Champions Cup Final: Winners and Losers from Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2014

Champions Cup Final: Winners and Losers from Manchester United vs. Liverpool

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    The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool opened a new chapter in America Monday night with the Red Devils coming out on top, 3-1, in the final of the International Champions Cup.

    After falling behind by a goal, United responded with three goals in the second half to become the second-ever winners of the eight-team tournament. 

    During the exciting first half for Liverpool, and the enticing second half from United, there were plenty of players who stood out for both positive and negative reasons.

    Continue reading on to see who the biggest winners and losers from Monday's final were. 

Winner: Wayne Rooney

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    Wayne Rooney earned the Player of the Tournament award for his involvement in his 55th-minute strike, and his previous strikes in the competition against Roma.

    Rooney, who wore the captain's armband for the first time during the team's American tour, shifted all of the momentum to United's favor after his first touch off a Javier Hernandez cross beat Simon Mignolet

Loser: Phil Jones

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    Phil Jones struggled to deal with the pace of Raheem Sterling for the entire first half. 

    The United defender, who like all of his teammates is eager to impress new boss Louis van Gaal, conceded a penalty in the 13th minute after he could not catch up with the speedy Sterling. 

    After the penalty, Jones continued to struggle with the winger's pace, but luckily for him, he did not make any more major mistakes. 

Winner/Loser: Mamadou Sakho

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    The one defender that stood out for Liverpool was Mamadou Sakho, who imposed his will on the United attack with several clearances in the first half. 

    Sakho's strong game continued for the first 11 minutes of the second half, but then it all went downhill after Juan Mata's shot deflected off him into the back of the net. 

    The Frenchman didn't have much time to make good on the deflection that led to the second United goal, as he was taken off for Kolo Toure in the 74th minute. 

Winner: Raheem Sterling

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    Raheem Sterling was one of the best players on the pitch at Sun Life Stadium, and he gave Liverpool the best chance of scoring. 

    He created the penalty in the 13th minute after his speed left Jones chasing from behind, while he also had another penalty shout later in the half after falling to the ground in the box. 

    Throughout the entire first half, Sterling was a menace to the back three of Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, which may lead us to believe Van Gaal is far from done in regards to the personnel in his defense. 

Loser: Nani

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    Nani only spent 21 minutes on the pitch for the Red Devils, but he did nothing but hurt his stock in Miami. 

    The Portuguese winger didn't do much on the offensive side of the ball, and he almost handed Liverpool a golden opportunity to score in the 81st minute. 

    Instead of clearing the ball right away, Nani decided to dance around a few yellow shirts to play out of the back.

    That decision cost him when the ball was turned over, but thankfully Smalling was there to clean things up. 

Loser: Simon Mignolet

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    After not having many things to do during the first 45 minutes, Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet was beaten on three occasions in the second stanza. 

    On all three occasions, Mignolet didn't stand a chance of coming up with a save due to the placement of the shots. 

Loser: Rickie Lambert

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    With Daniel Sturridge out of the starting 11 for Monday's clash, Rickie Lambert had a chance to shine in the forward role for the Reds.

    Instead, the new arrival from Southampton failed to make his mark on the match before leaving the pitch in the 63rd minute. 

    While his performance may have been a product of heavy legs and fatigue on just one full day of rest for both sides, Lambert let his opportunity go up front while Sterling shined bright. 

Winner: Louis Van Gaal

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    Monday's victory was the fifth of the preseason tour of America for Manchester United, which means the side have not lost a single game under Louis van Gaal. 

    Throughout the win over Liverpool, and the entire tour, Van Gaal was able to assess which players work best in his system, and he got some very clear answers. 

    Now that his squad is headed back across the Atlantic Ocean, Van Gaal has a much better idea of what he wants his side to look like, which could do nothing but help his side in search of finishing in the top four domestically. 

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