As Atletico Madrid won 1-0 in Oslo thanks to a late goal from Joao Felix, Manchester United lost their first preseason match.
A week before the next premier league opener, we got a glimpse of the possible starting lineup for Manchester United.
Before the start of the competitive league, which is scheduled a week later against Brighton at Old Trafford, Eric ten Hag, the new manager of Manchester United, has one final preseason test scheduled for his players on Sunday at Old Trafford.
On July 31, Rayo Vallecano, another Spanish team, will be the opponent, and Cristiano Ronaldo is anticipated to play his first minutes in that game.
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Three minutes from the end, Joao Felix scored the game-winning goal for Atletico Madrid in Oslo, but it was a harsh outcome for an optimistic Manchester United team that had produced a few chances.
David De Gea of Manchester United, who was largely trouble-free throughout the game, was unable to stop the Felix blow after his teammate screened for him while covering the play.
Christian Eriksen made his first Manchester United appearance off the bench after participating in a week-long behind-closed-doors scrimmage against Wrexham. Recently signed by Manchester United, Lisandro Martinez did not play any time.
The ability of Christian Eriksen was immediately apparent as he assisted in the creation of two opportunities shortly after entering the game.
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In this game, Ten Hag pushed his players for longer periods of time and only used four substitutions, the first of which came in the 70th minute. Atletico Madrid made ten substitutions at the 60-minute mark, including Felix, who scored the game-winning goal.
Man United put forth an effort throughout the game to regain possession of the ball, and they stood strong in the face of Atletico Madrid’s rough play.
Harry Maguire was dangerous on a few corner kicks, Anthony Elanga and Marcus Rashford both had shots at goal, and Facundo Pellistri even attempted a late attempt that was stopped.
The only drawback for Manchester United was the potential suspension against Brighton and the straight red card given to Fred for stomping on Alvaro Morata in the final minute.
Given the significance of Eriksen’s substitution in the Atletico Madrid match, the most exciting discussion surrounding the starting eleven against Brighton will likely determine whether he should have been there from the start. His ideas, vision, and clarity of thought gave the Manchester United attack a boost.
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Together with Donny van de Beek, the Dane played in a double No. 8 central midfield position in front of Fred, who sat deeper at holding midfielder.
Eriksen mostly floated into the left channel, and Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire had header opportunities due to his precise deliveries. If things don’t go as planned against Brighton, the boost he can provide to Manchester United as a substitute might make him more beneficial off the bench.
Under Ten Hag, Harry Maguire appears to be a different player, and the switch from left centre-back to right centre-defender (where he typically played last season) has undoubtedly benefited him.
When playing the position against Atletico Madrid, he displayed the timing and presence he was famous for before last season’s nightmare, making two crucial defensive plays in his own box.