Ratings: Alexis Sanchez shone against Real Madrid; Ander Herrera and Juan Mata also contenders

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.

Sanchez was the Man of the Match for me. A goal and an assist. His pace, added to his athleticism, physicality and the fact he’s had a break this summer could put him into the zone when the new season starts. It looks like he could be leading the line with Romelu Lukaku still on holiday and Anthony Martial, for want of a better description, AWOL. It was a good test against Real Madrid, who played plenty of youth throughout the game.

Ander Herrera’s goal, putting United 2-0 up came after some good play by the Spaniard. Sanchez made the assist after Juan Mata started the attack from the right flank. Sanchez’s vision saw Herrera in a better position, laying the ball on the him, putting United 2-0 up and cruising at the time. Karim Benzema scored a consolation in added time at the end of the first half of the game.

United will be heading back to Manchester through the night, ready for their next game against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Sunday evening. The tour was not the best for the American supporters, which is because of the FIFA World Cup. United were missing 14 first team players ahead of this match, and considering the result, the weakened side did very well, especially only losing once at the hands of Liverpool.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Played 90 minutes. Had very little to do in the first half of the game, the only decent chance was Benzema's in the early stages of the half. Good to see him back and ready to start the new season next week. Conceded in stoppage time with Benzema getting Real Madrid back into the game. Put in a few saves in the second half.


3 Eric Bailly

Had a good game defensively, captaining the team against Madrid. Put in a tremendous block, taking one for the team, which brought tears to my eyes. Held firm in the second half with the Spanish side asking plenty of questions of United's defence.


24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Put in a good shift in defence. Had everything covered for the majority of the first half, however, United conceded in stoppage time. Played well in the second half with Real Madrid pressuring United's defence.


39 Scott McTominay

Played in a three-man defence, which was a surprise. Many suggest he could be a defender in the future. Put in a few fine tackles. Mourinho could have started something here. Moved to the midfield late in the game before being replaced by Mitchell after seemingly suffering a knock.


Matteo Darmian

Had a good game playing as the right-wing-back. Assisted for United first goal in the game, scored by Sanchez in the 18th minute of the match.


Andreas Pereira

Having the Belgian-born Brazilian back at the club this season gives a new-found depth to the midfield. Playing in the number six role, filling in well, considering he has played more of a wing position for much of his career, so far at least.


17 Fred

Started his first game for United, which is good news ahead of the new season. Played well in the first half as he is finding his feet. Did not seem out of place. However, his lack of fitness showed signs in the second half. The Brazilian was replaced by Tuanzebe in the 68th minute.


23 Luke Shaw

Had some involvement in the left-wing-back position. Got forward a few times. Won United a corner later in the second half.


21 Ander Herrera

Scored United's second goal of the evening after Mata broke forward, passed to Sanchez in the box who set the Spaniard up for the doubler over Madrid.


8 Juan Mata

The Spanish attacking midfielder has been in some good form during pre-season. Set up United's second goal, finding Sanchez after breaking forward, which was then player to Herrera, who scored the second goal. Mata did well in the second half and was replaced in the 82nd minute by Garner.


Alexis Sanchez

Opened the scoring against for United, assisted by Darmian in the 18th minute of the game, playing as the striker once again. Got an assist in Herrera's goal, having the ball played from Mata and thinking ahead to fine Herrera, who found the back of the net.



38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced Fred 68'. Put in a shift to keep Real Madrid at bay in the second half, with them in effect camping in United's final third.


35 Demetri Mitchell

Replaced McTominay 79'. Got involved in the match and helped Sanchez during the few attacks with Real Madrid controlling the game in the second half.


James Garner

Replaced Mata 82'. Had an eight minute cameo. Did well against the Champions League holders. Will be pleased to get involved in the game.


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

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

Confirmed Starting XI: Manchester United v Real Madrid – International Champions Cup

Manchester United face Real Madrid at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami in their final International Champions Cup match in the United States of America. Of the four matches played so far this summer, United have drawn 1-1 against Club America, 0-0 against San Jose Earthquakes, a 9-8 victory on penalties against AC Milan, after a 1-1 draw and a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.

It may not have been the best pre-season tour but considering the number of players missing from the squad because of injury and their involvement in the FIFA World Cup this summer, it was all to be expected. The younger players will be thankful for the experience, which could see them strive to make the first team in the coming year or two. They will be a lot better in their development facing the likes of AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Darmian, Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw;

Fred, A. Pereira, Herrera;

Mata, Sanchez, McTominay


Grant, J. Pereira; Tuanzebe, Williams, Mitchell; Garner, Hamilton, Gomes; Chong, Bohui, Greenwood

United have one more pre-season match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Sunday, five days ahead of the Premier League opener against Leicester City at Old Trafford on Friday 10 August 2018, a day after the closure of the summer transfer window. United face Real Madrid last August in the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje, Macedonia, losing 2-1.

Jose Mourinho may have something in the bag this summer regarding transfers, he certainly has journalists and the media gunning for him and United, which, going back to the past, means that he is doing something right. Manchester United will always be hated, adored, and never ignored. The only frustrating aspect is the fact some so-called supporters seem to have been turned by the media, but that is no real loss.

copyright: JW