Manchester United provided a glimpse at the potential starting lineup for next week’s Premier League opener during a 1-0 friendly loss against Spanish side Atletico Madrid in a match played in Norway. It was Erik ten Hag’s first loss as manager after three wins and a draw during preseason.
Man United have one final preseason test scheduled for Sunday at Old Trafford before the start of the competitive league schedule against Brighton a week later, also at Old Trafford. Another Spanish side, Rayo Vallecano, will be the opponent to close out preseason on July 31, and Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to see his first minutes in that match.
A late goal three minutes from time by Atletico’s Joao Felix decided the contest in Oslo, though it was a harsh result for a positive United side that created a handful of looks. Man United ‘keeper David De Gea, who had a quiet afternoon, couldn’t stop the Felix blast, screened by his teammate who was covering on the play.
New United signing Lisandro Martinez did not see any minutes, but 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. His quality was immediately evident as he helped create two chances in a matter of minutes after coming on. Jadon Sancho sat out the match after falling ill overnight.
Man United applied themselves throughout the match, working especially hard to win the ball back, and they didn’t back down from Atletico Madrid’s physical play. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga had attempts on goal, Harry Maguire was dangerous on a couple of corner kicks, and Facundo Pellistri even had a late look at goal that was blocked. The one negative for United was the straight red card shown to Fred for a stomp on Alvaro Morata in the final minute leading to the potential for a suspension against Brighton. The Brazilian midfielder otherwise had an excellent showing.
Ten Hag pushed his players for more minutes in this match and he made just four subs, with the first ones only coming on at the 70th minute mark. Atletico introduced 10 fresh players at the 60th-minute mark and that group included the matchwinner Felix (complete lineups below).
Should Christian Eriksen start vs. Brighton?
The most interesting conversation around the starting lineup against Brighton will probably center around Eriksen and whether he should be there from the opening whistle given the impact his substitute appearance had on the Atletico Madrid match. His clarity of thought and his vision and ideas clearly boosted the United attack.
The Dane was part of a double No. 8 central midfield pairing with Donny van de Beek, both playing in front of Fred, who manned the deeper holding midfielder role. Eriksen floated mainly into the left channel and his pinpoint deliveries led to header chances by both Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire (on a corner kick). The injection he can give the team off the bench could make him more valuable as a spark if things don’t go well against Brighton.
Do Man United need Ronaldo after all?
Although they tried, Manchester United struggled to generate enough clear-cut opportunities against a solid defensive side like Atletico, and when they did, the players didn’t quite have the finishing touch. Anthony Martial had some early looks but he 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 with heavy legs likely playing a factor.
Bruno Fernandes had a tidy match, with a couple of flashes, but Man United need him to be more than that as a difference-maker with his passing, dribbling, and shooting. That didn’t happen against Atletico Madrid, and it wasn’t necessarily because of anything that Atletico Madrid were doing to stop him. Fernandes needed to grab control of the game and demand the ball, but that didn’t occur in this final preseason match. Supporters will be hoping he’s saving himself for the real thing next Sunday.
Harry Maguire career revival under Ten Hag
Maguire looks like a different player under Ten Hag and the move to right central defender (he typically played at left center-back last season) has no doubt suited him. Also, the decision to hand him the captain’s armband could have only helped.
His newfound confidence was evident in the way he played the position against Atletico Madrid, making two key defensive plays in his own box, and showing the timing and presence that he was known for before last season’s nightmare campaign.
Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid final score
ATL — Joao Felix — 87th min.
Manchester United lineup:
Manchester United lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): De Gea (GK) — Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Malacia — Fred, McTominay (Van de Beek 69′) — Elanga (Pellistri 76′, Garner 90′), Fernandes, Rashford — Martial (Eriksen 69′)
Atletico Madrid lineups:
Atletico Madrid starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 13-Jan Oblak (GK) — 16-Nahuel Molina, 15-Stefan Savic, 2-Jose Maria Gimenez, 23-Reinildo — 14-Marcos Llorente, 4-Geoffrey Kondogbia, 11-Thomas Lemar — 10-Angel Correa, 9-Matheus Cunha, 21-Yannick Carrasco
Atletico Madrid 60th minute (3-4-3, right to left): 1-Ivo Grbic (GK) — 24-Daniel Wass, 20-Axel Witsel, 23-Reinildo — 28-Sergio Diez, 5-Rodrigo de Paul, 6-Koke, 17-Saul Niguez — 8-Antoine Griezmann, 19-Alvaro Morata, 7-Joao Felix
Man United vs Atletico Madrid live updates, highlights from preseason
Final: Manchester United 0, Atletico Madrid 1
90th min.: Fred, who was already on a yellow, is sent off! He kicks Alvaro Morata from behind and then he stomps on him. He gets a straight red card. Meanwhile, James Garner comes on for Facundo Pellistri.
