By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Bareclona defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the early hours of Thursday in their pre-season International Champions Cup meeting at FedEx Field Stadium, Maryland, United States of America.
Neymar, who was on target twice against Juventus in Barca’s 2-1 ICC victory last Saturday, scored the only goal of Thursday’s match in a lively first half performance.
It was United who had the first chance of the game with a counter attacking move led by Marcus Rashford. Romelu Lukaku got to the end of his cross but could not convert.
Lionel Messi went for a spectacular effort from distance in the 12th minute but his effort was off target. Barcelona soon after that troubled the United defence but David De Gea got down to save a low drive from Luis Suarez.
Dominant Barcelona’s persistence however paid off in the 31st minute when Neymar finished off a through pass from Messi. The transfer target of Paris Saint Germain evaded a challenge from Antonio Valencia to place the ball beyond the reach of De Gea from close range.
United manager Jose Mourinho changed his entire defence plus the introduction of midfieder Marouane Fellaini at the start of the second half but the intensity of the game reduced.
Substitute Anthony Martial aimed for the top right corner but the ball went agonisingly wide in the 65th minute.
Barcelona’s Paco Alcacer a minute later was presented with an opportunity in the United penalty box but substitute goalkeeper Sergio Romero did well to save his low shot.
Neither side could score again though few chances created towards the end of the match were encouragingly dealt with by the defences of both sides.