Manchester United edged past Inter Milan in a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory after being held to a goalless draw during normal time by a side containing former defender Nemanja Vidic at the FedEx Field Stadium.
The shoot-out win earned United two points and meant they maintained their place at the top of Group A in the International Champions Cup.
Louis van Gaal’s side dominated the match but were unable to get on the scoresheet despite going close numerous times through Phil Jones and Juan Mata in the first-half and Tom Cleverley in the second period.
Both sides opted to play a 3-5-2 system with United fielding a relatively strong side and Inter making only one change from the starting XI which defeated Real Madrid in a shoot-out just days previously.
United will now face Real Madrid on August 2 in their penultimate pre-season friendly before the league campaign begins when they host Swansea City just two weeks later.
11’ – GOOD SAVE! The corner is delivered onto the head of Jones who connects really well with the ball but Handanovic does really well to make the save!
18’ – NOT THIS TIME: Rooney picks the ball up outside the box, in a similar position he scored THAT goal against Roma, but this time he can't keep his effort under the bar.
37’ – TIDY FOOTBALL: Fantastic build-up play from United sees Mata and Rooney linking up superbly well, playing a one-two, which releases the Spanish international in space in the penalty area but instead of shooting, he opts to find Rooney, only to find an Inter defender. But that's the best football we've seen thus far.
39’ - CLOSE! Mata takes an effort 30 yards from goal but his left-footed effort is inches wide of the post. He has been very lively so far and he has been a real positive story of United's pre-season.
60’ - LOVELY MOVE! Nani plays a lovely one-two with Kagawa and shoots narrowly over the bar. Neat football from United.
70’ - CLEVERLEY! So close! The midfielder tries a spectacular half-volley after meeting Young's cross just outside the penalty area but the ball flashes agonisingly over the bar.
74’ - STILL NO BREAKTHROUGH: United go close twice more as Nani's shot is well saved and Kagawa is denied the rebound by a sliding tackle.
81’ - GET UP! Cleverley falls in the penalty area under an Inter challenge but despite appeals from the midfielder, the referee waves play on.
86’ - FANTASTIC STOP! De Gea is called into action for the first time this evening as he has to be at full stretch to deny Guarin's wonderful attempt from a free-kick.
90’ - PENALTY SHOOT-OUT! There are no draws in this competition and spot-kicks will decide this contest.
MISS FOR INTER! Andreolli smashes the crossbar at 4-3!
FLETCHER SCORES! And United have the victory! 5-3.
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney (10) fights for a loose ball with Inter Milan midfielder Ruben Botta (19) …
Is 3-5-2 the way forward for LVG? The newly adapted system United have employed for their pre-season games has brought them two wins and a draw but, except for the seven goal thrashing of LA Galaxy, Louis van Gaal will be rather disappointed with his side’s performances. Certainly, they were the better team on this occasion and a series of changes at half-time wouldn’t have helped United’s cause but at times they looked rather flat. LVG is in the market for new players and it’s a case of sooner the better because at this rate, they won’t be catching those noisy neighbours.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Antonio Valencia (Manchester United): The wide man worked really hard. Employed in a full-back role, Valencia was up and down the pitch all evening. Not only did he look impressive going forward but he was solid at the back, winning the ball back time after time for his side.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Lindegaard 6; Smalling 6, Jones 7, Evans 6; Valencia 8, Fletcher 7, Herrera 7, Young 6; Mata 7; Rooney 6, Welbeck 6. Subs: De Gea 6, Zaha 7, Kagawa 6, Nani 6, Cleverley 6, Blackett 5, M.Keane 5, Hernandez 7,
INTER MILAN: Handanovic 6; Ranocchia 7, Vidic 7, Juan Jesus 6; D'Ambrosio 6, Jonathan 7, Kuzmanovic 6, Krhin 6, Dodò 6; Botta 6, Icardi 6. Subs: Andreolli 5, Guarin 6, Carrizo 6, Laxalt 6, Nagatomo 6, Taider 6, M’Vila 7.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Inter Milan
- Tom Cleverley
- Real Madrid
- Nemanja Vidic