Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid: Joao Felix hands Erik ten Hag his first defeat as Manchester United manager

 Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid: Joao Felix hands Erik ten Hag his first defeat as Manchester United manager

Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid: Joao Felix hands Erik ten Hag his first defeat as Manchester United manager
Ten Hag pushed his players for more minutes in this match, and he only used four substitutes, the first of which came on in the 70th minute. Atletico introduced ten new players at the 60-minute mark, including matchwinner Felix (complete lineups below).
The most interesting discussion about the starting lineup against Brighton will most likely revolve around Eriksen and whether he should be there from the start given the impact his substitute appearance had on the Atletico Madrid match. His clarity of thought, vision, and ideas clearly aided the United States attack.
The Dane played in a double No. 8 central midfield pairing with Donny van de Beek, both in front of Fred, who played deeper holding midfield. Eriksen mostly played in the left channel, and his pinpoint deliveries set up headers for Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire (on a corner kick). If things don't go well against Brighton, the injection he can provide from the bench could make him more valuable as a spark.
Is Ronaldo still required by Manchester United?
Manchester United struggled to create enough clear-cut chances against a solid defensive side like Atletico, and when they did, the players lacked the finishing touch. Anthony Martial had some early looks but couldn't get his feet right or a shot on target, and Rashford and Elanga were not lucid enough in the box on their attempts, likely due to heavy legs.
Bruno Fernandes had a good game with a few flashes, but Manchester United needs him to be more than that as a difference-maker with his passing, dribbling, and shooting. That did not happen against Atletico Madrid, and it was not due to anything Atletico Madrid did to stop him. Fernandes needed to seize control of the game and demand the ball, which he did not do in this final preseason game. Fans will be hoping he's saving himself for the big game next Sunday.
Ten Hag is reviving Harry Maguire's career.
Maguire appears to be a different player under Ten Hag, and the switch to right central defender (he was typically a left center-back last season) has no doubt suited him. Furthermore, the decision to give him the captain's armband could only have aided him.
His newfound confidence was evident in the way he played the position against Atletico Madrid, where he made two key defensive plays in his own box and displayed the timing and presence that he was known for prior to last season's nightmare campaign.
Man United fought hard throughout the game, especially to win the ball back, and they didn't back down from Atletico Madrid's physical play. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga both had shots on goal, Harry Maguire was dangerous on a couple of corner kicks, and Facundo Pellistri had a late shot on goal that was saved. The only negative for United was Fred's straight red card for a stomp on Alvaro Morata in the final minute, which could lead to a suspension against Brighton. Otherwise, the Brazilian midfielder performed admirably.
Manchester United showed a potential starting lineup for next week's Premier League opener against Spanish side Atletico Madrid in a 1-0 friendly loss in Norway. Erik ten Hag suffered his first defeat as manager after three wins and a draw in preseason.
Man United's final preseason test is scheduled for Sunday at Old Trafford before the start of the competitive league schedule a week later against Brighton, also at Old Trafford. Rayo Vallecano, another Spanish side, will be the opponent to close out preseason on July 31, and Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play his first minutes in that match.
A late goal by Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix three minutes from time decided the game in Oslo, but it was a harsh result for a positive United side that created a handful of chances. Man United goalkeeper David De Gea, who had a quiet afternoon, was unable to stop Felix's blast, which was screened by a teammate who was covering the play.
United has a new signing. Christian Eriksen came off the bench to make his Manchester United debut after playing in a closed-door scrimmage against Wrexham earlier in the week. Lisandro Martinez did not play. His ability was immediately apparent as he assisted in the creation of two chances just minutes after entering the game. Jadon Sancho missed the game after becoming ill overnight.
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