Manchester United’s three most disappointing players in 1-0 loss against Atletico Madrid

Manchester United have suffered their first defeat of pre-season under Erik ten Hag, against Atletico Madrid.

The overall team performance was not too bad but there were some players who left something to be desired…

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Scott McTominay

Despite the signing of Christian Eriksen, the extended pursuit of Frenkie de Jong means there are concerns over United’s midfield going into the new season.

McTominay has been given freedom to push into a number eight role when United get the ball under ten Hag but he struggled to influence the game here.

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He caused a spot of handbags in the penalty box just before half-time for a challenge on Jan Oblak, but did not offer a huge amount otherwise.

Perhaps McTominay is still feeling his way back from injury, but on the evidence of this game, he is fortunate Donny van de Beek fluffed his own audition last week, and may be wary of Eriksen taking his spot.

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Anthony Elanga

Jadon Sancho woke up feeling ill on the morning of the game and was not even included among the substitutes for this game.

That meant Anthony Elanga got the opportunity to start on the right of midfield here but he struggled to impress.

Elanga scored as United drew 1-1 in Madrid last season, but while the other goalscorer on that night – Joao Felix – won the game here, the Swede did not have much impact.

On this evidence, Sancho is a big miss for this new-look United side, but Elanga should still have a part to play in the season ahead.

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes

Bruno always takes risks in possession of the ball, and this was one of those games where they did not often pay off.

That means he looks wasteful in possession, and Ten Hag will be trying to blend his own careful philosophy with Fernandes’ more maverick style.

Fernandes is hugely important to what United are trying to do under their new manager but he has not had an outstanding performance in pre-season.

Ten Hag will hope that changes once the serious action starts.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.