US Tour 2014: *Manchester United 0-0 Inter Milan (United Win 5-3 on penalties)


Manchester United's successful Tour 2014, presented by Aon, continued with a penalty shoot-out victory after Louis van Gaal's men were held to a goalless draw by Inter Milan.

Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Darren Fletcher all converted from the spot to complete a full set of kicks for the Reds, while Marco Andreolli's miss for Inter proved pivotal at the FedEx Field, home of NFL legends Washington Redskins.

Van Gaal started with his three senior centre-backs all on the pitch, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones switching to the middle and right respectively, while Jonny Evans retained the left-sided role in which he began the tour against LA Galaxy. Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia took up the wing-back positions, with Ander Herrera and again-captain Darren Fletcher allowing Juan Mata to support Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.

The man who Evans, Jones and Smalling are all striving to replace, Inter's new no.15 Nemanja Vidic, provided the biggest threat to United's goal in the early exchanges, albeit not a significant one with both of his headers from corners comfortably clearing Anders Lindegaard's crossbar. Jones fared better at the other end when his connection with a Mata set-piece forced a save from Samir Handanovic diving low to his left.

Wayne Rooney tried to reprise the goal which unlocked another Italian defence, Roma's, when he opened up onto his right foot and sent a shot dipping just over the frame but then the game descended into something of a lull, with both sides going through typical pre-season motions.

The crowd were stirred a little when Valencia tracked back in the right wing-back role, all the way to the corner flag, where he dispossessed Dodo in robust but fair fashion. The opponent gesticulated in vain for a foul while the fans closest to the action jeered, whistled and briefly chorused "United, United" in response.

Mata began to impose himself on the proceedings as the half wore down, firstly interchanging well with Rooney and just missing out on the final return ball when an Inter defender intervened. Then the livewire Spaniard created his own space and raked a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post, close enough to spur Handanovic into an insurance dive. At the other end, Jones flung himself in front of a snapshot from Mauro Icardi to preserve Lindegaard's majority status as a spectator.

Van Gaal made the now-routine eight changes at the interval, most notably giving Wilfried Zaha his first run-out of the tour and bringing on Luke Shaw for a work-out at wing-back, after discussing his lack of fitness 24 hours previously. The others to come on were David De Gea in goal, Michael Keane, Tyler Blackett, Tom Cleverley, Nani and, in the Mata role, Shinji Kagawa. Only Evans, Fletcher and Young remained on the pitch in pursuit of a full 90 minutes.

Evans and Fletcher combined well on the left as United took the game to Inter in the second period but, with Vidic marshalling the Inter defence and reading the Reds' ploys like a professor, Zaha in particular cut a frustrated figure. In one moment, the former Old Trafford stalwart watched as two of his team-mates threatened to be left behind by Zaha's turn of pace and then stepped in with perfect timing to sweep the ball behind for a corner.

Vidic deserved the applause he received around the arena as he departed the field in the 72nd minute with Inter's clean sheet intact, although there was a close shave when Tom Cleverley drilled a rising shot into the pack of mostly red shirts amassed behind the goal.

With the Serbian off, United sensed an opportunity and Nani was denied by Handanovic's fine save, with Kagawa's effort on the rebound blocked. Zaha appealed for a penalty moments later but, even though thousands of fans agreed with him, the referee Edvin Jurisevic took a different view and the deadlock remained. It was a similar story when Cleverley went down with the official stubbornly standing his ground.

The biggest cheer of the night so far came when Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, seemingly popular throughout the United States, entered the fray for the final quarter of an hour. Nani, a half-time substitute, was substituted.

De Gea, like Lindegaard, had little to do in his 45 minutes on the field, although he did provide one reminder of his athleticism when he thrust out his right hand to turn an Inter free-kick over the bar. Jurisevic was by now becoming the central character but the referee endeared himself to the United fans, having largely annoyed them, when he showed the first yellow card of the game to Marco Andreolli.

There was more angst for the dynamic Zaha when he flashed a shot into the side-netting in the final minute of normal time and so off to penalty kicks we went, with Inter already victorious by this method in their ICC opener against Real Madrid. This time the Italians would not prosper and United remained on course to reach the final in Miami after winning the shoot-out 5-3, much to the delight of the majority in the crowd of 61,238.

*Taken from Manutd.com

Manchester United Third Kit 2014/15: United reveal blue third kit


For the much-anticipated 2014/15 season, ManUtd.com is proud to announce that Manchester United will wear a stylish and innovative new third kit.

With two different tones of blue, the Nike design is inspired by the club’s tradition of wearing blue kits throughout the 1980s, as well as the iconic strip worn by Sir Matt Busby’s men during the 1968 European Cup final triumph over Benfica at Wembley.

The shirt, shorts and socks are all a rich and vibrant blue on the front with a darker tone of the same colour on the back. These two tones are divided by a red stripe on both sides of the kit, representing United’s famous and historic home colour.

The half and half appearance is a traditional football design, but this is the first season it has ever been used on the front and back. The shirt also boasts a classic design with a sophisticated polo neck collar and three buttons in the darker tone of blue.

