ICC: Manchester United Tops Real Madrid 2-1 in Miami

Written by Darrell Wilkinson

Miami Gardens, FL – Manchester United defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in the International Champions Cup at Hard Rock stadium on a warm south Florida night. Madrid had dominated most of the game but it was the Red Devils who found two critical goals to give them their first win in regulation in the tournament.

Although just a pre-season match-up the intensity was palpable at Hard Rock stadium with 64,141 fans in attendance to watch two of Europe’s elite square off. Fans roared through the first half of action that saw all three goals in the first 45 minutes.

Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 18th minute of play with an assist from Matteo Darmain. Sanchez then wasted no time in the 25th minute as Juan Mata picked up the ball in space headed for goal. Mata lifted his head up just in time to spot the run of Sanchez into the box and Mata’s cross was headed down with a deft touch by Sanchez that was then followed with a beautiful volley from Ander Herrera to give United a 2-0 lead.

Just before the break Real Madrid made their mark through Karim Benzema. Although Madrid dominated possession 65% to 35% their first-half chances were few and far in between. Just before the half Theo Hernandez struck a firm cross to the feet of Benzema who pushed it past David De Gea to put Madrid within one.

Unfortunately for all those involved that would end the scoring for the evening, but late cameos by Toni Kroos, Isco, Nacho, and Marco Asensio really put the pressure on Manchester United at the end of the match.

This young Manchester United team held on against some of the worlds best in the dying minutes with Nacho getting a good lofted strike on goal and Martin Odegaard skying an open shot over the crossbar that could have leveled thing.

After the match, Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho was unimpressed with his team’s performance and renounced it as a meaningless game.

“Todays game is not important, if we played Real Madrid in the champions league, thats important”.

Mourinho felt a bit sorry for the International Champions Cup committee. “They are the best in the world at organizing the preseason, and i feel really sorry we could not give them more because we did not have more players to bring. I know Real Madrid feel the same…… that was not Manchester United and that was not Real Madrid.”

Manchester United continue their preseason tour in Europe as they head to Munich, Germany and prepare for their first premier league match August 10th against Leicester City. Real Madrid will have more time to prepare as La Liga isn’t set to start for another week after the premier league and Madrid will take on Getafe in their first La Liga game August 19th.

Photo Credit: Andrew Suarez / The SkyBoat

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