Manchester United were unable to offer a goal threat against Real Madrid, losing the pre-season game 2-0.

A lack of a striker was Manchester United’s major downfall against a strong Real Madrid side in Houston. While the Red Devils saw plenty of possession, this did not translate into goals.

For a team who were not very prolific last season, scoring fewer Premier League goals than Brighton, it is certainly a concern.

Erik ten Hag admitted his concern after the game, once again making very clear that the club need to sign a striker.

READ: Confirmed Manchester United transfers in, out, loans, releases, youth for 2023/24

Real Madrid v Manchester United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United midfielders must chip in

Amid a current lack of a prolific centre-forward, United need other players to chip in and score. Only two players, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, netted into double figures last season.

The likes of Antony, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and even Alejandro Garnacho should be targeting 10 goals each next year.

That would make a huge difference, also taking a little pressure off an incoming centre-forward. Anthony Martial obviously needs to contribute, fitness permitting.

There are enough creative players in the mix there, the players just need to be more ruthless in front of goal and less wasteful.

Andy Cole on Antony

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole called out some wasteful finishing in last night’s loss to Real Madrid.

He criticised Scott McTominay for taking one too many touches after dribbling into the box, and making the angle tougher for himself when he did eventually shoot.

Antony also attracted his ire, after cutting inside onto his favoured left foot, and blazing over the bar.

Cole said: “He’s done it a few times tonight, on his stronger foot. He’s not hit the target once.

“Come on. Make the goalkeeper work.”

Alejandro Garnacho also shot wildly over when he had a chance in the first half, while Marcus Rashford struggled to make an impression. Bruno Fernandes made the goalkeeper work with a shot from distance.

With five shots on target from 15 attempts, United should have found the back of the net. This pre-season shock to the system against a team of Real’s quality was a useful reminder that there is plenty of improvement required.

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