Like the recently released home and away kits, there is a label on the back of the neck with the message ‘Youth, Courage, Greatness’ to represent the club’s values.

The new United third kit will be worn for the first time during tonight's match with Inter Milan as part of Tour 2014, presented by Aon.

*Taken from Manutd.com

US Tour 2014: Manchester United 3-2 AS Roma


Manchester United made a winning start to the International Champions Cup with an entertaining victory over AS Roma in Denver.

All three of the Reds’ goals at the Sports Authority Field came in the first half; Wayne Rooney netted twice to make it four goals in two games on tour, sandwiching a Juan Mata effort.

Roma substitute Miralem Pjanic pulled one back after the break with a spectacular strike from well inside his own half, and Francesco Totti added a late penalty, but United held out for a satisfactory three points in this pre-season tournament.

While the Italians posed a much stiffer challenge than LA Galaxy had three days earlier, United were still good value for the win, despite Roma’s second-half rally.

United again lined up in a 3-4-1-2, with Tyler Blackett, the only Red to play 90 minutes, and Reece James, who scored twice against the Galaxy, starting in defence and on the left wing respectively. Tom Cleverley was captain before being replaced with 20 minutes left.

Inside 80 seconds, Roma forward Mattia Destro lobbed Sam Johnstone after being played through on goal, but the ball landed inside the six-yard box and bounced inches over the bar. Soon after, Leandro Paredes sidefooted over when well placed just outside the box as Roma started stronger.

United’s first opening came in the 17th minute, when Danny Welbeck blocked goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis’ attempted clearance on the byline, but his subsequent cross to fellow striker Rooney was cut out.

In soaring early afternoon temperatures, which made for a slow-paced game, manager Louis van Gaal’s request for a two-minute drinks break was granted midway through the first half.

Rooney provided a moment of magic to put the Reds ahead nine minutes before the interval. Latching onto Mata’s pass on the edge of the ‘D’, the frontman arced a wonderful shot into the top-left corner.

And Rooney returned the favour three minutes later with a superb ball over the top from the halfway line, which Mata brought down expertly before lobbing De Sanctis.

Just before the break, Phil Jones motored forward and played the ball to Ander Herrera, whose first-time lay-off into Welbeck’s path resulted in the forward being felled by Urby Emanuelson inside the box. Rooney stepped up to send De Sanctis the wrong way.

Will Keane, one of nine United changes at the break, had a penalty appeal turned down five minutes into the second period after being seemingly brought down inside the box.

Alessandro Florenzi flashed a volley wide soon after as Roma sought to get back into the game, but the Reds had seemingly asserted control in energy-sapping conditions.

Van Gaal took advantage of a second water break to bring on Javier Hernandez – to a rapturous reception from the American crowd – for Cleverley, who handed the skipper's armband to Chris Smalling.

Roma weren’t looking likely to get on the scoresheet before Pjanic spotted Ben Amos off his line and executed a brilliant, audacious lob from all of 60 yards. Amos then had to scramble to tip a Leandro Castan overhead kick onto his post.

Will Keane came within a whisker of scoring a fourth United goal when Ashley Young’s cross was nicked off the striker's toes, before Totti converted from the spot after Michael Keane had handled the ball inside the box.

It resulted in a nervy final few minutes but United resisted further pressure to claim the spoils.

The Reds’ next game in the competition is against Inter Milan in Washington DC on Tuesday (29 July). The group also contains Real Madrid, who face the Reds in Michigan on 2 August.

*Taken from Manutd.com

US Tour 2014: LA Galaxy 0-7 Manchester United

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Manchester United kicked off the new era under Louis van Gaal with a 7-0 hammering of LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to claim victory in the Chevrolet Cup.

The Reds were deserved winners on the night thanks to braces from Wayne Rooney, youngster Reece James and Ashley Young and a fine opening strike from Danny Welbeck.

Van Gaal picked a strong starting XI for his first match in charge, the opening game of Tour 2014 presented by Aon, and opted for a tried and tested formula from his time with the Netherlands of three centre-backs with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones. Antonio Valencia and debutant Luke Shaw played the roles of wing-backs. Captain for the night Darren Fletcher sat in midfield alongside debutant Ander Herrera and a slightly advanced Juan Mata, with Rooney and Welbeck ahead of them up front to complete a 3-5-2 formation.

The Reds came flying out of the blocks with Herrera and Welbeck both testing goalkeeper Jaime Penedo inside eight minutes. Herrera saw his dipping shot well tipped over, before Penedo saved smartly from Welbeck.

At the other end, David De Gea thwarted Gyasi Zardes, before the Reds made the breakthrough on 13 minutes. Mata made his way forward but was up-ended. The referee waved play on allowing Welbeck to latch on to the ball and he fired an excellent 25-yard strike in off the post.

The Reds doubled the advantage on 42 minutes when AJ Delagarza was rightly punished for a deliberate handball which stopped Valencia’s right-wing cross and Rooney converted with aplomb from the spot.

