Jose Mourinho described Romelu Lukaku as a “top striker” after he scored his first Manchester United goal in a 2-1 pre-season win over Real Salt Lake.
Lukaku, who signed from Everton for £75m last week, fired United ahead on 38 minutes against the MLS side, latching on to a low cross from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The 24-year-old had also been involved in United’s equaliser, controlling well and then passing across to Jesse Lingard, who laid it on for Mkhitaryan to score.
United manager Mourinho was pleased with Lukaku’s display, and his first goal for the club, saying: “It’s just nice for him, not important for me.
“Before he scored the goal I told him I love everything you do on the pitch. Don’t be worried about scoring or not scoring. He gets behind people, works and presses well. Like everything he does.
“It’s easy to feel it because he was my player four years ago his evolution has been great. He’s now a top striker. The goal is just a detail, not important.”
Lukaku told : “I’m delighted with the win for the team. I’m here to score goals and to be sort of the focal point for the team but at Manchester United we play to win, and that’s my mentality when I get on the pitch and everything else comes with it.”
The victory was marred slightly by the second-half dismissal of Antonio Valencia for a reckless lunge on Sebastian Saucedo.
Valencia was given his marching orders after a lengthy consultation between the match referee and Mourinho.
“The referee asked me to change the player and I didn’t because I don’t agree with the card,” said Mourinho, before appearing to suggest Saucedo was to blame.
“(He) was really aggressive in the second half. That’s what happens. Some other actions were a bit dangerous,” Mourinho said.
“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 is good experience or us to play with one player less.”