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Report: Mkhitaryan and Lukaku score to beat Real Salt Lake; Lingard shone through

Manchester United beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 at the Rio Tinto Stadium in their second pre-season match of their tour of the United States of America. United were 1-0 down in the 23rd minute of the match through Luis Silva. United equalised through Henrikh Mkhitaryan, assisted by Jesse Lingard in the 29th minute and less than ten minutes later, Romelu Lukaku scored his first United goal, assisted by the Armenian. The half time changes dulled the match and Antonio Valencia was sent off for a challenge on Sebastian Saucedo with United down to ten men. There was nothing to write home about in the second half of the match.

Jose Mourinho made some changes from the LA Galaxy match with Joel Pereira starting in goal, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Daley Blind in defence, Scott McTominay, Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba in midfield with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard flaking new striker Romelu Lukaku. Mourinho will change the team at half-time again, giving his team equal minutes – give or take. Real Salt Lake may change their team three times during the match with a big game coming up. United will be looking to continue their good start to pre-season ahead of matches against Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

United started well and had a shot on goal inside the opening minute of the match through Fosu-Mensah, which was off target. United regained possession from the goal kick, not pressuring their opposition like they did at the weekend. United, on the ball, got forward again through Blind and Fosu-Mensah, passing to Lingard, who was offside. The home side had their first shot inside the sixth minute of the match, hitting the side netting of Pereira’s goal. United got the ball back and created an attacking play with McTominay’s shot on goal wide of the mark. A good start by both teams, nothing to separate the two sides so far though.

Real Salt Lake pressured United around the tenth minute using their pace to break through and threaten, but no goalscoring opportunities were for the taking just yet. It was end-to-end football so far, neither side getting anything special to break the deadlock. United were being outpaced in the first 15 minutes of the match with many breaks being made by the home side, nothing getting the better of United. Pereira was challenged again inside a few minutes, grasping hold of the ball at the second time of asking. United had a break with Fosu-Mensah breaking forward and crossing into Lukaku, who could not get to the cross inside the box, the opportunity wasted.

The home side got another chance in front of United’s goal, this time with Lingard putting in a great last-ditch challenge to thwart the attempt and protect Pereira’s goal. United have been tested a few times, weathering the storm thus far into the match. Real Salt Lake opened the scoring in the 23rd minute of the match with Luis Silva scoring the goal. United were behind for the first time this pre-season with a lot to do in order to get back into the match. United levelled through Mkhitaryan in the 29th minute of the match, assisted by Lingard, just before the home side made eleven changes in the friendly.

United took the lead in the 38th minute of the match through none other than Romelu Lukaku with his first goal for Manchester United with Mkhitaryan assisting this time. United continued the attacking after the team change by Real Salt Lake with Mkhitaryan having a shot on goal a minute of so later, being flagged for offside. Lukaku had a chance soon after, missing the target but using his pace and power to get the better of his opposition. The first half ended with United overcoming the deficit and scoring twice to take the lead.

At the start of the second half, United made eleven changes with Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Ander Herrera, Andreas Pereira, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial replaced the starting XI from the match. United started the half well and as would be expected, slowly with the changes made and the fact they needed to get into the match. Andreas Pereira has looked lively on and off the ball. Just before the hour mark in the match, Juan Mata was fouled and seemed to receive a knock. His game was over almost as soon as it started with Demetri Mitchell replacing him in the 59th minute.

In the 63rd minute the home side had a chance the level the match but the shot on goal was stuck hard and did not threaten Romero. In the 68th minute Antonio Valencia was sent off for a challenge on Sebastian Saucedo, which was not a good one but perhaps not worthy of a red card. The captains armband was given to Smalling with United down to ten men and Mitchell was now playing at left-back rather than right-wing and Darmian at right-back. Real Salt Lake made more changes after the sending off, now looking to get back into the game playing against ten United players. In the 72nd minute Fellaini had a chance on goal with a header with a cross from Rashford, heading off target.

In the 73rd minute the home side had a chance to get back on level terms, missing the target with the shot but it was a warning sign for United, who needed to get back into the game, seemingly doing nothing since the half time changes. United had the chance to get another goal with an attack in the 77th minute of the match with some good interplay between Rashford and Martial, but the attempt was thwarted by the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper. Smalling could have scored a headed attempt moments later, again being thwarted by the goalkeeper. Sergio Romero nearly dropped a clanger for United with a clearance luckily being cleared before the opposition got something from the game.

In the 85th minute of the match Martial had the chance to get a third goal for United, his shot being sent over the crossbar but pressuring the opposition at the same time. It was a good physical workout for United with Real Salt Lake not rolling over, giving them a game, which will have been needed especially ahead of a pre-season battle with Manchester City later this week, which will be a tough encounter with Jose Mourinho going head-to-head with Pep Guardiola. Romero made a good save to deny the home side from equalising in the last minute of the match.

Axel Tuanzebe replaced Martial just before stoppage time in the match. Darmian received a knock in the last moments of the match, which did not look good. United took the victory 2-1, getting themselves in good stead as they head into the tougher opposition part of the pre-season tour.

Goals: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 29′, Romelu Lukaku 38′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 29′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 38′

Manchester United: J. Pereira (Romero 46′); Fosu-Mensah (Valencia 46′ s/o 68′), Lindelof (Bailly 46′), Jones (Smalling 46′), Blind (Darmian 46′); McTominay (Herrera 46′), Carrick (A. Pereira 46′), Pogba (Fellaini 46′); Mkhitaryan (Mata 46′ (Mitchell 59′), Lukaku (Rashford 46′), Lingard (Martial 46′ (Tuanzebe 90′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea

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