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Zaha, Kagawa make case to United in PKs ‘victory’ Liverpool edge Man City on penalties in friendly

WASHINGTON, July 31, (AFP): Manchester United remained undefeated under new Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal after defeating Inter Milan 5-3 on penalty kicks Tuesday following a goal-less draw. Scouting striker talent for an English Premier League season only 18 days away, Van Gaal gave Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Zaha and Japan’s Shinji Kagawa a look in the second half and kept Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, reportedly being eyed for a transfer deal to Inter, on the bench until late.

“I am very pleased,” Van Gaal said. “I think we played by far the best match of our sequence of three.”
United, which debuted new blue uniforms, began the US pre-season tour with a 7-0 romp over the host Los Angeles Galaxy last Wednesday and edged AS Roma 3-2 at Denver three days ago. As a crowd of 61,238 watched, Inter’s Marco Andreolli slammed a shot off the crossbar in the shootout to leave United ahead 4-3 and United captain Darren Fletcher followed by kicking home the decider. Hernandez, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverly and Shinji Kagawa also scored in the shootout for United, which continues the American tour Saturday against Real Madrid at Ann Arbor, Michigan, where a US record football crowd of more than 100,000 is expected.
 
Chants for “Chicharito” were rewarded with striker Javier Hernandez’s insertion by Van Gaal in the 78th minute. Fredy Guarin, the Colombian midfielder for Inter who has been linked to a possible transfer deal for Hernandez, entered in the 84th minute. Guarin blasted a free kick in the 85th minute that forced a leaping right-handed save by United second-half goalkeeper David De Gea. All Van Gaal would say of Hernandez was “He’s a player of Manchester United at this moment.” On Kagawa, whom the manager has tested at finisher and playmaker roles, Van Gaal said he was pleased with his forward work. Liverpool rallied twice against Manchester City and triumphed 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out Wednesday after their pre-season friendly at baseball’s Yankee Stadium ended 2-2 after regular time.
 
Stevan Jovetic scored twice for Manchester City, but Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling answered for Liverpool in the clash between last season’s top two teams in the English Premier League. Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool dominated in the shootout, with two saves from Simon Mignolet. Montenegro’s Jovetic opened the scoring in the 53rd minute after a defensive miscue from Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard. Jesus Navas had fired a cross from the right and Gerrard was unable to block it. The ball trickled through his legs and Jovetic pounced to fire it home. Henderson equalized six minutes later with a fine finish after solid work from Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. 
 
But Jovetic restored the Premier League champions’ lead in the 67th. It was the second match in a row that Jovetic scored two for the Premier League champions. He netted a brace in Sunday’s 5-1 friendly triumph over Italy’s AC Milan in Pittsburgh. England international Sterling knotted the score at 2-2 in the 85th with a well-taken strike — and had a goal disallowed in injury time for offside. After a lively performance throughout, Manchester City were lackluster in the shoot-out, with Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and Navas all failing to convert from the spot.
 
The match drew a crowd of 49,653 to Yankee Stadium. Manchester City are the majority owners, along with storied Major League Baseball franchise the Yankees, of Major League Soccer expansion club New York City Football Club, which is slated to begin play in 2015 at the baseball ground in the Bronx. On the night, however, Liverpool fans outnumbered City supporters at the match which was part of the International Champions Cup — a friendly tournament featuring eight European clubs all preparing for the start of their domestic campaigns. Manchester City had the better of possession in the scoreless first half, but Liverpool had arguably the best chance to score when Rickie Lambert’s header from point-blank range was denied by City keeper Willy Caballero.

 

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