Barcelona remain unbeaten in two International Champions Cup matches after a narrow 1-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday night. Neymar scored the winner in a very good first half by the Catalan giants, and once again we saw some very good things from Ernesto Valverde’s team.
The initial period was very entertaining, with both teams hurting each other with fast counter-attacks and creating very good chances. Barça slowly gained control in midfield and began dominating possession and find spaces to take shots and test a fantastic David De Gea, who saved basically everything. Until Neymar took advantage of a mistake by Antonio Valencia and put Barça ahead.
United threatened a bit in the final minutes, but it was an impressive Barça who went into halftime with the one-goal lead.
Both teams changed all their players to start the second half, so the quality of play dropped and Barça couldn’t maintain the level of performance from the first half. Jasper Cillessen was called into work a few times and made some good saves, and the Blaugrana couldn’t really bring any danger to the United defense other than a chance that Paco Alcácer missed in front of goal.
In the end, Barça did quite well against a United team that started their preseason earlier and were in much better physical condition, and the first half was very encouraging. Ernesto Valverde seems to be good at coaching.
Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo (Vidal), Mascherano (Piqué), Umtiti (Vermaelen), Alba (Digne); Rakitic (Denis), Busquets (Roberto (Samper)), Aleñà (Iniesta); Messi (Munir), Suárez (Alcácer), Neymar (Arda)
Goal: Neymar (31’)
Man United: De Gea (Romero); Valencia (Tuanzebe), Smalling (Bailly), Lindelof (Jones), Blind (Darmian); Carrick (Fellaini), Pogba; Rashford, Mkhitaryan (Pereira), Lingard (Martial); Lukaku