87th min.: Goal Atletico! Joao Felix takes a shot from the top of the box that gets past De Gea. Man United right back Diogo Dalot was covering, but he couldn’t stop the shot and Atletico take the lead.
Delightful from João Félix 🎯🪄
It’s like you’ve never been away!
He smacks home a fantastic finish into the bottom corner to give Atlético the lead against Manchester United.pic.twitter.com/S2gCvRxBmn
— Próxima Jornada (@ProximaJornada1) July 30, 2022
83rd min.: Facundo Pellistri with a chance! He pounced on a rebound after a Marcus Rashford shot, but his attempt was blocked. That was a good look.
75th min.: You can already notice the difference with Christian Eriksen on the field. He delivers a fantastic corner kick and Harry Maguire heads just wide. Meanwhile, Facundo Pellistri comes on for Anthony Elanga wide right.
73rd min.: Moments after Christian Eriksen delivered a beautiful ball into the box for Rashford, Rodrigo De Paul’s volley is stopped by Man United’s De Gea. The match has livened up with about 15 minutes remaining.
69th min.: Man United subs. Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek are on for Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay. Eriksen and Van de Beek are sitting in front of Fred, Bruno Fernandes is now wide left, and Rashford is the new center forward.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 30, 2022
68th min.: What a chance for Atletico! Joao Felix on the left crosses into the box, where Saul made the run. But the ex-Chelsea man puts it way high from just outside the six-yard box.
67th min.: It’s a challenge for Man United now. Atletico are fresh and you can see the heavy legs showing for the Red Devils. Ten Hag bringing on the subs.
60th min.: Atletico sub in 10 new players with Reinildo being the only player who stays on:
Atletico Madrid lineup (3-4-3, right to left): 1-Ivo Grbic — 24-Daniel Wass, 20-Axel Witsel, 23-Reinildo — 28-Sergio Diez, 5-Rodrigo de Paul, 6-Koke, 17-Saul Niguez — 8-Antoine Griezmann, 19-Alvaro Morata, 7-Joao Felix
54th min.: And moments after that fine defensive play, it’s a yellow for Maguire after a blatant bear hug on Geoffrey Kondogbia to prevent a break. It was a smart foul.
51st min.: Fantastic play by Harry Maguire. How many times have we said that in the last year? He blocks a Matheus Cunha shot after a long slashing run by the Atletico forward. The United captain has played well so far and more importantly has looked confident.
47th min.: Best attacking play of the match for Atletico with Angel Correa sending in a through ball for Thomas Lemar, but David de Gea sees it the entire way.
46th min.: Atletico Madrid kick off the second half. No changes apparent from either side.
Half-time: Manchester United 0, Atletico Madrid 0
Half-time: It was a well-played half by Manchester United albeit not the most exciting (five yellow cards between both teams). It was a mix of good attacking combinations, sharp defensive play in their own box, and overall spirit and fight from the Red Devils. Erik ten Hag will be happy with those 45 minutes against a usual scrappy Atletico side which has been challenging for every ball, but they haven’t posed much threat to Man United ‘keeper David de Gea.
45th min.: Nice play by Man United. Good passing through the lines and it’s Marcus Rashford who picks out Anthony Elanga in the box, but Elanga’s shot is easily stopped. Moments earlier Rashford got a shot on target of his own after good combination play on the left with Bruno Fernandes. Nice close to this half for United.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 30, 2022
39th min.: And now there’s a dustup between the teams! Scott McTominay threw his body into goalkeeper Jan Oblak, and the Atletico players take offensive. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Yannick Carrasco are especially upset. McTominay and Oblak both end up with yellows, and the ‘keeper got it for kicking out. That’s five yellow in the first half.
He thinks he’s him. pic.twitter.com/qJ0BNVqytJ
— Drawty (@DrawtyDesign) July 30, 2022
36th min.: It’s been a physical struggle as you’d expect against Atletico Madrid. Reinildo gets the third yellow of the match after stopping Anthony Elanga down that right flank. That’s been an interesting battle in recent minutes.
28th min.: The chances have dried up. But we have another yellow, this time for Fred who tugs on the shirt of Angel Correa in the United half. It’s a harsh booking.
26th min.: Fantastic defensive play by Victor Lindelof in his own penalty area after a set-piece found its way to Atletico’s Geoffrey Kondogbia in front of United’s goal. That play saved a goal.
23rd min.: Neither team has been able to get the upper hand in recent minutes. Thomas Lemar sees yellow for a foul on Anthony Elanga, who was on the break.
10th min.: After back-to-back corners for United, Martial does well to control a long ball over the top, but Reinildo recovers to take the ball off Martial’s feet in the box. The Frenchman looks engaged early on.
4th min.: And now it’s Anthony Martial with a chance! He should’ve done better with that. J.M. Gimenez misjudges a ball and Martial is free on goal, but he fires over the bar with a recovering defender on his back.
