Antonio Valencia was sent off and Juan Mata faces a week out, but Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho left Salt Lake City surprisingly chipper.
After kicking off their pre-season tour with a 5-2 win against the LA Galaxy, United made the two-hour flight from their California base for a test at altitude against Real Salt Lake.
Romelu Lukaku’s first goal in a United shirt wrapped up a 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium, where Luis Silva gave the Major League Soccer side a deserved lead that was cancelled out by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
All three goals came in the first half – but what the second period lacked in goalmouth action, it made up for in flashpoints.
Mata went off with an ankle complaint sustained in a challenge by RSL substitute Sebastian Saucedo, who was then forced off after a tackle that earned Valencia a red card.
“I think the delay was because the referee asked me to change the player and I didn’t because I don’t agree with the card,” Mourinho said.
“Saucedo, I think is the name of the boy, was really aggressive during all the second half
“What happened to Mata and some other actions was a bit dangerous, which I understand – young people with enthusiasm playing against Manchester United.
“But you come with a mentality of a friendly match and in the end you find yourself in a different mentality.
“But it’s pre-season, no problem. Also a good experience for us to play with one player less.”
Mata was taken off and Matteo Darmian was seen hobbling out of the stadium, but Mourinho does not believe either are seriously hurt.
“Mata has a big ankle but hopefully nothing really important,” the United boss said.
“I would say a few days, a week, something like that, in principle. And Matteo I don’t even think is an important problem.”