Manchester United 1-1 Rayo Vallecano: Cristiano Ronaldo starts United’s final pre-season friendly

Ronaldo completed 45 minutes for United after missing the rest of pre-season
Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to mark his return to action with a goal as Manchester United ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford. Ronaldo’s United future has been the subject of intense debate this summer. The 37-year-old is keen to move away from the club to pursue his desire to compete in the Champions League and he was allowed to miss United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia for personal reasons.

Ronaldo made a point of applauding fans on both sides of the stadium as he led the outfield players out for their warm-up before kick-off, with supporters reciprocating to show there is no lingering ill-feeling despite the summer speculation. The Portuguese had one clear chance during his 45-minute appearance against the La Liga side but drove over after running on to Donny van de Beek’s lay-off. Although Ronaldo seems certain to still be a United player when his club open their Premier League campaign against Brighton on 7 August, it is doubtful whether this cameo will get him a starting slot against Graham Potter’s men.

New signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez both featured for an hour in a game set up by new manager Erik ten Hag for the players who were not involved extensively in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid in Oslo. In Ten Hag’s first game in charge at Old Trafford, Ronaldo was upstaged by 18-year-old Argentine Alejandro Garnacho. In a goalless first-half, Garnacho carried the greatest threat, cutting in from the left-wing to cause the visitors problems. Garnacho is one of a number of young players Ten Hag is still to decide whether to keep or allow to leave on loan. Ivorian Amad Diallo is another after spending last season at Rangers. And it was the 20-year-old who put the hosts in front at the start of the second half when he turned home the rebound after Alex Telles’ shot had been saved. United’s lead lasted just nine minutes before Alvaro Garcia equalised in similar fashion after Tom Heaton had saved Isaac Palazon Camacho’s initial effort.
Ronaldo was spotted leaving Old Trafford early after he had been replaced at half-time. He left with Portugal team-mate Diogo Dalot, who had been sat in the directors box with a number of United players, all of whom left their seats 10 minutes before the end of the game.





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