Bellingham opened the scoring just six minutes in, before Joselu sealed the deal with a stunning goal after 89 minutes of play. Here is what we learned from this important pre-season friendly.
Onana Shows Why He Is Here
Ten Hag was adamant in getting Andre Onana to become the new first-choice goalkeeper and we did not need much time to realise why that was the case. Onana made his debut for Man United in an impressive fashion, showing his passing skills throughout the match.
He was constantly an extra option for his teammates when in possession and the Cameroonian often got the ball back at his feet, so his teammates could evade the press from Real Madrid. Onana did make a couple of big saves in the match, which is always a great thing, but Man United fans will be most struck by how rapidly the way team’s goalkeeper plays changed.
Martinez And Varane Make A Strong Spine
Despite conceding twice, Man United’s centre-back partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez once again showed why they will make such a strong spine for this team. While they were heavily missed in the latter stages of the last campaign, due to their respective injuries, here they showed their qualities once again.
Both of them were eager to play with Onana, moving the ball around Madrid’s attack, but also starting the attacks from the penalty area, following Onana’s short passes. Both centre-backs will be so important to how United play in both directions.
Poor Attack Highlights Need For Reinforcement
Man United’s attacking line struggled against a really great Real Madrid side. Marcus Rashford started as the lone striker and he was highly ineffectual on the matters on the pitch, while Mason Mount and Alejandro Garnacho on the wings were unable to create danger for the opposition. This match was another highlight of the fact United need improvements in attack – a proper striker will be necessary, so Rashford could be moved to his favourite left wing position. It seems that the Devils are getting closer to signing Rasmus Hojlund and hopefully the 20-year-old Dane will be able to offer attacking threat on a regular basis.
Mainoo Injury A Pity
There were also some other bad news – Kobbie Mainoo sustained an injury just minutes into the match, paving the way for Christian Eriksen to come on. It remains to be seen what kind of injury Mainoo sustained and when will the 18-year-old be back in the team. After showing his great talents during the pre-season so far this summer, Man United fans will be eager to see him back in action as soon as possible.