Manchester United pre-season: Mourinho reveals Valencia saw red against Real Salt Lake after substitute request snub
The Red Devils manager has discussed a sending-off against Real Salt Lake, an injury to Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku’s first goal for the club
Jose Mourinho has revealed that Antonio Valencia was sent off in the friendly win against Real Salt Lake after he refused a request from the referee to substitute the Manchester United full-back.
Romelu Lukaku scored his first United goal as substitute Valencia saw red in Monday’s 2-1 pre-season victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
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Leading 2-1 at half-time, Valencia was introduced but he lasted only 15 minutes after a late tackle from behind on RSL’s Sebastian Saucedo, who was involved in a heavy challenge on Juan Mata only moments earlier.
Referee Allen Chapman initially awarded a free-kick but the MLS official then suddenly brandished a red card after speaking with Mourinho on the sidelines.
Jose Mourinho has provided an injury update on Juan Mata and Matteo Darmian: https://t.co/xla9fG1zwx pic.twitter.com/GHZKtuUxLm
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 18, 2017
“I think the delay was because the referee asked me to change the player and I didn’t,” Mourinho told reporters.
“Because I don’t agree with the card. Because Saucedo, I think is the name of the boy, he was really aggressive during all of the second-half, with what happened to Mata and some other actions where it was a bit dangerous, which I understand.
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“Young people, enthusiasm playing against Manchester United, but you come with the mentality of a friendly match and in the end you find yourself in a different mentality.
“But it’s pre-season, no problem and also a good experience for us to play with one player less.
“Mata has a big ankle but I hope nothing important. A few days, a week maybe.”
It was a memorable outing for Lukaku, who opened his account for United after debuting in the 5-2 rout of LA Galaxy last week.
After cancelling out Luis Silva’s opener, Henrikh Mkhitaryan then teed up former Everton striker Lukaku for the game-winning goal six minutes before the break.
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“I think it’s just nice for him, it’s not important for me,” Mourinho said. “Before he scored the goal I told him ‘I love everything you do on the pitch – don’t be worried about scoring or not scoring’.
“He gets behind people, works and presses well. I like everything he does. It’s easy to feel it because he was my player four years ago his evolution has been great. He’s now a top striker. The goal is just a detail, not important.”