MOTM: Fosu-Mensah, Lingard and Mkhitaryan the stars against Real Salt Lake

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 second half saw eleven changes, a sending off and Juan Mata coming off injured. Here are my suggestions for Man of the Match against Real Salt Lake;

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

The Dutch player looked good in the right-back position producing overlapping runs, getting forward to help United’s attack. He played a few crosses into the area with Romelu Lukaku benefiting a few times, nothing coming off for the Belgian. It would seem the right-back role would be the one for Fosu-Mensah, who has shown his ability with bombarding runs forward, getting the better of his opposition and trying to produce for United.

Jesse Lingard

The Academy graduate showed his defensive ability thwarting a chance from Real Salt Lake, also assisting Mkhitaryan in the 29th minute to put United back on level terms. Lingard’s work rate has been immense, roaming into the central areas and doing everything hr could to get United forward and creating. Not sure why he’s so underrated by the United faithful, perhaps they don’t see quality when they look at him based on his off the field antics and his dabbing. Sad really. This season could well be the one where Lingard shines through, but there will be haters.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The Armenian had a great first half for United grabbing himself the equalising goal, assisted by Lingard and also grabbing the assist for the goal which put United into the lead, through Romelu Lukaku. His positioning, ability on and off the ball and his pace caused problems for Real Salt Lake, which will give him the confidence early on in the pre-season tour ahead of the big matches against Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Mkhitaryan will be looking to be a starter when the Premier League season starts and there could well be new blood in the team by them. At this moment in time, Mkhitaryan is doing everything right.


United played well in the first half and seemed to match their opposition before they made wholesale changes, of course. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a player who is really showing his abilities at this moment in time, scoring twice in two matches for United during their pre-season tour. Jesse Lingard is a great performer, showing his class on and off the ball. The fact he is not rated by many supporters asks a lot of questions. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is a rising star and could well be in contention to battle with Antonio Valencia, who was unfortunately sent off in this match, which was a strange decision. Romelu Lukaku’s first United goal was a big boost for the Belgian, who can now get on with his career at United, not waiting for that first goal to come. United are doing well so far, two matches played, six more to go before the season starts.

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

Team News: Lukaku and Lindelof start for Manchester United

Manchester United play their second pre-season match of their tour of the United States of America with MLS side Real Salt Lake their opposition at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. United beat LA Galaxy 5-2 over the weekend with Jose Mourinho’s side putting the pressure on the fallen MLS giants seeing them concede three goals in the first half of the match through a ruthless Marcus Rashford. Marouane Fellaini scored the third before the entire team was changed at the start of the second half. Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the other two goals in the second half with the Galaxy scoring two of their own through Giovani Dos Santos. Real Salt Lake are in a more precarious position than the first opponents for United, sitting two points below Galaxy in the MLS Western Conference and two better off than the bottom side.

Manchester United:

J. Pereira;

Fosu-Mensah, Lindelof, Jones, Blind;

McTominay, Carrick, Pogba;

Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Lingard


De Gea, Romero; Bailly, Darmian, Mitchell, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Valencia; Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, A. Pereira; Martial, Rashford

United will face Manchester City on Thursday (early Friday morning in the UK), Real Madrid on Sunday 23rd June (late night kick off in the UK) and Barcelona on Wednesday 26th July, 00:30 on Thursday morning in the UK. United will then head back to Europe facing Valerenga in Oslo, Sampdoria in Dublin and Real Madrid again in Macedonia, this time contesting the UEFA Super Cup. United should be ready for their Premier League opener on Sunday 13th August 2017, entertaining West Ham United at Old Trafford, after this pre-season, which is much better than last, which saw United play fewer matches, one of which was cancelled.

Preview: Manchester United to take advantage of MLS strugglers?

Real Salt Lake -v- Manchester United

Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, United States of America

Monday 17th July 2017; KO 20:00 local time – 03:00 in the United Kingdom

Live on MUTV in the United Kingdom

Manchester United take on MLS side Real Salt Lake at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah in their second pre-season match of the tour of the United States of America. United have been in America for over a week now, playing one match on Saturday evening in Carson, California against LA Galaxy in which they ripped the fallen MLS side apart in a 5-2 victory. Jose Mourinho changed his team at half time and in the first half a brace from Marcus Rashford and a goal from Marouane Fellaini put United 3-0 up. Mourinho’s side looked lively in attack, getting forward a lot of the time, also playing in a 3-5-2 formation which was seen a few times towards the end of last season. In the second half of the match, United did not take their foot off the accelerator as they tried to score more goals. Summer signings Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku both made their debuts for the club, both getting chances on goal, both missing. It was Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who scored the other two goals, putting United 5-0 up before LA Galaxy scored twice through Giovani Dos Santos.

United have one down of the pre-season matches the be played in the States, four more remaining; Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona. During the LA Galaxy match, Mourinho names two XI’s for either half, also giving Demetri Mitchell about five minutes at the end of the match. The Portuguese manager is expected to do the same again, maybe different sides which could see Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku together during the same half, which would be good to see based on how fired up Rashford is to score goals and how eager Lukaku will be to score his first goal for the club. Perhaps the manager will try out the 3-5-2 formation again, or try something different, who knows. The fact that Anthony Martial looked better in a central forward role, rather than a wing position would suggest that is a reason Mourinho is after Ivan Perisic, who could be well on his way to the club in the near future, based on the rumours anyway, which will see United playing a more attacking brand of football, which would be a good thing. Mourinho spoke about his players playing 45 minutes, saying:

“Players will be playing in different positions and thinking football in a different way, and being organised in a different way. We are also going to play with four at the back. We will work with the same principle – 45 and 45 minutes and, if there is a chance to give five or 10 minutes to another kid, it’s always good for them.”

Have Manchester United and Real Salt Lake faced each other before?

United have never faced Real Salt Lake before and the club have only been around for the last 13 years. This will not be the first big club they have played though, facing Real Madrid, Everton and Inter Milan in recent years, but now they have the richest football club in the world at the Rio Tinto Stadium, so that could be the biggest occasion for them so far in the club’s history. The club currently sits in ninth place in the MLS Western Conference, a place below LA Galaxy, two points behind them and two from the bottom of the table, which is not a good place for them to be in. Real Salt Lake does have an Englishman on their side; Luke Mulholland a midfielder born in Preston, not all that far from United’s Old Trafford stadium.

Team News: Jose Mourinho has a near enough fully fit side to field at the Rio Tinto Stadium

Mourinho used 23 players in the last match and had taken 27 players on the pre-season tour, 28 with Romelu Lukaku. Only Scott McTominay and Sergio Romero, who signed a new long-term contract with the Old Trafford club on Sunday has not yet played, leaving Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, and Ashley Young all yet to play, but all currently being injured and brought out on the pre-season tour to gain the experience of the team travelling together, which will be a big boost ahead of the upcoming season. Perhaps McTominay will get some minutes in this match with someone missing out completely, or Mourinho will make more substitutions in a bid to find the best mix for his players. David De Gea will most likely miss out with Mourinho already revealing that De Gea and Joel Pereira would play a half each against LA Galaxy, Romero and Pereira would play again Real Salt Lake and De Gea and Romero would play against Manchester City.

Predicted Starting XI: Romelu Lukaku to partner Marcus Rashford, both leading the line in Manchester United devastating attack?

Match Prediction:

Real Salt Lake 0-7 Manchester United

copyright: JW