Match report: Real Madrid 2 United 0

Thursday 27 July 2023 03:33

Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Real Madrid at the NRG Stadium in Texas, with Jude Bellingham and Joselu on the scoresheet.

Bellingham opened the scoring after five minutes with a composed finish over debutant keeper Andre Onana and, after pulling off a couple of outstanding saves, the Cameroonian had no chance again towards the end, when Joselu's overhead kick clinched victory for the Spanish side.

The Reds certainly created a number of opportunities of our own but found Andriy Lunin in top form in the Real goal, as a crowd of 67,801 enjoyed an action-packed encounter that was played with a really competitive spirit, as three players were cautioned.


United got off to a bad start when Kobbie Mainoo was injured after four minutes, when Rodrygo tumbled into him after being tripped by Casemiro. It was a blow to the youngster, handed another chance to impress on such a stage, and he was hobbling away from proceedings, rather than checking the run of Bellingham seconds later.

A long ball over the top by Antonio Rudiger fed Real's big summer signing and, although he initially looked offside, the flag stayed down to enable him to beautifully chip Onana. Replays showed it was a tight call and there was no VAR in operation in Houston.

Christian Eriksen came on and the response was almost swift, only for Alejandro Garnacho to fire too high from a promising position. Chances came at both ends, Luke Shaw blocking a Luka Modric attempt and Vinicius Jr miskicking from a threatening break, either side of Mason Mount's snap-shot forcing a save out of Lunin.

Onana made a smart reflex stop to deny the ever-dangerous Vinicius Jr but one of the moves of the half saw Mount, Bruno Fernandes and Eriksen all involved in the build-up, only for Marcus Rashford to be thwarted by Lunin, and a second shot soon afterwards was dragged well wide by ex-Real star Casemiro.

After 42 minutes, Lisandro Martinez, booked against Arsenal in his last appearance, picked up another yellow card for a late tackle on Bellingham, who reacted petulantly to the challenge. It's become clear no games are friendly for the Argentina international but the flare-up quickly died down.


Fernandes and Shaw instigated a dangerous moment early in the second period before Garnacho's stinging shot forced Lunin to push the ball over the bar. A raft of changes just past the hour mark left just Onana and Fernandes on as starters and the game became a little disjointed as a result.

Antony was prominent but one shot drifted over the top from the Brazilian, while Scott McTominay made a driving run through the heart of the Real defence, only to be denied by a sprawling save from Lunin.

Joselu, another of Madrid's summer arrivals, had a couple of quickfire openings, forcing another stop out of Onana and then hitting the side-netting with a far-post header, while there was another narrow escape when Eder Militao threatened, with the ball eventually hacked away.

With time running out, strong play by Harry Maguire led to Antony cutting inside from the right but he was again unable to hit the target from the edge of the box. Skipper Fernandes had an 88th-minute long-ranger kept out by Lunin and, instead, the Spanish side sealed victory with a minute or so to go.

Lucas Vazquez's cross picked out Joselu and the former Stoke City and Newcastle United striker executed an excellent overhead kick that beat Onana and doubled the lead.

Highlights: Real Madrid v United Video

Highlights: Real Madrid v United

Check out the best of the action from Houston, as the Reds took on the Spanish giants...


United: Onana; Wan-Bissaka (Dalot 61), Varane (Maguire 61), Martinez (Lindelof 61), Shaw (Williams 61); Casemiro (McTominay 61), Mainoo (Eriksen 6 (Van de Beek 61); Fernandes (c), Mount (Antony 61), Garnacho (Pellistri 61); Rashford (Sancho 61).

Substitutes not used: Heaton, Amad, Forson.

Booked: Martinez, Fernandes.

Real Madrid: Lunin; Carvajal (Lucas Vazquez 46), Rudiger (Nacho 46), Alaba (Militao 46), Fran García (Mendy 46); Tchouameni (Kroos 46), Camavinga, Modric (c) (Brahim Diaz 62); Bellingham (Valverde 46), Rodrygo (Joselu 62), Vinicius Jr (Nico Paz 72).

Substitutes not used: Courtois, Pinero, Fran, Odriozola, Guler.

Scorer: Bellingham 5, Joselu 89.

Booked: Camavinga.