ROMELU Lukaku bagged his first goal in a Manchester United
shirt on Monday as the Premier League giants laboured to a 2-1
victory over Real Salt Lake in Utah.
Lukaku, who joined the Red Devils from Everton in a reported 75
million pound ($98.2 million) transfer last week, fired United
ahead on 38 minutes, latching on to a low cross from Henrikh
Lukaku rounded Real’s goalkeeper, who was taken out by his own
The 24-year-old Belgian international striker had also been
involved in United’s equaliser scored by Mkhitaryan in the 29th
minute after Luis Silva had given Salt Lake a shock early lead.
Lukaku used his strength and physical presence to hold off the
Real defence to feed Jesse Lingard who provided the pass for
Mkhitaryan to score.
The United goals were the rare highlights of a disjoined first
half performance from Jose Mourinho’s side, who had travelled
to Utah earlier Monday from their Los Angeles training camp.
For much of the opening half United were second best against a
lively Salt Lake side, with their defence being given a torrid
time by a team who are languishing near the foot of Major
League Soccer’s Western Conference.
The lively attack trio of Luis Silva, Joao Plata and Jefferson
Savarino often left United’s defence scrambling to get into
position, with Phil Jones finding the movement of the Salt Lake
front two hard to deal with.
A surging run from Savarino set up Silva’s opening goal on 23
minutes. United however responded swiftly with Mkhitaryan’s
equaliser just before the half hour mark.
Real coach Mike Petke, with one eye on his team’s MLS fixture
in Portland on Wednesday, withdrew his entire starting line-up
at the 30-minute mark, and United capitalised to take the lead
Mourinho also fielded a new starting XI for the second half,
with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial leading the line for
United again struggled to impose themselves however, and their
frustration boiled over when Antonio Valencia was sent off for
a reckless lunge on Sebastian Saucedo midway through the second
United will face Manchester City in Houston on Thursday in the
third game of their US tour.