Andre Onana could do nothing about the two goals he conceded on his Man United debut
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It was defeat but there was plenty for Erik ten Hag to unpack from Manchester United’s latest leg of their pre-season US tour.

Fans finally caught a glimpse of Andre Onana’s talents as United’s new £47.1million No 1 was handed his first start. 

There was also plenty of pre-match chatter about who would start at No 10 and by the end of this 2-0 loss there were few concrete answers with Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes both getting a spell off the front man. 

Elsewhere it was a cruel twist of fate for youngster Kobbie Mainoo who was handed a start, only to end the night leaving the NRG Stadium on crutches.  

Mail Sport’s Chris Wheeler has picked out five things we learned from the latest match of United’s pre-season tour of the US. 


Andre Onana didn’t enjoy the best of starts on his Manchester United debut against Real Madrid in Houston, conceding a goal inside just six minutes from Jude Bellingham and another spectacular effort towards the end from Joselu.

But Onana wasn’t to blame for either goal and there was probably more interest in how the Cameroonian would bring his sweeper keeper style to United.

At times, Onana was stood midway inside his own half and, at one point just before half-time, he was level with Raphael Varane 40 yards from his own goal to give United an 11th outfield player and take a pass from the Frenchman to link up play.

Andre Onana could do nothing about the two goals he conceded on his Man United debut

Andre Onana could do nothing about the two goals he conceded on his Man United debut

On another occasion, Onana got United out of trouble at the back and launched an attack that ended with Mason Mount almost scoring at the other end.

It was the kind of confidence with the ball at his feet that Erik ten Hag wanted when he signed the former Ajax keeper from Inter Milan for £47.1million having decided that he was never going to get what he wants in that respect from David de Gea. He will change the way United play.

That’s not to say Onana can’t be a shot-stopper too, and he made smart saves from Vinicius Junior and Joselu to keep United in the game.


IT’S a sign of the promise Kobbie Mainoo has shown in pre-season that the teenager started again in Houston ahead of Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek.

Mainoo has looked confident and composed in United’s first-team and set up the first goal in the victory over Arsenal in New Jersey on Saturday.

What a shame then that Mainoo’s latest appearance lasted only a couple of minutes before he was injured when Casemiro fouled Rodrygo who fell into the young midfielder.

Kobbie Mainoo was handed a cruel blow when he was forced off early in the game with injury

Kobbie Mainoo was handed a cruel blow when he was forced off early in the game with injury

Mainoo needed a few minutes of treatment and the upset on his face as he rose from the turf indicated that he wouldn’t be playing any further part in this game. 

He limped off to be replaced by Eriksen who struggled to keep up with the pace of Real’s midfield triumvirate of Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni.


The signing of Mason Mount for £60million from Chelsea immediately posed the question of where he would fit into Erik ten Hag’s 4-2-3-1 system. 

After playing in a deeper midfield role against Leeds, Lyon and Arsenal, Mount was deployed as a No 10 in Houston as Casemiro returned to the starting line-up.

It meant that Bruno Fernandes was pushed wider onto the right, a move Ten Hag made on several occasions last season which rarely seems to get the best out of the United captain.

Mount started the night as No 10 for United

Fernandes is less effective out wide and was later shifted inside to No 10

Mason Mount (left) and Bruno Fernandes (right) are both being trialled in the No 10 position

Mount brings a huge amount of energy to the role and at one point in the second half he raced back 40 yards to make a brilliant recovery tackle on Tchouameni.

In the second half, Ten Hag switched it around with Fernandes at No.10 and Mount on the right before both teams made a number of changes. 

It will be interesting to see how the United boss uses Mount and Fernandes as the season progresses to get the best out of both players.


There was a time in 2020 when Jude Bellingham and his parents visited Carrington and was met by Sir Alex Ferguson and Bryan Robson amid optimism that the promising young Birmingham City midfielder would choose a move to United.

Of course, Bellingham opted for Borussia Dortmund instead and by the time he time joined Real Madrid last month in a move that could rise to £115m he was well out of United’s reach.

The 20-year-old showed his class after just five minutes at the NRG Stadium, even though he looked suspiciously offside when he raced onto Antonio Rudiger’s pass. 

Jude Bellingham was once given a tour at United and he showed just why they wanted him here

Jude Bellingham was once given a tour at United and he showed just why they wanted him here

Bellingham killed the ball with one touch as Onana came out of his goal and beat United’s new goalkeeper with superb dink into the net to claim his first goal for Madrid.

It was by no means the only time Bellingham’s skill shone through, and one slaloming run into the box in the 33rd minute ended with his goal-bound shot.

Lisandro Martinez decided to take action just before half-time when he was booked for scything down the youngster, and the two players were involved in a shoving match before Bellingham’s England team-mate Mount stepped in.

Bellingham didn’t re-appear for the second half but he had already done more than enough.


United’s opening tour match against Arsenal at the 72,000 MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was a sell-out and so was the second against Wrexham in San Diego’s 34,000-capacity Snapdragon Stadium, even though Erik ten Hag put out a predominantly young side.

It looked like the most attractive fixture of United’s pre-season tour of the US against Real Madrid in Houston wouldn’t fill the NRG Stadium, and the fact that the cheapest tickets were going for £150 might have been to blame for that.   

But the 72,000-capacity arena filled up gradually with the official attendance 67,801.

Another enormous crowd turned out in force to see United's latest leg of their USA tour

Another enormous crowd turned out in force to see United’s latest leg of their USA tour

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