Manchester United

Roma vs. Manchester United: International Champions Cup Score, Grades, Reaction

DENVER, CO - JULY 26: Wayne Rooney #10 of Manchester United celebrates his second goal with Juan Mata #8 during the first half of an International Champions Cup match against AS Roma at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on July 26, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2014

It took 36 minutes for the sleeping beast known as Manchester United to wake up, but once they did, they erupted for a flurry of late-first-half goals. 

United downed AS Roma 3-2 in the first match for both sides in the International Champions Cup at Sports Authority Field in Denver on Saturday. 

After Roma took hold of the possession battle for most of the half, Wayne Rooney popped up from 22 yards out to strike the first goal of the game and his third of his side's pre-season tour. 

Rooney's strike from distance gave Roma keeper Lukasz Skorupski no chance of making a save, and after that goal, the floodgates opened up for the Red Devils. 

Three minutes later, Rooney showed vision from midfield resembling Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he dropped a terrific pass in the box for Juan Mata

Mata rewarded the English forward by slotting the second goal past Skorupski, but that didn't end the late-first-half scoring onslaught by the team in white. 

Just as the first of two minutes of stoppage time began, Danny Welbeck was taken down in the box by Urby Emanuelson, which handed Rooney a chance to record a brace for the second consecutive game. 

Rooney sent his shot from the spot into the left corner of the net to score his second penalty of United's tour through the United States. 

Roma did hand the Red Devils a scare early in the half, when Mattia Destro's chip bounced right over the crossbar after his shot landed in front of the goalmouth. Destro tried to sneak past the United back three on a few occasions after that missed chance but was ruled offside on a few occasions. 

It took 76 minutes for Roma to finally get a shot on goal, but when the Italian side did strike, they did it in fantastic fashion. Miralem Pjanic struck a ball from 60 yards out that landed in the goal over an out-of-position Ben Amos. 

The Italian side almost earned themselves a goal in the 84th minute, but the hand of Amos and the post denied them. Leandro Castan's acrobatic effort in the box looked to be going in, but Amos got a small touch to the ball to push the it onto the left post. 

Roma did grab a second goal in the 89th minute, as Francesco Totti struck from the spot after Michael Keane was whistled for a handball. 

The win handed United three points in the competition, which will see both sides play two more games over the next week at various sites across the United States. 

 

Key Player Grades

Wayne Rooney, F, Manchester United: A

DENVER, CO - JULY 26:  Wayne Rooney #10 of Manchester United shoots and scores pas Urby Emanuelson #82 and Seydou Keita #20 of AS Roma during the first half of an International Champions Cup match at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on July 26, 2014 in
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Just like he did late in the first half against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, Rooney netted two goals before exiting at the half. 

Adding to his two goals in the final nine minutes of the first half was a superb assist delivered in to Juan Mata on United's second goal. 

 

Mattia Destro, F, Roma: B-

RIETI, ITALY - JULY 18:  Mattia Destro of Roma in action during the friendly match between AS Roma and Indonesia U23 at Stadio Centro d'Italia - Manlio Scopigno on July 18, 2014 in Rieti, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Destro was very lively up front in the early stages of the match for Roma, but his impact dwindled as United gained dominance on the scoreboard. 

Other than his second-minute chip over the head of Sam Johnstone, he did not cause too much of a challenge. 

 

Juan Mata, M, Manchester United: B

DENVER, CO - JULY 26:  Juan Mata #8 of Manchester United scores past Alessio Romangnoli #11 and goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski #28 of AS Roma during the first half of an International Champions Cup match at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on July 26, 201
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Mata was the beneficiary of Rooney's terrific assist on his 39th-minute goal, but he also played the role of provider for the Red Devils forward. The Spanish midfielder fed Rooney with the pass that allowed him to strike United's first goal.

 

Post-Match Reaction

Roma manager Rudi Garcia said after the match that the result was not fair but that United did deserve the victory. 

United boss Louis van Gaal said he was pleased with the goals scored by the team but that their performance was not good enough: 

The Dutchman was also not pleased by the penalty call late in the match:

 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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