Manchester United registered a place in the final of International Champions Cup final in Miami against old rivals Liverpool. Louis van Gaal seems to have transferred his tactical magic from his successful tenure with the Dutch to Manchester United, who had a horrid season last year. He can't be asked for a better showing than a win in this prestigious tournament on his debut.
Both teams reached the finals facing tough oppositions. United, however, made a more sumptuous entry by nailing Real Madrid three goals to one. A contest watched by a majestic crowd of 109,318 fans in the Michigan State, a record sellout for any soccer game in the United States.
The fans though must have been disappointed to see super star Cristiano Ronaldo feature only for the last twenty minutes of the game. The highlight of the match was the performance of Ashley Young who scored twice in the first half to tilt the match in United's favour. Van Gaal's ploy of using 3-4-1-2 worked quite well in the team's favour resulting in only three major Madrid attacks in the whole game. It was the same formation that was successfully deployed by the Dutch national team in their very successful World Cup campaign in Brazil.
The only glimmer of hope for the Real Madrid came from a penalty by Gareth Bale who was also leading the side in the game. A goal that leveled the score at that point in the match but could not inspire the team to deal with the sublime United threat. This victory made it three wins in a row after victories against Inter Milan and AS Roma.
The road to the final for Liverpool was not as easy as their game against Manchester City went down the wire after both sides finished two goals apiece. Liverpool emerged as the winners after a 3-1 lead in penalty shootouts.
A final before the beginning of the new season allows Van Gaal to not only show his mettle but also to regain the trust of the fans.