Manchester United 2-1 Real Salt Lake: Romelu Lukaku scores first goal
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 18/07/17 8:58am
Romelu Lukaku scored his first goal for Manchester United in a 2-1 pre-season win over Real Salt Lake on Monday evening.
The £75m summer signing finished in the 38th minute as United came from behind in Utah to beat the MLS side, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan earlier cancelling out Luis Silva's opener.
United made 11 changes at half-time and saw Antonio Valencia shown a straight red card for a challenge from behind and Juan Mata forced off with an ankle injury.
Valencia's dismissal and Mata's injury were the negatives on a night when United were given more of a test than they were in their opening pre-season game against LA Galaxy.
United started with four at the back against Real Salt Lake, with Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones the centre-backs, while Lukaku was handed his first start for the club after joining from Everton.
After Scott McTominay went close for United in the sixth minute with a 25-yard effort, it was the hosts who took control of the game.
Joao Plata twice shot at Joel Pereira before seeing a close-range attempt blocked by Jesse Lingard's last-ditch tackle.
Man Utd first-half team: J Pereira, Jones, Lindelof, Blind, Fosu-Mensah, McTominay, Carrick, Pogba, Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku.
Man Utd second-half team: Romero, Valencia, Bailly, Darmian, Smalling, Herrera, Fellaini, Martial, Pereira, Mata, Rashford.
The breakthrough arrived in the 23rd minute as Jefferson Savarino slipped in Silva, who held off Jones' challenge and finished past Pereira.
United were soon level after Lukaku and Lingard combined well to set up Mkhitaryan to score from the edge of the box.
With an MLS game against Portland Timbers less than 48 hours away, Real Salt Lake changed their entire team after half an hour.
And United took advantage to move ahead before half-time, with Mkhitaryan picking out Lukaku in the middle and the striker rounding the keeper to finish.
United made 11 changes themselves at the break, and they were soon forced into another switch as Mata went down after a challenge from Sebastian Saucedo.
Chances were few and far between and the biggest talking point of the second half was Valencia's dismissal for a swipe from behind on Saucedo.
Jose Mourinho revealed afterwards that he was given the option to take Valencia off, but he declined, so the referee issued a red card.
United had chances to extend their lead as Chris Smalling headed over from close range and Anthony Martial missed the target from just inside the box.
Kyle Curinga almost snatched a late equaliser for Real Salt Lake but was denied by a sharp save from Sergio Romero.
Man of the match - Jesse Lingard
With no player given more than 45 minutes, it was Lingard who impressed the most for United. The 24-year-old popped up in several positions in the attacking third and had a hand in both goals.
He also stopped a near-certain goal with a brilliant sliding challenge on Plata. With more signings expected at United this summer, Lingard might need to keep producing if he is keep his place in the side.
Mourinho's side head to Houston and the NRG Stadium for the ICC Champions Cup where they will take on Manchester City (July 21 - 3am BST) in the first Manchester derby to be played outside the UK, before facing Real Madrid at Levi's Stadium on July 23 at 10pm BST.