Manchester United 0-2 Real Madrid: Summer signings steal the show
By Josh Mayne
It took Jude Bellingham just five minutes to score his first goal as a Galactico, as he managed to find a lobbed finish over Manchester United debutant Andre Onana, and after making lots of smart saves throughout the game, Onana and United found themselves conceding a second goal late-on, to a brilliant acrobatic effort from striker Joselu, which allowed Real Madrid to secure a victory over The Red Devils at the NRG Stadium in Texas.
United managed to create several chances throughout the match but Andriy Lunin was in great form and managed to keep his team a clean sheet, in front of the 67,801 fans in attendance who would have enjoyed a friendly game played with high intensity and competitiveness, showcased by three players getting bookings.
First Half – Early goal sets the tone
Kobbie Mainoo was substituted early after being injured just four minutes into the game, after Casemiro fouled Brazillian Rodrygo, who fell into Kobbie after being tripped himself. This was disappointing for the 18-year-old as he was given another chance to impress the manager, after previously highlighting his ability against Arsenal where he performed admirably. Shortly after Mainoo limped away from the field, Jude Bellingham gets on the end of a lobbed pass behind United’s defence by Antonio Rudiger and struck the ball with composure and finesse to score his first Real Madrid goal after making his big move from Borussia Dortmund this summer. There were suspicions of an offside, however, with no VAR in play, the game was left to the officials to decide, who unfortunately called this incorrectly, as the replays had shown.
Christian Eriksen made his appearance for the injured Mainoo and soon after the goal, Alejandro Garnacho fired his shot over the bar after cutting in and causing issues for the Madrid defenders. Both teams were looking dangerous with Vinicius Junior miskicking from a threatening situation and Mason Mount shooting straight at Lunin with a Snapshot.
Tempers flared between Jude Bellingham and Lisandro Martinez late in the first half, as the latter was late when challenging Bellingham, who was visibly upset with the challenge and had a few words to exchange with the Argentine defender. Martinez found himself in the referee’s book for the second game running, after being cautioned against Arsenal too.
Second Half – Sealing the deal
Manchester United started the half in good form, with Garnacho looking ever dangerous, who struck the ball with venom towards Lunin’s goal, who managed to tip the ball over the bar. The 60th minute mark led to Madrid making two changes and United changing their entire outfit except for Andre Onana and Bruno Fernandes, which lead to the game losing a flow and momentum. Few chances were created by both teams throughout the remainder of the second half, however, the Spanish giants sealed the victory with a minute to spare, from an outstanding overhead kick scored by substitute striker Joselu, who found the bottom corner to give the fans inside the NRG Stadium one last bit of brilliance to cheer about.