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18 July 2017

Real Salt Lake 1 Manchester United 2: Romelu Lukaku off the mark as Jose Mourinho hands £75million signing his first start

IN THE LAND of the Osmonds there was no bigger cheesy grin last night than on the face of Romelu Lukaku.

The new £75million signing opened his Manchester United account here in Utah where the famous family band grew up and was clearly delighted to have done so.

Lukaku took his goal well and was understandably delighted
Lukaku took his goal well and was understandably delighted
Getty
Romelu Lukaku drills home after rounding the keeper
Romelu Lukaku drills home after rounding the keeper

He wants United fans to ‘Love Me For a Reason’ and let that reason be goals.

Well his first for his new club came in the 38th minute at the Rio Tinto Stadium and what a cracker it was too to give United a 2-1 first-half lead.

Jesse Lingard played the ball out to Herikh Mkhitaryan and his first-time low curling cross was superb.

Lukaku still had plenty to do with two defenders and a goalkeeper baring down on him.

So, with a quick change of direction he left the two defenders following his shadow and then touched the ball round the goalkeeper before firing home.

Joy spread across the former Everton striker’s face as he punched the air with both fists outstretched.

Paul Pogba knows something about arriving at United with a big fee on his back
Paul Pogba knows something about arriving at United with a big fee on his back
Lukaku looked relieved to find the net after drawing a blank vs Galaxy
Lukaku looked relieved to find the net after drawing a blank vs Galaxy

His teammates went to congratulate him and share his special moment.

Having missed two good chances in the first game of this tour which United won 5-2 against LA Galaxy he might have been feeling a bit of pressure to open his account.

The real pressure, of course, is to come with the start of the season.

There are great expectations as to what Lukaku can do. To score the goals that will turn those draws from last season into wins. To push for the title once more.

United had come from behind to lead at the break here against another opponent from the MLS.

They did not have it all their own way as against LA Galaxy in their first match and even had Antonio Valencia sent off in strange circumstances in the second-half.

United boss Jose Mourinho meets fans before kick-off
United boss Jose Mourinho meets fans before kick-off
Getty
Romelu Lukaku mocked on Twitter for his dreadful first touch in Manchester United training

Real Salt Lake took the lead with a very good goal of their own in the 23rd minute as Jefferson Savarino slid in Joao Plato who held off Phil Jones and clipped the ball past Joel Pereira.

It took just six minutes before United were on level terms with Lukaku involved in the build up finding Lingard who put Mkhitaryan in.

Unmarked he finished with a left foot shot into the far bottom corner.

As in the first game Jose Mourinho changed his whole eleven for the second period, Salt Lake changed all their’s after just half an hour.

Mourinho was having to make another change, however, just short of the hour when Juan Mata was clattered and limped off, with Demetri Mitchell coming on.

He couldn’t replace Antonio Valencia when he came off after 68 minutes because he had been shown a red card.

Valencia had gone in hard on Sebastian Saucedo and got an immediate talking too from referee Allen Chapman.

There was then a good two minutes in which the ref went over to talk to Mourinho he apparently gave him the option of subbing Valencia of he would send him off.

Romelu Lukaku grew into his role as the game went on
Romelu Lukaku grew into his role as the game went on
The weather was kind enough to clear just before kick-off
The weather was kind enough to clear just before kick-off
United are officially the biggest team in Westeros, where the Europa League trophy looks like it belongs
United are officially the biggest team in Westeros, where the Europa League trophy looks like it belongs
Paul Pogba has admitted he doesn't watch Game of Thrones - the show's stars do watch him though
Paul Pogba has admitted he doesn't watch Game of Thrones – the show's stars do watch him though
Getty

Mourinho obviously didn’t want to so the red card was shown.

Saucedo limped off and took no further part.

Chances fell for both sides after that with Chris Smalling missing United’s best from a close range header.

But United would hang on for win number two and now head to Houston to face rivals Manchester City.

MANCHESTER UNITED (First-half XI) (4-2-3-1); J.Pereira – Fosu-Mensah, Lindelof, Jones, Blind – Carrick, Pogba – Mkhitaryan, McTominay, Lingard – Lukaku.

MANCHESTER UNITED (Second-half XI) (4-2-3-1); Pereira – Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Darmian – Herrera, A.Pereira – Mata (Mitcchell 59), Fellaini, Martial (Tuansebe, 90) – Rashford.


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