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International Champions Cup
2 August 2014
• Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
A. Young 21', 37'
J. Hernández 80'
G. Bale 27'
Wow, what a game that was. Less of a friendly, more of a exhibition of everything we love about this sport. Flair, passion, goals and big name stars. Not to mention an enthusiastic support of over a hundred thousand people. This may be the day that 'soccer' really arrived in America. I have been Hayden Gribble and it has been a privilege to bring you all of the action. Until next time, take care!
FULL TIME - MANCHESTER UNITED 3-1 REAL MADRID. The Red Devils defeat Los Blancos in front of a record breaking attendance of over 109,000 at The Big House in Michigan. Louis van Gaal's men oozed confidence and swagger as two goals from Ashley Young and a second half header from Javier Hernandez cancelled out a Gareth Bale penalty and go through to the International Champions Cup final.
There will be ONE minute of added on time.
There is a late fight back from Los Blancos here but the United back line is standing strong against the storm. Is there enough time for Ronaldo to make his mark?
CHANCE! Zaha is so close to making it 4-1 to the Red Devils. Lingard powers down the right flank and puts a deep ball into the back post for the winger, who improvises a volley that flies over Casillas' goal.
The stadium speakers crackle into life as the announcer declares the official attendance of today's game is 109,318...making this the game the highest attended soccer game in US history!
Goal Javier Hernández
GOAL! United have it in the bag! Fletcher picks out Kagawa, who swings a delicious ball into the back post where Hernandez ghosts in to head the Red Devils further into the lead!
SO, SO CLOSE! Hernandez was so close to extending United's lead. Zaha drives a low cross into the box from the right-hand-side and the striker breaks in between Ramos and Pepe but just can't meet the pass. If he was a few inches taller, it would be 3-1 now!
This is the moment many of the fans inside The Big House have been waiting for. Cristiano Ronaldo makes his way onto the pitch to face his former side to the sound of massive cheers. Can he bring his side level?
GREAT CHANCE! Shaw breaks forward for United and finds Kagawa, who chips a lovely ball in towards Hernandez but the Mexican International fails to steer his shot past Casillas who smothers it.
Zaha has a frustrated niggle at Modric and upends the Croatian. The Premier League side are struggling to find a period of possession in this half!
Madrid continue to knock on the door as a succession of corners are defended by the Red Devils as van Gaal's men stand firm.
Ronaldo has joined his teammates in wamring up, bringing some sections of the crowd to their feet in anticipation of the superstar making an appearance. It sounds like a rock gig in there!
Carvajal has looked lively in this half and is linking well with Modric. The midfielder receives a return pass in the box but is blocked by Evans as the ball goes out for another corner for Los Blancos.
Bale is beginning to terrorise the United back line here as he plays in Isco, who fails to find Modric as Jones steps in. This game has got plenty of goals left in it!
WIDE! The Welshman hits it over the wall and just inches wide of de Gea's goal. The stadium gasps as it goes out for a goal kick. That was so close to an equaliser!
United have given away a free-kick in a dangerous position as a Mexican wave emits around The Big House. This is Bale territory...
Los Blancos continue to knock on the door as Jones and Evans do well to thwart any passes intended to pierce their defensive wall. Luke Shaw has been introduced to proceeedings by Louis van Gaal but it looks like he is playing slightly further up the pitch than his usual left-back position.
EARLY CHANCE! Bale is having all sorts of fun up against Keane in the Red Devils defence. He slips past him and provides a cut back to Isco, who shapes himself for a shot but allows enough time for de Gea to make the save.
The second half is underway with United kicking from left to right.
Both teams are preparing to make their way back onto the pitch. There is a chorus of cheers from the crowd as Ronaldo makes his way to the bench, stopping to wave and give a thumbs up to his screaming fans.
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 REAL MADRID. The teams go off here after a brilliant 45 minutes of football at The Big House in Michigan. Over 100,000 spectators have witnessed the Red Devils take the lead through a crisp Ashley Young striker before Gareth Bale equalised from the spot minutes before Young scored again with a cross/shot. More to come after the break!
There will be ONE minute of added on time.
CLOSE! Herrera is brought down this time and Rooney sizes up a free-kick roughly 30 yards out. He chips the ball in for Mata in the box but the Madrid defence is smart to the move and the Spaniard drags his shot wide!
Welbeck has been forced off with an injury and has to make way for Zaha as Mata chips a free-kick into Rooney, who is forced out before he can get a shot on goal.
CHANCE FOR MADRID! Carvajal gets in space at the back post and meets a good cross from Modric, but the midfielder was falling back as he met the ball and it is a comfortable save for de Gea.
On closer inspection of the replay, Rooney was mere millimetres away from that cross from Young but it looks like the goal will be awarded to the winger. What a game this is.
Goal Ashley Young
GOAL! It's Ashley Young again! The winger cuts inside on his right foot and plays a beautiful cross into Rooney in the box but it elludes the striker and Casillas in goal and nestles in the bottom corner of the net. The Red Devils are ahead for the second time in this match!
FANTASTIC EFFORT! Since this game is being played in America, Bale decides to pull out a Hollywood effort with a bicycle kick inside the box which is stopped well by de Gea. That's got the crowd on their feet!
ROONEY GOES FOR GLORY! The England stalwart finds a pocket of space roughly 25 yards out and lashes a shot at goal but it is dead central and easy for Casillas to save.
Arbeloa goes into the referee's book after a cynical foul on Young. The former Liverpool man is having trouble marking the winger today as Rooney takes the resulting free-kick, which swings wide and out for a goal kick.
Penalty Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL! The former Tottenham man steps up to take the spot kick himself and slots it right down the middle as de Gea dives to his right. It's all square now!
PENALTY TO REAL MADRID! Bale gets the better of Keane in the box and uses his pace and power to push past the youngster but eventually falls to the defender's challenge as the referee points to the spot!
That goal was certainly coming. United have definitely threatened more than their Spanish opponents. Young's low finish was a fine end to a fine move as Madrid were carved apart.
Goal Ashley Young
GOAL! The Red Devils take the lead! Fletcher played a great one-two with Rooney and then finds Welbeck outside the box, who picks out Young who rifles his shot low in the bottom corner of the net to put the Premier League side ahead!
Just as it looks like Los Blancos are building up a head of steam, England striker Welbeck tracks back and dispossesses Alonso in the middle of the park. Good work there from the United man!
SO CLOSE! Rooney's searching corner is cleared to the feet of Fletcher on the edge of the box and the midfielder fizzes a low shot just wide of Casillas' post!
Fletcher pings the ball beautifully across the park for Young, who plays in Mata in the box, but the Spaniard is crowded out and United win a corner.
Modric stabs a looping pass forward for Bale but Keane is over quickly to stifle any danger and put the ball out for a throw. This game is warming up nicely. It has the feel of a cup final!
Louis van Gaal's side are passing it around at the back here looking for a window of opportunity in the Madrid midfield. Welbeck picks it up outside the box and turns into trouble instantly as Pepe clears.
Alonso is brought tumbling to the ground by Herrera just outside the centre circle. We can expect more tackles like that in this game as United press through Young on the left-hand-side.
Los Blancos have had a good, steady start to this game, teasing the Red Devils with strong possession play. The noise inside the stadium is extraordinary and will definitely up the tempo of play on the pitch.
The referee blows his whistle and the game gets underway, with Real Madrid kicking from left to right.
Earlier on today, Inter Milan beat their Italian rivals Roma 2-0 thanks to goals from former Red Devils captain Nemanja Vidic and Yuto Nagatomo.
The atmosphere is building to a crescendo here in The Big House. Has a pre-season friendly ever come hand-in-hand with such a buzz of excitement? There are 109,000 fans inside the stadium! The sun is baking down on the pitch and the world is watching and waiting as the teams line-up in the tunnel...
As for the Champions League winners, Carlo Ancelotti names a strong side that features the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Xabi Alonso, Pepe and maligned-Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The big news that Cristiano Ronaldo may not face his former side tonight does little to dampen the excitement in the build-up to this clash. Believe me, there is never a friendly when these two giants of the game are in town!
New Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has been vocal in the press about the implementation of his 3-5-2 formation and he is again utilising it here in the USA with Michael Keane slotting in next to Phil Jones and Jonny Evans at the back whilst Darren Fletcher will captain the side.
Real Madrid (4-4-2): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Nacho; Carvahal, Modric, Alonso, Illara; Bale, Isco.
Man Utd (3-5-2): De Gea; M Keane, Jones, Evans; Valencia, Herrera, Fletcher, Young; Mata; Rooney, Welbeck.
Hello, good evening and welcome to this exciting International Champions Cup tie between two of the biggest sides in world football - Manchester United and Real Madrid. I am Hayden Gribble and if you stick with me faithful reader I shall guide you through all of the action of what looks like a mouthwatering clash at The Big House, Michigan. The team news is coming right up.
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