Manchester United 2-1 Real Madrid : Highlights and talking points from the preseason fixture

Manchester United got the better of Real Madrid in this friendly.


Albeit the preseason games don’t get you points, but the players and the managers do want to prove a point or two in the ‘friendly’ games in advent of new season. A decent or poor preseason can be considered as harbinger for the same in the upcoming season.

Fair to say Manchester United has had a pretty poor preseason, especially after that 4-1 defeat to Liverpool. But the Red Devils have managed to turn the tables at the Miami Hard Rock Stadium. Miami tourism uses a famous catch line in promotions, ‘’Life is better here’’. After a poor preseason so far where the solitary victory came from penalties, United will certainly find life better at Miami beach city as they beat the Champions of Europe 2-1.

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Much hype and curiosity was there for the Real Madrid fans, as it was their first match under new manager Julen Lopetegui and as it marks the beginning of post-Ronaldo era.

Lineups for the preseason game:

Manchester United

Starting XI: De Gea,  Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Shaw, Herrera, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, Mata, Alexis

Subs: Grant,  Pereira, Tuanzebe, Williams, Mitchell, Garner, Hamilton, Gomes, Chong, Greenwood, Bohui

Real Madrid

Starting XI: Casilla, Vallejo, Benzema, Bale, Theo , Llorente, Odriozola, Ceballos, Vinicius Jr., Sanchez, Valverde

*No Official Subs list was given.


United got 1-0 lead at the 17th minute when Alexis Sanchez scored, with Matteo Darmian’s assist. The Red Devils doubled their lead through Ander Herrera’s superb strike at 27th, with Sanchez being at the thick of the action again with the assist. Madrid managed to pull one back at the 45th, when Karim Benzema scored. Overall, Madrid saw more of the ball, tactically they were the better side but such more off target shots summed up why United managed to beat the Champions of Europe.

Key points:

In the first half, the front two of Sanchez and Mata were linking very well. The first half was very bright for United as the players were linking very well in the attack. However, at the fag end of the half, Benzema managed to pull one back from a Theo Hernandez pinpoint cross. Sanchez, Mata, A. Pereira, Herrera and Darmian were gelling very well but defence looked susceptible.

In the second half, United never really attacked to get going. Madrid looked threatening. Stars like Kroos, Asensio, Isco all were taken into action in the final quarter of the match, as the new manager decided for the final push in last 15 minutes of this pre-season fixture.

Sanchez and Herrera had an outstanding match, while McTominay got injured. Madrid players will take a bit of time to get into the groove for this season. Martin Odegaard was disappointing in particular.