Report: Manchester United 2-1 Real Madrid – International Champions Cup


Manchester United beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Alexis Sanchez opened up the scoring, assisted by Matteo Darmian and Ander Herrera, assisted by Sanchez doubled the lead. Karim Benzema got a goal back at the end of the first half. Real Madrid asked plenty of questions of United’s defence, passing the test.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes from the defeat to Liverpool. David De Gea made his first appearance for the club this summer and Fred made his first start as a United player. Luke Shaw returned after being an unused substitute against Liverpool with Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez continuing as the experienced forwards. This was Real Madrid’s first pre-season match this summer.

As the match started, United’s formation had changed from what was expected. McTominay was slotted into the centre of defence with Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah alongside him. United created something through Sanchez in the third minute of the match. However, Jesus Vallejo was left behind by the Chilean in midfield and he hauled Sanchez to the ground, winning a free-kick for United.

Two minutes later, United had another chance after Matteo Darmian passed the ball across the pitch, finding Sanchez, who cut inside on his right, floating a great ball into Mata, who messed up his shot and hit the side netting. Real Madrid had an equally good opportunity to open the scoring in the eighth minute of the match through Karim Benzema. In the ninth minute, Fred won a free-kick in his own half of the pitch.

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Just inside the 11th minute of the game, after some good interplay between Sanchez and Mata, the Spaniard had another shot on goal, which was saved by Kiko Casilla. After the early stages of the game, which saw both teams creates chances and goalscoring opportunities, Madrid started to take control of the game in the 13th minute with long spells of possession. Mata won a free-kick in the 16th minute after being fouled.

Andreas Pereira pinged a log diagonal cross into Shaw on the left flank but the left-back was adjudged to be offside. Real Madrid started to aim to take control again, United took the lead in the 18th minute of the match through Sanchez, assisted by Darmian with a great cross from the right. It was a good show of attacking ability by United, taking their chance against Madrid, the third in the game so far, for United anyway.

In the 24th minute of the game, Real Madrid had their second chance with Gareth Bale in the box, after starting the attack, not getting on the end of the cross properly, putting the ball out for a United goal kick. United, at the other end of the pitch, had another chance to create something, Shaw on the ball and Sanchez shouting for the pass, but Shaw taking the shot, hitting his man and the ball going out or play.

United doubled their lead in the 27th minute of the match, going 2-0 up. Ander Herrera was the goalscorer after Mata broke forward, tried to play the ball into Sanchez, who headed it backward for Herrera to gather the ball and fire United with the advantage. The media won’t like this at all, but then again, they will find something else to keep their negativity running ahead of the Premier League starting next week. Bless them.

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Madrid had an opportunity to get themselves back into the game in the 29th minute but United gathered the ball in the box the thwarted the opportunity. Vinicius Jr looks like a good talent for Madrid, he was trying to get something from the game for his club on his debut. Just before the 31st minute of the game was over, a water break was called with both teams taking advantage of team talks from the respective managers.

After the water break, United were looking to continue where the game ended, heading into the final ten minutes of the half. Madrid regained possession and looked to get forward to find a goal to put them back into the game. Sanchez won another free-kick for United, inside his own half after a foul. United were playing short passes to advance. A poor pass by Bailly gave Madrid a throw in.

Real Madrid had another chance in the closing stages of the half but United thwarted the chance, breaking down possession inside the box. The UEFA Champions League holders then got in an advanced position again, seeking a goal, with Bailly putting himself in to block a chance, taking one for the team and giving Madrid a corner, which came to nothing.

United won a corner in the last minute of normal time in the first half, taking advantage of a sloppy back pass, putting a cross into the box and the Real Madrid defender putting the ball out of play. Herrera was in the box, aiming to get something from the corner, his shot on goal blocked with Real Madrid back out on the attack. Real Madrid got a goal back in stoppage time through Benzema. 2-1 at the break.

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Mourinho made no changes at the start of the second half, with Real Madrid making four. Pereira and Fred seemed to be playing well at the start of the second half, showing great composure and control under pressure from Madrid, getting United out of a situation that could have been troublesome. Real Madrid has a chance in the 51st minute after Fred lost possession, which came to nothing.

Ten minutes into the second half, United seemed to drop back, inviting pressure from Real Madrid. Mourinho has a lack of experienced options on the bench and it could be a sign of fatigue in the Miami heat. Real Madrid seemed Mohave taken control of the game by the 57th minute and Martin Odegaard had a sublime change to level the score, firing over the crossbar.

In the 61st minute, Madrid made two more changes, United still not making any. Sanchez won a free-kick for United in the 64th minute after a poor challenge with United dealing with a lot of pressure in their own half. Mourinho made a substitution in the 68th minute of the match with Axel Tuanzebe replacing Fred. McTominay moved forward back into the midfield.

With 20 minutes remaining, Sanchez released Shaw into space on the left but Shaw’s ball was poorly placed into the box and Mata, awaiting the pass in the box had little chance to receive it. Real Madrid has plenty of possession in United’s final third. Shaw nearly gave away a penalty, a free-kick being awarded at the edge of the box, on United’s left. Odegaard went for goal, De Gea punching the ball away.

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There was another water break with 15 minutes of the match remaining. Real Madrid made further changes, introducing Toni Kroos, Nacho, Isco and Marco Asensio. McTominay could not finish the game, seemingly after a knock Mourinho opting to replace him with Demetri Mitchell. Real Madrid had a chance in the 81st minute but the ball flashed across the face of the goal. Another second later was kept out by De Gea.

Mourinho brought on 17-year-old James Garner for Mata in the 82nd minute of the match. There was 64,141 inside the Hard Rock Stadium for this game. Not quote the levels of Old Trafford but not a bad crowd, considering the negativity surrounding the squad this summer. Perhaps most people ignore the media too? I guess that is probably the best way.

United seemed to be hanging on with five minutes remaining. Real Madrid were pressuring in the final third. Fosu-Mensah seemed able to keep closing down his opposition, playing a good defensive game against this Madrid side. Real Madrid won a free-kick after Pereira fouled his man, not that he was in agreement with the referee. Sanchez was still putting in the effort this late in the game. A true athlete.

Real Madrid won another free-kick as Isco went down on the right flank after a Darmian challenge. United defended well, giving away a corner in the last minute of the match. Kroos took the corner, which was not a great set-piece. Three minutes of stoppage time was added at the end of the match. Real Madrid were still asking questions of United’s defence.

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Madrid won another free-kick, this time further back after Herrera’s foul. Madrid won another corner with 80 second remaining, De Gea collecting the ball, seemingly taking his time to play it. Real Madrid had a shot in the last 15 seconds, De Gea collecting the ball. United ended their pre-season tour on a high beating Real Madrid.

The squad will fly back to Manchester through the night days ahead of their final pre-season match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday evening. Mourinho will be relieved that his side ended with a victory in normal time. Perhaps in the coming days, some business will be conducted and United can continue their preparations for the new season.

Goals: Alexis Sanchez 18′, Ander Herrera 27′

Assists: Matteo Darmian 18′, Alexis Sanchez 27′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw; Fred (Tuanzebe 68′), A. Pereira, Herrera; Mata (Garner 82′), Sanchez, McTominay (Mitchell 79′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, J. Pereira; Williams; Hamilton, Gomes; Chong, Bohui, Greenwood

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