The victory was all but sealed in first-half injury-time when Herrera found Welbeck on the right. His low centre was completely missed by Tommy Meyer allowing Rooney free licence to bundle the ball home from close range.

Wholesale changes followed at the break with nine substitutions for the Reds and four for the Galaxy. One of United’s changes included James, who made his mark on 62 minutes. Young, another second-half addition, received the ball down the right and his pin-point cross picked out James to slide home a lovely left-foot finish into the corner.

Even with Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan in their ranks, Galaxy, currently in the middle of the MLS season, offered little in attack allowing the Reds to stay in cruise control for the majority of the second period.

The impressive Herrera had a chance to mark his first-team bow with a goal but his header from a Rafael cross was straight at Penedo. Shinji Kagawa flashed a curling effort just wide as we entered the final 10 minutes, before James made it five on 84 minutes with a superb finish. In the build-up Herrera had slotted a fine pass through to Young whose shot was saved by Penedo, but the ball dropped to James who coolly floated the ball into the empty net.

Young netted twice in quick succession in the final stages with two excellent finishes to complete a great night's work for van Gaal and his men and the display and result offers plenty of positives. Next stop for United now is Denver where AS Roma lie in wait.

*Taken from Manutd.com



Patrice Evra : leaves United to join Juventus


Patrice Evra is leaving Manchester United and has agreed to join Juventus after eight-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, the club has confirmed.

In a message to United fans on ManUtd.com, Patrice said: "After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart."

Evra made 379 appearances for United and scored 10 goals during nine successful seasons at Old Trafford, proving himself to be a hugely popular figure with team-mates and fans alike for his passion and commitment to the club.

The Frenchman joined United in January 2006 from Monaco, where, aged only 24, he became captain and appeared in the 2004 Champions League final. He arrived in Manchester with a reputation as an intelligent, attacked-minded full-back.

Initially he struggled to acclimatise to life in the Premier League and on his debut, a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, he was substituted at half-time. But after six months he began to make the left-back position his own ahead of Gabriel Heinze and helped the Reds clinch the league title in 2006/07. After that, he never looked back and was always among United's top five appearance-makers in any given season.

Evra won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the Champions League and Club World Cup. He was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year three times (2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10) and in 2009 he made the UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA FIFPro World XI. He also deputised as United captain in the absence of Nemanja Vidic.

Everyone at Manchester United would like to thank Patrice for his service and we wish him well in the future at his new club.

*Taken from Manutd.com

United States 2014 Tour: United reveal 25-man tour squad


Louis van Gaal has named a 25-man Manchester United travelling squad for Tour 2014, presented by Aon.

As the boss explained during his unveiling press conference at Old Trafford on Thursday, he is keen to assess every member of the group during this summer's trip. Alongside the first-team players, a host of young Reds will subsequently fly to the United States.

New signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw are also part of the travelling party, but Michael Carrick will unfortunately miss the trip following his ankle surgery this week.

The Reds will play four matches during Tour 2014, presented by Aon, beginning with a match against LA Galaxy in the Chevrolet Cup on 23 July. Further matches in the International Champions Cup will follow against AS Roma in Denver (26 July), Inter Milan in Washington DC (29 July) and Real Madrid in Ann Arbor (2 August).

Every tour match will be shown live on MUTV HD and you can also follow ManUtd.com's live tour blog from Saturday, bringing you news, photos and videos from inside the first-team camp. Please note that the squad numbers worn by each player on tour are not necessarily permanent for the new season.

Tour 2014 squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Amos, Johnstone, Rafael, Evans, Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Blackett, M Keane, James, Herrera, Cleverley, Fletcher, Young, Zaha, Kagawa, Mata, Valencia, Nani, Lingard, Welbeck, Rooney, W Keane.

*Taken from Manutd.com

Manchester United home kit 2014/15: now on sale


The new Manchester United home kit went on sale on Wednesday - but one lucky Reds supporter managed to grab hers before anyone else in the world.

Our official Twitter account @ManUtd asked Fred the Red to hide in a secret location at Old Trafford with just one shirt that would be awarded to the first person to find the beloved United mascot.

Stretford End season ticket holder Ella Glaesener was the winner, beating off the crowds to win her prize just one minute into the search. But as the German-born Red revealed afterwards, she had one particular advantage that played into her hands.

“I live on Sir Matt Busby Way and didn’t have to be at work until 10 o’clock,” she said. “So I thought I would come down to the stadium and look for the shirt after I saw the initial tweet. I can’t believe that I’ve won and I’m looking forward to wearing my new shirt.

“I really like this season’s design, too,” Ella continued. “The new collar is really nice, as well as the sleeves. For me, it looks much better than last year’s kit and I’m happy that I’ve got mine before anyone else."

As for the new season, Ella is excited by what the future has in store: “I am really looking forward to the Louis van Gaal era because I was really impressed by his performance at the World Cup and his no-nonsense approach. It’s exciting for every United fan.”

*Taken from Manutd.com

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