Five things we learned as Manchester United draw 1-1 vs Rayo Vallecano

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Manchester United drew 1-1 against Rayo Vallecano in our last pre-season friendly which was Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge at Old Trafford.

Amad gave United the lead after pouncing on Alex Telles’ saved effort before Alvaro Garcia equalized for the visitors.

Here are five things we learned from the clash at the Theater of Dreams…

Alejandro Garnacho impresses

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The Argentina wonderkid scored and played the full 90 minutes in Wednesday’s behind-closed-doors friendly against Wrexham at Carrington.

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The 18-year-old was unleashed against Vallecano and he tore the Spanish side’s right-back apart with his blistering pace and amazing dribbling skills.

United’s number 49 hadn’t featured in pre-season under Erik ten Hag but he more than grasped his opportunity this afternoon.

The former Atletico Madrid youngster showed the qualities he could bring to the former Ajax man’s side and the 52-year-old must have been impressed with what he saw from the teenager.

Radamel Falcao returns to Old Trafford

Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

With Bebe not part of the Vallecano traveling party, the 36-year-old Colombian was the only former Red Devil to feature against his former club.

Falcao joined United on a season-long loan from Monaco in 2014 off the back of recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The South American scored four goals from 29 appearances under Louis van Gaal and had a similarly underwhelming loan spell with Chelsea before returning to his prolific best with Monaco.

Vallecano’s number three was a constant threat and showcased his predatory instincts at Old Trafford. In the first half, he got across the front post and glanced an effort just wide.

In the second half a curling effort from outside the box crashed against the bar, with Tom Heaton all but beaten.

Lisandro Martinez shines on debut

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

‘The Butcher of Amsterdam’ looked comfortable and assured after making his bow for Manchester United.

The Argentine played alongside Raphael Varane, who was United’s captain on the day, but it was the former Ajax man who looked like he had been at the club for a season.

Martinez’s confidence in possession and aggression without the ball was evident throughout the proceedings.

The 24-year-old was replaced by Eric Bailly on the hour mark and United’s new number six will be targeting a place in Ten Hag’s starting line-up against Brighton & Hove Albion next Sunday.

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Cristiano Ronaldo makes his return

Photo by NIGEL RODDIS/AFP via Getty Images

United’s number seven made his first appearance under Ten Hag against the Spanish side and he had a glorious chance to open the scoring.

But after being played in by Donny van de Beek, the 37-year-old showed some signs of rustiness after blazing his effort over the bar.

Ronaldo came off at half-time and the 45 minutes under his belt were the most important thing as he continues to build up his fitness.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will likely start next Sunday’s clash against the Seagulls on the bench, but with Ten Hag being able to call upon five substitutes, Ronaldo will be hoping to get more game time.

Christian Eriksen shows his class

Photo by NIGEL RODDIS/AFP via Getty Images

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the match was Eriksen’s pinpoint left-footed pass out to Alex Telles. In a similar ilk to Paul Scholes, the Danish playmaker can spray the ball about for fun.

Like Martinez, Eriksen slotted straight into the side and built on his impressive cameo showing against Atletico Madrid.

The former Brentford man will be pushing for a start against Graham Potter’s Brighton.

Passionate Football fan who completed an NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.

Confirmed Manchester United line-up v Rayo Vallecano

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