Man United were given a taste of what to expect next season as Romelu Lukaku scored his first goal for the club and Jose Mourinho got embroiled in a touchline row on the club’s tour of the US.
United emerged victorious from the game against Real Salt Lake, with Lukaku netting the winner to see the club recover from going a goal behind to triumph 2-1.
“Romelu Lukaku got on the scoresheet for the first time as a United player with the kind of composed finish Jose Mourinho will hope becomes the norm in the Premier League next season,” says James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph.
He also praises a “polished performance” from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scored United’s equaliser and set up Lukaku’s goal.
However, it was a feisty encounter that saw Juan Mata limp off injured and Antonio Valencia red-carded.
And Mourinho is never far from controversy, which this time arrived in the second period, after Sebastian Saucedo clattered Mata only to be upended by Valencia.
Referee Allen Chapman asked Mourinho to substitute the player but when the United manager refused, he got the red card out himself.
The fall-out from the incident is not serious. Mata is expected to be out for just a few days and Valencia will not miss any domestic games as a result of his expulsion.
The Portuguese manager said: “The referee asked me to change the player and I didn’t because I don’t agree with the card because Saucedo was really aggressive in second half.”
He was also surprisingly lugubrious about Lukaku’s first goal for the club.
“It’s just nice for him, not important for me,” he said, with a shrug. “Before he scored the goal I told him, ‘I love everything you do on the pitch. Don’t be worried about scoring or not scoring.’ He gets behind people, works and presses well… The goal is just a detail, not important.”
“The victory means United have won each of their two opening tour games, as they prepare to face Manchester City in Houston on Thursday,” says Jamie Jackson in The Guardian.