Manchester United 1-0 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Mason Greenwood Stars

A 75th minute goal from young gun Mason Greenwood was enough to give Manchester United a 1-0 win over Inter in the International Champions Cup. 

The Red Devils started on the front foot, pressing high up the pitch. Daniel James had the clearest chance of the first half, latching onto a neat pass but he sliced the ball into the side-netting. Samir Handanovic was also forced into a number of saves in the first half as Man Utd dominated.

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After the break, both sides had opportunities cleared off the line and United also hit the woodwork. The deadlock was then finally broken in the 75th minute when Mason Greenwood fired home with an exquisite curling effort. 

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


Manchester United

Key Talking Point

The intensity of Man ?Utd?’s play was impressive, as they pressed the ball with determination despite it ‘only’ being a pre-season game. The front four of Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford harassed the Inter backline incredible effectively throughout the game. 

United fans will also be buoyed by the performances of the whole backline that started the game. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was outstanding and Axel Tuanzebe did not put a foot wrong, however Victor Lindeloff’s injury may be a worry.

Wholesale substitutions can often disrupt the flow of a match, but not for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. Chong, Angel Gomes and Greenwood were scintillating and, ultimately, made the difference. 


 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: De Gea (6), Wan-Bissaka (8*), Tuanzebe (7), Lindelof (6), Shaw (6), Matic (4), Pogba (7), James (6), Lingard (5), Martial (6), Rashford (5).

SubstitutesRomero (5), Dalot (6), Young (6), Bailly (6), Jones (6), Andreas (6), Fred (6), Gomes (n/a), Mata (6), McTominay (6), Chong (7), Greenwood (7).


STAR MAN

Could this be the signing of the summer? It’s too early to tell but Aaron Wan-Bissaka did have an outstanding game. The former Crystal Palace man completely shut-down the left side of Inter’s attack through his brilliant tackling and progressive running. 

Going forward, the former Palace man was equally impressive. So much has been made of the Reds needing a defender who can actually defend – well, United now have one. 

Special praise must go to Greenwood for his outstanding contribution. The 17-year-old looked mature and made the difference when he came on. The young forward may well be a very valuable asset for the Red Devils next season.


Inter

Key Talking Point 

It was clear to see why ?Inter are pursing United’s Romelu Lukaku with all they have – they lacked a goalscorer. Sebastiano Esposito turned 17 just three weeks ago and took up some good positions but wasn’t able to pose too many problems. 

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At the other end of the field, Samir Handanovic looked as confident as ever but there were numerous sloppy passes from the back three that started the game. That said, it was only their second pre-season match and they will only get stronger with the arrival of Diego Godin. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (7); D’Ambrosio (6); de Vrij (5), Skriniar (4); Candreva (4), Gagliardini (5), Brozovic (3), Sensi (7*), Dalbert (5); Esposito (6), Longo (3).

Substitutes: Ranocchia (4), Joao Mario (5), Borja Valero (4), Barella (4), Perisic (4), Colidio (4), Agoumé (4) Pirola (4).


STAR MAN

Stefano Sensi and Handanovic were the star performers for an Inter side that were clearly still rusty. Sensi has been a good addition to the squad since arriving from Sassuolo on loan – and he showcased his talents once more – pipping Handanovic as the star performer.

The Italian acted as the fulcrum in midfield and was constantly looking to provide the front two with opportunities to test the United defence. The midfield man was bright, picking up good pockets of space – and with a lethal striker at the top of the pitch, he could be a very influential player next season. 


Looking Ahead

Man Utd will now come up against ?Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday 25 July in the next round of fixtures in the International Champions Cup. 

Meanwhile, Inter will face Juventus in the ICC on Wednesday 24 July. Conte will be hoping for a stronger performance from his men as they look to close the gap on I Bianconeri in the league. 

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Pre-Season Friendly Team News: Manchester United vs Inter – Confirmed Lineups

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? ?? | TEAM NEWS The Nerazzurri are set to play their opening 2019 @IntChampionsCup fixture in Singapore: here’s the team that Antonio #Conte has selected for #ManUtdInter! ?? ? https://t.co/13gVYBQp6k#ICC2019 #ForzaInter pic.twitter.com/uVszbYCYbO — Inter (@Inter_en) July 20, 2019 ?? The team news is in, Reds…?#MUFC #MUTOUR ?? #ICC2019 — Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 20, 2019 ?? ??

Africa Cup of Nations: An All-Time XI From AFCON History

The Africa Cup of Nations 2019 edition comes to a close on Friday evening as Senegal vie for their first-ever title against a free-scoring Algeria in Cairo.

