After three bore draws and one embarrassing loss, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United finally managed to secure a win on their tour of the United States, edging European champions Real Madrid 2-1 on Wednesday morning thanks to goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera.
Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera both struck in the first-half after some slick passing, to relieve some pressure off their beleaguered manager and make sure that their pre-season trip the United States ended on a high.
“In relation to the match, the result doesn’t change anything. My professional players were amazing all pre-season because they know we play against good teams, against good opponents. We have just a few (senior) players here, lots of kids,” Mourinho told his post-match press conference on Wednesday morning.
Karim Benzema struck late in the first-half to cut the deficit and while Los Blancos were dominant in the second period, United managed to hold on for a morale-boosting win.
“Our kids are really, really young because the team of the older ones, the Under-23s, was relegated – the team went to the second division and were relegated, so the quality was not good. So we prefer to bring kids – on the pitch today we had a couple of kids who were 16 years old.”
Mourinho’s reportedly an unpopular figure with his players after repeated public lashings, but on Wednesday, he was full of praise for most of his senior players.
“People like Herrera, (Eric) Bailly, (Matteo) Darmian, (Juan )Mata, all these guys, were phenomenal during the pre-season, playing almost every minute of every game.”
The Special One went on to assert that the result didn’t matter, rather the performance did as he added, “So the game today – if (we) win 2-1, we lose 2-1 or draw 2-2, it doesn’t change anything but of course I know the players and I know I can count on them. I know that these guys are amazing professionals and I know that they give everything for the club, for the prestige of the club. I know it would have not been nice to come here today and lose 5-1 or 6-1 against Real Madrid. They were phenomenal.”
The English giants fly back to Manchester and will now play their final pre-season tie, a clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.
They open the 2018/19 Premier League season with a home fixture against Leicester City on August 10.