Man United snatches gicc title
Published on August 1, 2014
The 2014 International Champions Cup, sponsored by Guinness, was much more exciting than expected. Lacking attention at first due to being a friendly tournament, the competition catapulted to the mainstream media as more and more fans tuned in to watch the games. The Manchester United vs. Real Madrid game earned a record attendance of over 109,000 spectators flocking to the stadium to cheer for their favourite team.
But the game that stole all the lights was the unexpected northwest derby in the final. As we all know, Liverpool and Manchester United have a rivalry of unprecedented tension, and no game between them is ‘friendly’, as Manchester United’s Darren fletcher put it: “I know it’s only preseason and it’s just a summer competition, but when United play Liverpool, it is always a big deal.”
The managers of both teams made it clear before the match that they wanted that trophy. “It’s more than football. It’s life. It is two cities, not very far apart, but historically they have always been huge rivals; it’s arguably the biggest game in the world,” said Rodgers,adding, “Not many of these games are friendly. You saw the Manchester City game was competitive. Top players see every game as a competition. There are never too many friendlies playing for Liverpool.”
Liverpool were unbeaten throughout the tournament, which delighted the club’s wide US fan-base, which has been growing rapidly since the club was acquired by the American Fenway Sports Group. Manchester United manager, the newly appointed Van Gaal, was just as excited for the game. “It was a fantastic result [against Madrid]. We wanted to be on the front foot from the start and that’s what happened. We only needed a draw but we’re Manchester United so we were only focused on the win. And we want to win the whole tournament now. It doesn’t matter that it’s preseason, we’re here to try to pick up the trophy. We’re in the final and we want to win it.” Match day arrived, and fans flocked to Miami to see the likes of Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney showcase their wonders. And it was not surprising when the tension climaxed to a penalty for Liverpool as Phil Jones lost his composure and aggressively tackled Liverpool’s Raheem sterling. Steven Gerrard tucked the ball in the net with breathtaking perfection- his expertise. But soon Manchester United regained their balance and concentrated on the game. Van Gaal’s boys followed style and created space with their deadly speed. Wayne Rooney got the equaliser after netting in a fabulous cross, and the rest was history. Manchester United showed their potential with shot after another, and Mignolet let three goals slip-in by the end of the game. Liverpool however, were still able to lift their heads up high, as they were able to threaten the opponent’s goal continuously, not to forget their other fantastic performances in the previous games of the tournament.