Monday 24 July 2017

Real 1-1 United: US Tour talking points

United's latest Stateside encounter ended with a 2-1 penalty shootout victory over the European and La Liga champions in Santa Clara.

We take a look at some of the major talking points from the Reds fourth Tour game in the USA.

There have been some strange sights on the Reds pre-season sojourn, from the pyrotechnics in LA to Drake's cameo in Houston and a freak storm in Salt Lake.
However, the bizarre sight of Ronald McDonald (or was it David Moyes) leading the teams out here topped the lot - with the fast food chain's mascot shaking the hands of each player before kick-off.

United lined up with largely a second string in the first half, whilst Zinedine Zidane started with his first XI for his side's opening pre-season match.
In contrast, Real's second-half team consisted mainly of reserve and youth players, with many of Jose's first choice players handed a run out after half time.

24-year-old Jesse Lingard proved a thorn in Real's full-strength defence throughout his first half appearance, a constant threat with his pace, movement and link-up play.

Having gone close three times with efforts from distance, Lingard capped a superb individual performance with a goal and stood out as his side's most impressive player in the first half.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not travelled to the USA with his Real team-mates, having taken the summer off following his Confederations Cup exploits with Portugal.
His country finished third in that tournament, which only finished three weeks ago. 

It remains unclear when he will return for Los Blancos, although it seems likely that he will play for them against United in the UEFA Super Cup on 8 August. 

Boss Jose Mourinho confirmed that long-time Real target David de Gea is "100% staying" at Old Trafford, with the Reds having rebuffed a £60m from the club for the goalkeeper in May.

The United manager admitted, however, that De Gea faces stiff competition from Argentine Sergio Romero, who proved to be his able deputy whenever called upon last term.

The Reds will conclude their 18-day trip to the US with another eagerly anticipated heavyweight clash against Spanish giants, this time in the shape of Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona on Wednesday. 

Following the completion of our pre-season, with further matches against Valerenga and Sampdoria to come, Real will provide the opposition once more in the Super Cup meeting in Macedonia. 

That will provide a stern test for United and the chance to lift silverware ahead of the start of the Premier League season. 

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