First half surge leads Manchester United past Roma

Published Saturday, July 26, 2014 5:04 PM by William Montero

Roma met English giants Manchester United in Denver to open their play in the 2014 edition of the Guinness International Champions Cup.  Sure it is only preseason, but both sides would be looking for three points on American soil.

Roma had been dictating the pace of play until the half hour mark, but suddenly the giants awoke and it was their main man Wayne Rooney who broke them from the slumber.  Rooney collected a ball outside the eighteen and took a pair of touches to his right before lifting a wonderful curling shot into the far right corner of the net.  A goal out of nowhere, but that is what stars do.  Before the goal, Manchester United had not even managed a shot on frame.

The second goal came in the 39th with Wayne Rooney once again right in the middle of things as he placed a perfectly weighted long ball into Juan Mata who took a great touch to control the ball before flicking it lightly into the net.  Just like that all the good Roma work in the opening half went down in flames.

The onslaught continued from there as a little give and go at the top of the box between Danny Welbeck and Herrera broke open the Roma defense.  Welbeck was tripped yielding a penalty kick which Wayne Rooney slammed home.  3-0 at the half to Manchester United all coming in the final ten minutes of the opening stanza.

Both sides made wholesale substitutions at the break to deal with the altitude and the hot Denver afternoon.  Roma seemed to get the better of the opening exchanges, but like the first half were unable to cash in on any of their chances.  They definitely left their shooting boots at home.  Shots were coming, but through an hour Roma had still not hit the target with a shot.

In the 75th Roma scored on their first shot on frame and it resulted from the Manchester United keeper being caught well off his line.  Ben Amos was out in no-man's land and Miralem Pjanic launched a shot from midfield that went over Amos and into the net.  Suddenly Roma were on the front foot and pushing hard and they almost cut the lead to 3-2 in the 83rd as an overhead kick was tipped onto the post by Ben Amos.  Roma would get their goal though as Totti would convert a penalty as the end approached.  

Would Roma be able to get the match tied?  Only minutes remained and Manchester United were intent on seeing it out for the victory which they did.  Next up Roma travels to Dallas to face Real Madrid while ManU will head to Washington DC to play Inter Milan.