LANDOVER – Barcelona beat Manchester United 1-0 in a preseason friendly match at the 2017 International Champions Cup tournament. Over 80,000 traveling fans turned out on a beautiful footballing evening at the Redskins’ FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
Neymar pre-season form.
Neymar continues to exude class in spite of all the rumors that place him with one foot inside millionaire French club Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazilian scored the only goal of the match after 31 minutes, taking advantage of an Antonio Valencia error after a cutting pass from Lionel Messi.
Valencia failed to intercept the pass and slipped as Neymar collected the ball and calmly placed it past United keeper David de Gea.
There were a few surprise inclusions from both sides. Portuguese international Nélson Semedo earned his first start, along with youngster Carles Alena and 23 year-old Samuel Umtiti, who displaced veterans Iniesta and Gerard Piqué in what appears to be Ernesto Valverde’s preferred line-up for the upcoming season.
Barcelona approached the match with intent, as Valverde launched his explosive trident of Messi, Suarez and Neymar ‘MSN’ at the head of a classic 4-3-3 formation. The three Barça superstars looked dangerous every time they entered the United third, hitting the English team with speed, skill and constant positional changes between them.
United’s first defeat.
On the Manchester United front, José Mourinho also opted for a strong starting 11. The ambition Mourinho has shown in the transfer market could bring United back into the top four, although his target will be the Premier League title. New United signing Romelu Lukaku featured alongside Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a hybrid 4-3-3 formation.
The first half was well fought and relatively balanced, though Barcelona edged it in scoring opportunities. De Gea kept United in the game, but Cilessen was far from an observer. In the 31st minute, Neymar scored what would be the game’s only goal. United suffered their first defeat of the pre-season after wins against Manchester City and Real Madrid.
The second half of the match was less entertaining, mainly due to the 10 Barcelona substitutions (and United’s 5) at the break. Cilessen was the only Barcelona player to remain on the pitch, though Mourinho fielded a relatively strong side in search of an equalizer. One positive takeaway was the depth of the Red Devils’ bench — United ended the match with players like Pogba, Lukaku, Fellaini and Martial — players who will undoubtedly do their best to factor in José’s side this season.
A few other players did not feature in this match: André Gomes, another young Portuguese International acquired by Barcelona, did not travel with the team as he is currently on an extended break after his participation in the Confederations Cup. Juan Mata and Luke Shaw are recovering from injury and did not feature.
Both Manchester United and Barcelona will face Real Madrid for their first official match of the season: The English side will meet them in the European Supercup, while the Spanish giants will face their eternal rivals in the Spanish Supercup.
Sold out crowd.
FC Barcelona and Manchester United fans packed the stadium at FedEx Field. A sold out crowd of 80,162 proved to be yet another success for the International Champions Cup. Throughout the tournament’s history, sold out venues have steered the ICC into the forefront of soccer’s growth in the United States.
Best moments from Barcelona vs. Manchester United. Click HERE!
2017 International Champions Cup.
Upper 90 Studios is covering top pre-season matches including Manchester United vs. Barcelona.
Get a sneak peek of new player signings (Lukaku!) and a behind-the-scenes look at all the action. El Clásico and the Manchester Derby for the first time in the US.
ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME! 🙌 International Champions Cup is back!
🇺🇸 2017 International Champions Cup: http://www.internationalchampionscup.com
U90 match stats.
2017 International Champions Cup – Barcelona vs. Manchester United
Stadium: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Date and Kick-Off: July 26, 2017 – 7:30pm
Weather: Clear skies, 75 degrees
Field Condition: Good
Total Attendance: 80,162 (Sold Out Crowd)
Possession: 60% – 40%
Shots: 13 – 11
Shots on Goal: 9 – 5
Corners: 5 – 4
Offsides: 3 – 3
Yellow Cards: 0 – 1 (Fellaini 83’)
Red Cards: 0 – 0
OUT Carles Alena IN Iniesta
OUT Lionel Messi IN Arda Turan
OUT Denis Suarez IN Rakitic
OUT Sergio Busquets IN Sergi Roberto
OUT Jordi Alba IN Lucas Digne
OUT Umtiti IN Thomas Vermaelen
OUT Mascherano IN Pique
OUT Nelson Semedo IN Aleix Vidal
OUT Neymar IN Munir
OUT Luis Suarez IN Paco Alcacer
OUT David de Gea IN Sergio Romero
OUT Michael Carrick IN Fellaini
OUT Daley Blind IN Matteo Darmian
OUT Lindelof IN Eric Bailly
OUT Chris Smalling IN Phil Jones
OUT Mkhitaryan IN Andreas Pereira
OUT Lingard IN Martial
OUT Antonio Valencia IN Tuanzebe
FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM
FPL First Draft Team
Upper 90 Studios “First Draft” team is set! We will publish the blog post as soon as we can and include key takeaways from Man United’s pre-season performances. Thanks! 🙂