Manchester United recorded their second pre-season victory against Real Salt Lake at the Rio Tinto Stadium on Monday night.
The home side took the lead through Luis Silva midway through the first half, but goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku before half-time were enough to earn the Red Devils another win following their 5-2 victory over LA Galaxy at the weekend.
However, it wasn’t all good news for United boss Jose Mourinho.
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Juan Mata and Matteo Darmian both limped off in the second half and are now doubts for Thursday night’s clash against Manchester City in Houston, Texas.
Antonio Valencia, meanwhile, was shown a straight red card in the 68th minute after clattering Real Salt Lake’s Sebastian Saucedo from behind.
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Video: Valencia's red card v Real Salt Lake
It wasn’t a great tackle and was certainly worthy of a yellow card, but a red seemed a little harsh.
Watch it here…
That was the decision referee Allen Chapman made, however, following a delay.
What the ref asked Mourinho before sending off Valencia
It turns out - and this is pretty weird, you have to admit - that Chapman asked Mourinho to substitute Valencia moments before sending him off.
It seems the American match official wanted to avoid issuing the red card to the Ecuadorian full-back, but was left with no choice after Mourinho refused to withdraw the player.
“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 was quoted as saying by the Mirror after the match.
“Saucedo, I think is the name of the boy, was really aggressive in second-half. That’s what happens. Some other actions were a bit dangerous.
“It’s young people with enthusiasm playing against Manchester United, but it’s a friendly match and it’s a different mentality.
“But it’s pre-season, so no problem. It's a good experience or us to play with one player less.”
United now face City, Real Madrid and Barcelona
As well as Man City, United also play Real Madrid and Barcelona before the end of July and Mourinho is eager to see how his players perform against superior opposition.
“I will try to go for 60 minutes and 30 minutes,” the Portuguese coach added. “Some players can play 60 minutes against Manchester City and play 30 against Real Madrid in the game after.
“I try to give minutes to everyone. It’s an important thing. The work we do in training, to go to matches, to try to do the things on the field that we do in training. It's important for everybody to compete. To try to do that.
“The level of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona is higher - Champions League level. It’s a new competition for us and it's good for us.
“Maybe the other teams have the same philosophy as us, maybe not. I know Manchester City is our city rival, Real Madrid are European champions, but it’s not so important for us to play for a result.”
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