Manchester United secured an emphatic victory over Treble winners FC Barcelona in their pre-season friendly held in front of a packed Levi’s Stadium in California, with Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj getting on the score-sheet.
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring with a header, before manager Louis Van Gaal made an incredible 11 substitutions at one go in the 60th minute, replacing his whole team, as Jesse Lingard doubled the lead within minutes of coming on. FC Barcelona pulled one back courtesy of a thunderous volley from Rafinha, only to be pegged back again a minute later, as Adnan Januzaj scored the Red Devils’ third.
FC Barcelona hit the woodwork thrice
FC Barcelona were missing the magical duo of Lionel Messi and Neymar, while Manchester United were without the services of want-away winger Angel Di Maria, as the two sides met in front of 68,414 fans at the iconic stadium. Luis Suarez went close to scoring in the 4th minute, as his curling free-kick hit the post from 25 yards out.
Wayne Rooney, however, opened the scoring soon after, as he bundled in Ashley Young’s corner from six yards after being left unmarked in the 8th minute. Both side’s continued to attack, but were unable to create the something special needed to beat their respective goal-keepers, with Luis Suarez hitting the post a second time.
Not until, after the hour mark did the real amusement start for the United States crowd, as Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal in a Football Manager-esque move, replaced his entire starting XI. However, the substitutions somehow worked, as the Manchester United academy players linked up immediately after coming on, with Jesse Lingard scoring his second goal of the pre-season tour, after being set up by a Tyler Blackett cross.
The Catalan giants hit the woodwork again, however, Rafinha did score a consolation goal for the Blaugrana, as he thundered in a volley from the edge of the box in the 90th minute. However, Manchester United immediately regained their two goal cushion, with Januzaj netting their third goal of the day in the 91st minute.
Manchester United next play Paris Saint Germain on the 29th, while on the same day, FC Barcelona play Chelsea FC.
63′ – Eleven changes for the Reds as Louis van Gaal swaps his entire starting line-up. #MUtour
a Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 25, 2015
Here are the highlight’s of the game:
The thunderous Rafinha volley: