Red Devils (3) @ La Maggica (2)

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

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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.

GGMU

Cheers

s

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Red Devils (7) @ Los Galácticos (0)

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.

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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.

My first United game life and oh boy what a treat it was!

Glory Glory Man United!

Love

S

The Canaries (0) @ The Red Devils (4)

Manchester United got Ryan Giggs’ tenure as interim manager off to the perfect start with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Norwich at Old Trafford.

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A pair of Wayne Rooney goals, the first from the penalty spot, in the minutes immediately before and after half-time set the Reds on their way and another double, from substitute Juan Mata, ensured that the Giggs era began with the victory craved by a packed Old Trafford.

The new boss received a rapturous reception from the supporters more used to seeing him out on the pitch than in the dugout, but a determined Norwich side ensured that his side did not have it all their own way until Rooney broke the deadlock.

Danny Welbeck, partnering Rooney in a 4-4-2 formation, had United’s best chance when his powerful shot from a tight angle forced Canaries’ keeper John Ruddy into a vital save at his near post. But when Welbeck was dragged down in the area by Steven Whittaker, Rooney sent Ruddy the wrong way from 12 yards to open the floodgates.

Rooney doubled the lead just after half-time when he curled the ball in off Ruddy’s left-hand post from outside the area, having been allowed licence to cut across the Norwich defence from the left flank. Welbeck had forced Ruddy into action with a fierce volley and Nemanja Vidic had headed over when Mata put the game out of reach, converting Phil Jones’ cross with a snap-shot from close range.

United’s dominance was confirmed when Mata stooped to nod in a deflected Antonio Valencia effort from inside the six yard box, Rooney was not far from a hat-trick when he looped the ball onto the roof of the net and Javier Hernandez missed a great chance for 5-0 in the closing seconds.

IN GIGGSY WE TRUST!

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Red Devils (4) at The Magpies (0)

Manchester United go into Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final return with Bayern Munich in great heart after goals from Juan Mata, Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj set up a splendid 4-0 success at Newcastle. 

David Moyes’ much-changed side coped admirably with the absence of big names David De Gea, Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck to avenge December’s 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

Mata’s first strike was a devilish free-kick and the second the cheekiest of finishes after good work from Shinji Kagawa and Hernandez. The excellent Kagawa set up Chicharito, who hit a post in the first half, for a predatory prod past Rob Elliot to prompt some disgruntled home fans to leave the ground with 20 minutes still remaining.

Anders Linedgaard made three wonderful saves to deny Papiss Cisse – the final stop truly astounding when a goal seemed certain – to keep a clean sheet that he will cherish on a rare start. Januzaj also sparkled after coming on for Ashley Young, who was taken to hospital with a thumb injury, and added a fourth in stoppage time following a delightful one-two with Mata, setting United up nicely for the midweek mission in Munich.

GGMU!

Bring it on Bayern!

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

The Villans (1) at The Red Devils (4)

Manchester United roared back from conceding first to Aston Villa thanks to a brace by Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata’s first goal for the club since his record move from Chelsea and Javier Hernandez’s late effort.

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David Moyes’ men made a disappointing start and fell behind when David De Gea was unable to keep out Ashley Westwood’s powerful free-kick on 13 minutes. Yet Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa switched positions regularly to good effect and both were involved in the move that led to the equaliser as Rooney expertly headed past Brad Guzan.

Rooney was on the scoresheet again with an emphatically-taken penalty just before the interval, after Leandro Bacuna chopped down Mata as he dragged the ball back inside the area. Christian Benteke missed a sitter when miskicking and allowing substitute Michael Carrick, on at centre-back, to clear. The muscular striker also headed over a Marc Albrighton cross moments later.

However, Alex Büttner’s brave header led to Marouane Fellaini supplying a touch inside the area and the ball broke to Mata, who calmly found the net in front of the Stretford End for United’s third. Guzan thwarted substitute Adnan Januzaj and Rooney, with Benteke and Aleksandar Tonev unable to convert openings for the Midlanders.

With time running out, the lively Januzaj crossed for fellow sub Hernandez to poke home a fourth as the Reds warmed up nicely for Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Every single day bursts with opportunity. So much to see, so much to learn, and so much to do! Sometimes I can barely contain my happiness — how fortunate am I to be born on this bountiful planet — that too at a time when mankind is witnessing its greatest technological advances as well as a resurgence of spiritual values.

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At times it seems futile even to try and learn a single discipline — music, art, engineering, photography — each worth several lifetimes of study.

How much could I possibly grasp in this infinitesimal interval which I have been given — to play, to live, to learn, to give?

Challenges, doubts, distractions and obstacles abound; yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming good it has been my humble privilege to witness. Helping hands in an apparently selfish world; simple, innocent love in a place where trust is reported absent; abundance and generosity where lack would seem to loom large.

And running through it all like a leitmotif — wonderful, complex music coupled with moments of utter stillness, Samadhi (higher level of concentrated meditation). The Master’s grace wafts through this existence, a fragrance of rose and sandalwood, turning each breath into intense prayer.

It’s as though a giant hand obliterates the din, the traffic, the pollution, the crime and the grime in a fraction of a second; I stand renewed, recharged and refreshed — helplessly and hopelessly unable to express my bliss.

Cheers to my beautiful life, Los Angeles and the people who have made it worth living for!

Love

SS

PS: Its officially Shubham Singh now…so SS made more sense;)

Posted from my MacBook Air

Crystal Palace 0:2 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney struck within six minutes of each other in the second half to hand Manchester United victory over Crystal Palace.

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The Dutchman’s penalty was quickly followed by an unstoppable volley from his strike partner to break down the resilient hosts, and the goals were a relief for the Reds after spells of persistent possession play had failed to reap rewards.

Palace soaked up waves of United pressure in the first half, with Rooney’s curling effort from the edge of the box headed away from under his crossbar by Damien Delaney, while Nemanja Vidic headed the rebound just over. David De Gea was largely untested but he was alert enough to parry away a deflection off Chris Smalling, while Marouane Fellaini wasted an opportunity just before the break when the Belgian, back in the side for the first time since 4 December, shot wide after a neat touch from Juan Mata.

Palace went on the attack early in the second half, but the game changed on 62 minutes when a clumsy challenge by Eagles striker Marouane Chamakh on Patrice Evra on the edge of the box resulted in a penalty that van Persie clinically despatched. A curling shot from Cameron Jerome drew a save from De Gea low to his left, and this proved to be vital shortly afterwards when Evra cut the ball back to Rooney, who lashed in a superb volley from just inside the area.

Van Persie struck the bar as United strived to kill the game off, and De Gea was in action again when he denied Yannick Bolasie, but United saw the game out comfortably to claim three points and move into sixth place.

Glory MUFC!

Love

S