3rd min.: Shot on target for Man United. They finally break the Atletico press down the left and Marcus Rashford dances around Savic before firing at the near post, but goalkeeper Jan Oblak is there to stop it.
An end-to-end start in Oslo, with United nearly taking an early lead through @MarcusRashford 👏
Keep up the tempo, Reds! 🔋#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 30, 2022
1st min.: We’re underway. Man United in red shirts and white shorts. Atletico Madrid are in their dark blue jerseys. Atletico are pressing high up the field early on. They know United want to play out of the back.
5 mins from kickoff: Referees and teams emerge from the tunnel. We’re minutes away from getting underway.
— Rich Fay (@RichFay) July 30, 2022
45 mins from kickoff: Erik ten Hag confirms to MUTV that Jadon Sancho is out after falling ill overnight. Here’s what else he said about the upcoming match and how he plans to deploy Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.
We want to get the players to get the minutes in their legs. And you want to see team performance. This is a good test because it’s a difficult opponent. They [Atletico Madrid] are tough to play. I’m looking forward for what’s coming out of this test.
A majority [of players] have to play 90 minutes because that is what you want when you go into the league. This is the purpose for these two games [including vs. Rayo Vallecano on Sunday].
We will see [on minutes for Eriksen and Martinez]. I will see how the game goes. As I said, we want to get as many players with 90 players in their legs. Martinez and Eriksen are not ready for 90 minutes. We have to build them. They have to build their fitness levels. They will definitely get game time today or tomorrow, or today and tomorrow.
75 mins from kickoff: The scene of today’s match. Weather report says it’s in the low 20s Celsius (low 70s Fahrenheit) in Oslo.
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) July 30, 2022
120 mins from kickoff: Plenty will be made of United’s performance on Saturday against Atletico Madrid, and with good reason:
🗞 Erik ten Hag will use the Atletico Madrid match as the principal final warm-up for his planned starting XI against Brighton in the Premier League. Anthony Martial is expected to start at centre-forward. [@TelegraphDucker]
— Utd District (@UtdDistrict) July 29, 2022
Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid lineups
New £47 million ($57m) signing Lisandro Martinez will start on the bench three days after his transfer from Ajax was officially confirmed on July 27. Another former Ajax man, Christian Eriksen, is also on the bench after appearing in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham this week. Jadon Sancho does not feature in the matchday squad after falling ill overnight.
Manchester United starting lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1-David de Gea (GK) — 20-Diogo Dalot, 5-Harry Maguire (capt.), 2-Victor Lindelof, 12-Tyrell Malacia — 17-Fred, 39-Scott McTominay — 36-Anthony Elanga, 8-Bruno Fernandes, 10-Marcus Rashford — 9-Anthony Martial
Manchester United subs (10): 22-Tom Heaton (GK), Matej Kovar (GK), Ethan Laird, 6-Lisandro Martinez, 27-Alex Telles, 37-James Garner, 34-Donny van de Beek, 14-Christian Eriksen, 28-Facundo Pellistri
Although coach Simeone will have to do without regulars like Mario Hermoso (knee), Felipe (ankle) and Renan Lodi (undisclosed injury), he will give a debut to his newest signing Nahuel Molina from Italian side Udinese. There’s a full complement of forward players available, but no Luis Suarez, who officially completed a move back to his native Uruguay earlier this week.
Atletico Madrid lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 13-Jan Oblak (GK) — 16-Nahuel Molina, 15-Stefan Savic, 2-Jose Maria Gimenez, 23-Reinildo — 14-Marcos Llorente, 4-Geoffrey Kondogbia, 11-Thomas Lemar — 10-Angel Correa, 9-Matheus Cunha, 21-Yannick Carrasco
Atletico Madrid subs (14): 1-Ivo Grbic, 33-Antonio Gomis, 28-Sergio Diez, 30-Marco Moreno, 24-Daniel Wass, 20-Axel Witsel, 17-Saul Niguez, 5-Rodrigo de Paul, 6-Koke, 26-Marcos Paulo, 29-Carlos Martin, 7-Joao Felix, 8-Antoine Griezmann, 19-Alvaro Morata
Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid TV channel, live stream
|Date||Sat, July 30||Sat, July 30||Sat, July 30||Sat, July 30|
|Time||12:45 BST||07:45 ET||07:45 ET||21:45 AEST|
|Streaming||MUTV online, app||MUTV online, app||MUTV online, app||MUTV online, app|
The match will be televised and streamed exclusively by Manchester United’s official channel, MUTV.
Subscriptions cost £7.99 ($9.66) a month or £29.99 ($36.24) a year.
Man United in Premier League 2022/23: TV channels, live streams
|TV channel||Sky Sports, BT Sport||USA Network, Telemundo, Universo||—||—|
|Streaming||NOW TV, Sky Go, Amazon Prime||fuboTV, Peacock||fuboTV||Optus Sport|
UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and BT Sport streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime.
USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on fuboTV. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers.
Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.