Erik ten Hag has to settle for a 1-1 draw in Manchester United’s final friendly, with Rayo Vallecano’s Garcia equalising after Amad Diallo opened the scoring and Cristiano Ronaldo was hooked at half-time
- Cristiano Ronaldo played first 45 minutes for Man United since asking to leave
- Manchester United drew 1-1 against LaLiga’s Rayo Vallecano in pre-season clash
- Amad Diallo scored for Red Devils just three minutes after replacing Ronaldo, 37
- Alvaro Garcia netted from a tight angle to give Spanish side a draw in friendly
Manchester United supporters showed they are largely ready to forgive Cristiano Ronaldo on his Old Trafford return, although his 45-minute cameo in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano said little about his future under new boss Erik ten Hag.
The Portuguese icon played the first half of the final warm-up game before United kick off their new season against Brighton next Sunday.
And his half-time replacement, youngster Amad Diallo, took just two minutes to open the scoring against the mid-table La Liga outfit.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his first appearance for United since decision to leave the club
The Portuguese star was subbed off at half time during United’s 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano
But Ronaldo, who last played any sort of football for United 85 days ago, was welcomed back by most of a near-capacity Old Trafford crowd, as part of a largely inexperienced Reds line-up.
The jeers drowned out a smattering off boos that greeted Ronaldo’s name being announced twice before kick-off.
And, despite a couple of sloppy early touches, the 37-year-old quickly grew into the speed of the game although he missed his team’s best chance of the first half, blazing over after good work from Donny van de Beek.
Amad Diallo nets United’s opener during the 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford
The Ivorian attacker scored just three minutes after being subbed on for Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s announcement on Friday that he was playing against Vallecano had led to a sharp rise in ticket sales.
And there was no shortage of ‘Ronaldo 7’ shirts and banners bearing his name on show among a crowd who were in a carnival mood.
But it took all of nine seconds for United’s second string to almost concede, with Tom Heaton forced to make a sharp save from Alvaro Garcia.
And the ‘friendly’ hardly lived up to its name on the half-hour when Vallecano fans let off a red flare and police waded in to rip down a large banner draped over the stand by Spanish supporters.
There was a debut for Lisandro Martinez for Manchester United for the Old Trafford friendly
Christian Eriksen made a first start for United in the win over Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford
Amad finally gave fans something to really cheer about, barely two minutes after coming on, when he reacted first when Diego Lopez made a mess of dealing with an Alex Telles drive and rammed the ball into the open net.
But almost immediately, the visitors could have been level when former Red Devil Radamel Falcao hit the crossbar with a terrific effort.
On 57 minutes, the Spanish side did snatch a deserved equaliser when Heaton could only get a hand to a shot from Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia netted from a tight angle.
It was Erik ten Hag’s first game as Manchester United manager in front of the Old Trafford fans
The Rayo Vallecano fans enjoyed their visit to Manchester and made their presence known
Summer signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez were taken off after an hour, with ten Hag clearly wanting to factor them into his squad plans for the big kick-off.
But that duo appear to be the only players on duty on Sunday in with even a remote chance of starting against Brighton next weekend, with the bulk of ten Hag’s starting line-up having been on duty in Saturday’s defeat against Atletico.
Jadon Sancho, who missed the game in Oslo, was still absent through illness against Vallecano, along with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with that trio fighting a losing battle to be match fit for the start of the campaign.
Re-live Sportsmail’s coverage of Manchester United v Rayo Vallecano by MAX MATHEWS