Bonafide superstars of European football like Kalidou Koulibaly, Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane all have the chance to become card-carrying legends for their countries, while the latter even admitted that winning ?AFCON would mean more to him than the Champions League medal he picked up with Liverpool just a month and a bit ago.

As the class of 2019 eye immortality, here’s an all-time XI of the tournament’s greatest stars…


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Essam El Hadary (GK) – The incomparable El Hadary (gloriously nicknamed the ‘High Dam’) made 159 appearances for Egypt between 1996 and 2018, when he became the oldest player ever to feature in a World Cup finals at 45. He has won AFCON four times (1998, 2006, 2008, 2010) and was named as the tournament’s best keeper on three occasions. 

Honourable mention: Thomas N’Kono

Lauren (RB) – An ‘Invincible’ with Arsenal in 2004, Lauren is a two-time AFCON winner (2000, 2002) with the dominant Cameroon side of the early noughties that also won Olympic gold in 2000. His AFCON highlight came when he scored in the penalty shootout victory against Senegal in the 2002 final to retain the trophy.

Arthur Boka (LB) – Although never an AFCON winner, Ivory Coast’s Arthur Boka earns a place in the side for playing at five tournaments between 2006 and 2013, twice finishing on the wrong end of a penalty shootout defeat in the final. The pacey full back once dubbed the ‘African Roberto Carlos’ also won the Bundesliga against the odds with Stuttgart in 2007.

Rigobert Song (CB) – With eight tournaments under his belt, no-one has played at more AFCONs than former Liverpool, West Ham and Galatasaray star Song. He was captain as the Indomitable Lions won in 2000 and 2002 and was still wearing the armband in 2008 when they lost to Egypt in the final. The uncle of former Arsenal star Alex Song, he finished his international career in 2010 with 137 caps.

Wael Gomaa (CB) – One of the finest defenders never to play in Europe, Gomaa was a key member of the Egypt side that won the 2006 trophy and then defended it in 2008 and in 2010. 

The bald enforcer, who featured in all three of those tournaments’ Best XIs, retired in 2014 with six CAF Champions League titles to go with his AFCON medals.


Midfielders

Jay Jay Okocha and Pierre Wome Nlend

Geremi (CM) – An invaluably versatile operator, Geremi could play at the back on the right or in central midfield. He made seven AFCON squads for Cameroon winning twice in 2000 and 2002 alongside Lauren and Song. Among his other career honours, the free-kick specialist won two Premier Leagues, the UEFA Champions League and an Olympic gold.

Honourable mention: Yaya Toure

Abedi Pele (CM) – Regarded as one of the finest African footballers of all time and one of the first to make waves on the European game, Pele was also successful on his own continent, winning AFCON with Ghana in 1982 as a teenager. He scored three times and was named the tournament’s Best Player as the Black Stars returned to the final in 1992.

Jay-Jay Okocha (CM) – One of the most entertaining footballers to watch in the history of the modern game, Okocha’s dribbling, skill and invention saw him crowned Nigerian Footballer of the Year seven times. A key part of the 1994 AFCON winning Nigeria team, Okocha also won the tournament’s Golden Boot and Best Player award in 2004.


Forwards

Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the match

??Samuel Eto’o (FW) – Eto’o might well be the greatest African footballer there has ever been. A three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona and Internazionale, the prolific striker was named African Player of the Year on four occasions, won AFCON twice (2000, 2002) and is the all-time top scorer in the competition’s history with 18 goals.

Honourable mention: Roger Milla

Mohamed Aboutrika (FW) – The talisman of Egypt’s AFCON wins in 2006 and 2008, the tricky forward is a bonafide legend in his homeland whose popularity is perhaps only just being matched by Mohamed Salah. The ‘Prince of Hearts’ scored the winning penalty against Ivory Coast in the final of AFCON 2006, while he coolly slotted a second-half winner past Carlos Kameni in 2008 to give Egypt a 1-0 win over Cameroon in the 2008 final.

Hossam Hassan (FW) – Representing the Pharaohs at seven AFCONs, Hassan is still Egypt’s all-time top scorer with 69 goals and, with 169 caps, is the second-most capped player in international football history. First winning AFCON in 1986, he then captained Egypt to their win on home soil in 2006 at the grand old age of 40.


Manager

Zambian coach Frenchman Herve Renard smi

Herve Renard – There can be only one. The immaculately dressed, unbuttoned Frenchman is the only manager to have won the tournament with two different nations, having led underdogs Zambia to improbable success in 2012 before repeating the feat three years later with Ivory Coast. 


