Eriksen debut, Rashford and Maguire impress, Fernandes struggles – Man Utd ratings vs Atletico

by 24britishtvJuly 30, 2022, 4 p.m. 20
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If Eric ten Haag wanted a test of his Manchester United players’ readiness for the Premier League season, he certainly got it in Oslo on Saturday.

An opposition such as Atletico Madrid, with boss Diego Simeone furiously commanding his players contest every ball like it’s a Champions League final, offers an ideal benchmark for what United can expect once the “real” fixtures begin next week.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat was as gritty a friendly as you could get. Scott McTominay and Fred seemed to enjoy their perpetual battles with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Yannick Carrasco. Anthony Elanga had to work hard to avoid the studs of Reinildo Mandava and Thomas Lemar. And both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial did the pressing work Ten Haag requires of his forwards.

Christian Eriksen got his first run-out in a United shirt midway through the second half. He might have more time to shine at Old Trafford on Sunday against Rayo Vallecano.

And the game was decided only when substitute Joao Felix fed off Alvaro Morata to drill home from inside the area.

The test of United’s defensive solidity abated slightly when Simeone went for a nine-man substitution on the hour mark, moments before Eriksen and Donny van de Beek were introduced for the Red Devils.

And while Saul somehow managed to put a golden opportunity over the bar midway through the second half, Atletico seemed more interested in their defensive shape than picking at United’s.

Sunday sees Ten Haag on the Old Trafford touchline for the first time, and supporters inside Old Trafford may wish to express their opinion on Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer U-turn after the Portugal international requested a move earlier this summer.

It’s been a typically dramatic summer for the Red Devils, but the new boss will hope to have found some consistency over their pre-season friendlies. This could well be the XI that starts against Brighton next weekend.

Here are the Manchester United player ratings from a testy battle in Norway…

David De Gea – Barely tested thanks to a well-drilled United back line that pressed high, was unfortunate to concede off a well-taken goal late on. 6/10

Harry Maguire – Took command on the rare occasions Atletico broke forward. His block of Matheus Cunha with a well-timed challenge wsas the pick of the bunch. Came close to scoring off an Eriksen corner. 8/10

Victor Lindelof – Like Dalot, seemed fairly unfazed by Atletico’s attacking threat until the late goal. 7/10

Tyrell Malacia – Wasn’t overly troubled by Atletico’s Marcos Llorente and in fact spent much of the game seeking to bomb forward. 6/10

Scott McTominay – Hounded down when United lost possession and upset Atletico with a 50/50 challenge on goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Provided the attitude in midfield United needed against a Simeone side.7/10

Fred – Prevented Kondogbia from influencing the midfield, and combined well on occasions with Rashford. The more defensive of the central midfield pair. Player well until he was needlessly sent off in the last minute of the game. 7/10

Anthony Elanga – Suffered a clash of heads and got six studs on his ankle. Welcome to an Atletico Madrid friendly. Elanga also drew a yellow from Lemar in first half. Quiet off the ball but always a threat. 6/10

Bruno Fernandes – Quiet for much of the game and tried a freakish effort from distance when standing over a free-kick. Was well marked. 6/10

Marcus Rashford – Excitable going forward and forced a couple of saves out of Oblak. Moved up front when Martial came off for Eriksen. 7/10

Antony Martial – Had two great chances to score in the opening throes and ran the hard yards. But he doesn’t appear to be the solution to United’s centre forward woes if Ronaldo goes missing this term. 6/10

Christian Eriksen – A first appearance of Eriksen in a red shirt and he almost got an assist off a Maguire header. 7/10

Facundo Pellistri – Came on for Elanga and rushed a golden opportunity to score. 6/10

Donny van de Beek – Replaced McTominay but didn’t do any better going forward. 6/10

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