Santa Clara - Wayne Rooney got on the scoresheet as Manchester
United scored a morale-boosting 3-1 friendly victory over European champions
Barcelona here Saturday.
Rooney, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj got United's goals
to settle an entertaining game in front of 68 416 fans at the Levi's Stadium,
home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.
Rafinha scored a late consolation for Barcelona in the 90th
minute, lashing home a shot before Januzaj netted United's third just 30
Barcelona, missing superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar after
their exertions in the Copa America, were left ruing a series of chances which
hit the woodwork.
Barcelona could have been 2-0 up within the opening minutes,
Luis Suarez crashing a free-kick off the post after only four minutes with
United goalkeeper David De Gea beaten.
Moments later De Gea was pressed into action when Sergi
Roberto burst through only to shoot directly at the United ‘keeper with the
goal at his mercy.
United made Barcelona pay for their early profligacy in the
seventh minute when Rooney headed the Red Devils into the lead, punishing slack
marking to power Ashley Young's corner into the net past Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
The goal boosted United and they grew in confidence, with
Memphis Depay's movement and interplay again catching the eye for United.
United might have added to their lead in the 25th minute
when good work by Juan Mata down the right flank saw Rooney go clear in the
box, rounding Ter Stegen but just unable to cut back to United's attack.
Young meanwhile should have doubled United's lead in the
The left winger advanced purposefully into Barcelona
territory and as defenders backed off was presented with a clear shot at goal.
The midfielder's shot was too close to Ter Stegen however
and the Barcelona keeper was able to parry a reflex save to safety.
At the other end Barcelona continued to chase an equaliser
and Suarez was left cursing the woodwork once more on 43 minutes when his shot
from the edge of the area hit the opposite upright.
Barcelona were unlucky not to claim an equaliser just after
the hour mark, when Suarez looked to have been fouled by Daley Blind in the
In the same move Suarez then finished low past De Gea only
to be ruled offside.
United rang the changes on 63 minutes, removing their entire
starting XI as van Gaal indicated he would do before the match.
The change yielded instant results, with Tyler Blackett
crossing low from the left for Lingard to tuck away the finish for 2-0.
United might even have extended their lead moments later
when Januzaj latched onto a long ball and shot just wide.
Barcelona kept probing for a goal, only for the woodwork to
deny them once more in the 72nd minute when Munir El Haddadi's header struck