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Mauro Icardi Offered €7m Napoli Pay Packet as Antonio Conte Reiterates He Has No Inter Future

Napoli’s purported interest in Inter striker Mauro Icardi is now ‘concrete’ after the Neapolitans offered him a €7m pay packet at the Stadio San Paolo.

Icardi, who has been at Inter since leaving Sampdoria in 2013 for around €13m, has scored 124 goals in 219 appearances in his tenure, but was recently left out of the recent pre-season tour to Asia to allow him to find a new club.

Mauro Icardi

And, according to Calciomercato, it is I Partenopei who have taken up the mantle to sign Icardi, with the club engaging in formal talks with his entourage over the fine print of a potential contract. 

It is understood that their latest offer was in the region of €7m-a-year and, while there is room for negotiation, the inclusion of a number of additional bonuses could help sway the striker.

While talks have been ongoing with the man himself, Napoli have not spoken to the Nerazzurri since June. Back then, when asked what they would want for the 26-year-old, the Milanese club requested a swap deal involving both Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski.

Evidently not too keen on this, Carlo Ancelotti and co decided to focus their initial attention on agreeing personal terms in principle with the player, before returning to the negotiating table with their rivals.

That now seems like a smart move, because, in their desperation to get rid of Icardi and sign Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, the number nine’s valuation has slowly decreased, with the Serie A side now content with a sum ‘well below’ €70m.

But while a move is not close to being done, Inter boss Antonio Conte has again reiterated that Icardi has no future in the fashion capital of the world – stating: “He is out of Inter’s project. This is the reality in this moment.”

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Frustrated Antonio Conte Admits He Wants to Sign Romelu Lukaku as Inter Question Value of Deal

?Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is in danger of seeing his proposed summer transfer to Inter fall apart, much to the annoyance of head coach Antonio Conte.

Inter’s pursuit of Lukaku so far this summer has been fairly public, but consistent failure to put forward an offer that United would find acceptable has seen no progress made.

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Sky Sports reported earlier this week that Inter are ready to offer Lukaku a five-year contract worth a total of £41m in wages – equivalent of around £160,000-per-week, but Inter’s best offer to United totalled £63m plus add-ons – well short of the Red Devils’ £79m asking price.

That report noted that Inter are ‘reluctant’ to pay so much and ‘would prefer to find some middle ground’. And yet United have continued to stand firm.

Now, an update on the situation from The Sun takes it further still and alleges that Inter are ‘getting cold feet’ about paying £75m, or more, for Lukaku. As a result, the Nerazzurri are said to have ‘suddenly started to question if he is worth the money’.


Understandably, Conte is described as ‘angry’ and ‘fuming’. As well as failing to land Lukaku, Inter officials also haven’t managed to deliver the new boss Roma striker Edin Dzeko, and yet pre-season preparations are well underway. On top of that, Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan, both identified as surplus to requirements by Conte, appear no closer to leaving the club.

Speaking to press in Singapore, Conte described himself as ‘frustrated’ by the situation, stating his desire to sign Lukaku but acknowledging that he remains a United player.

“I think frustrated is a big word,” Conte lamented. “He is a United player. That is the reality. You know I like this player. I tried to bring him in Chelsea. Today Lukaku is a United player. At this moment we are talking about a player from another club. I consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement. At the same time, there is a market, we know our situation.”

The Sun makes the point that by threatening to walk away, Inter may be trying to call United’s bluff so that the Old Trafford club are obliged to lower their valuation of Lukaku.

The fact that Inter have so far failed to meet an asking price that has been set for weeks is a hint that they may not have the available funds to go any higher.

But with Lukaku still an asset after scoring a number of goals as a substitute in the second half of last season after losing his starting place to Marcus Rashford, it remains to be seen whether United will take the bait. At this point, it seems unlikely.

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The Inter media are so desperate to see a deal for Lukaku it was even alleged this week that United have made a £63m bid for Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a replacement. The website FC Inter News was the rather suspect source of that rumour.

News that won’t help the ongoing speculation surrounding Lukaku is his confirmed absence from the pre-season friendly between United and Inter in Singapore. The 26-year-old has been nursing a minor injury, which already forced him to sit out the recent 4-0 win over Leeds, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained: “He’s not fit so he won’t be available.”

However, David de Gea and Luke Shaw, who missed the Leeds game through illness and injury respectively, are both expected to play some part against Inter this weekend.

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