Juan Mata suffered a left ankle injury after an aggressive tackle from Real Salt Lake’s Sebastian Saucedo, only 15 minutes after the Spaniard’s introduction in the second half.
Manchester United defeated the hosts 2-1, but the game was a bit turbulent as Antonio Valencia received a red card as an act of retaliation following Mata’s injury. The Ecuadorian tackled Saucedo in the 68th minute and the referee Allen Chapman sent him to the locker room.
Matteo Darmian also suffered an injury and was forced to limp off the pitch in the 89th minute. Jose Mourinho provided an update regarding Mata and Darmian at the post-match press conference: “Mata has a big ankle but I hope it is nothing important. A few days, a week, probably. Darmian’s problem is not an important one,” the Portuguese said.
Injuries and red cards are not something you’d expect in a pre-season friendly, but the game looked electrified since the referee’s first whistle, and Mourinho wasn’t impressed how the hosts behaved during the match.
“Saucedo, I think is the name of the boy, was really aggressive during all the second half,” Mourinho said. “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,” the gaffer concluded.
Juan Mata will likely miss the next game against Manchester City on July 20, while Darmian’s availability is questionable at the moment.