Manchester United took on Real Madrid at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas as the Reds continue their US tour.

The game turned sour incredibly early on, with Kobbie Mainoo injured within the first three minutes, after he was caught by a flailing Rodrygo who was sent flying by Casemiro.

Things went from bad to worse though as Jude Bellingham then wonderfully put Los Blancos ahead in five minutes – scored while United had 10 men on the field and it was almost certainly offside.

The game would be wrapped up late on through a Joselu bicycle kick which left Onana stunned, the game therefore finished 2-0 to Madrid however it was a good run out for both sides.

Here are five things we learned…

Real Madrid v Manchester United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Mainoo injured

The divinely talented 18-year-old midfielder had his dream evening cut extremely short, being substituted in a matter of minutes.

His withdrawal came to the disappointment of everyone in the stadium including Carlo Ancelotti who checked on Mainoo as he headed for the tunnel.

It is yet to be seen the seriousness of Mainoo’s injury with no suggestion given as to a cause of his pain.

However fans can take hope from the fact Amad Diallo bounced back so quickly from what seemed to be a bad injury following the Arsenal game.

Onana impressive

Onana made his Manchester United debut here and immediately has impressed thanks to his wonderful passing.

He was a constant option for the United defenders who used him willingly to evade pressure from Madrid.

He also made a handful of big saves along with being a real figure of confidence barking instructions to those ahead of him.

Despite conceding two goals, both were world class so he can hardly be blamed.

Defence continues to be solid

One consistent this pre-season has been Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane who have been so good in defence.

The duo were sorely missed at the back end of last season, but have picked right up where they left off.

Besides the early controversial goal conceded, they were again impenetrable at the back.

The two often formed a triangle with Onana, exchanging passes, building their understanding and treating fans to some possession.

Toothless United

The longer pre-season goes on, the more evident it becomes that United are in desperate need of a natural number nine.

Marcus Rashford was completely ineffectual in the first-half, while from the 60th minute Jadon Sancho played the role better, but still not good enough.

With a bid for Rasmus Hojlund expected sooner than later, we imagine Ten Hag will be desperate for a forward who can score some of these chances.

It is the sole glaring issue in this United team who in other departments look impressive

Work to do

The main takeaway from this game, United have a lot of work to do if they are to finish next season anywhere close to the top of the table.

Lacking a clinical edge, along with some dubious decisions such as the persistence of playing Bruno Fernandes on the right-wing.

The signs are there, but a striker is needed, along with playing players in their best positions… positives to take but work to do for Ten Hag.

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