WASHINGTON D.C. – The word is respect. For the American national anthem that reverberated around FedExField at the start of the match. For Vidic, applauded by the entire stadium. He, a former United great, now with the Nerazzurri. And, above all, respect between Inter and Manchester United. The two sides spent the first half studying one another, fearful of their opponents. And that would be the story of the opening 45 minutes.
United went close on 10 minutes as defender Jones headed firmly from a corner. Handanovic got down very sharply to repel the effort. Mazzarri’s men crept forward though as the half wore on and responded two minutes later. Vidic headed over from a corner, before shortly afterward Juan Jesus played in Icardi, whose cross from the left picked out Jonathan. The Brazilian dummied with his right and shot with his left, only to be denied by a last-gasp challenge from Herrera. Manchester United threatened again on 38 minutes after gorgeous link-up play between Mata and Rooney. The England forward was only thwarted by a wonderful intervention by Ranocchia. The last opportunity of the first period fell to Inter with both D’Ambrosio’s and Jonathan’s shots blocked by the defence.
M’Vila came on for Khrin at the start of the second period, while the Red Devils made eight changes: on came De Gea, M Keane, Blackett, Cleverley, Kagawa, Shaw, Zaha, Nani. The English side created the half’s first opening. Zaha burst forward and cut inside before Vidic prevented him from getting a shot off. Just past the hour mark a give-and-go between Kagawa and Nani provided the Portuguese with a chance: he screwed his shot well wide however. Mazzarri sent on four new faces on 63 minutes, with Carrizo, Nagatomo, Taider and Laxalt replacing Handanovic, Dodò, Kuzmanovic and Botta respectively. Vidic received a great ovation as he made way for Andreolli 10 minutes from time. The game eventually ended 0-0 and would be decided from 12 yards.
Andreolli’s penalty against the bar was the only blemish in an otherwise excellent shootout. Fletcher made no mistake as Manchester United prevailed 5-3. The English side come away with 2 points, while Inter leave with 1. Next up is Roma on Saturday in Philadelphia.
Handanovic (Carrizo 64); Ranocchia, Vidic (Andreolli 71), Juan Jesus; D’Ambrosio, Jonathan (Guarin 84), Kuzmanovic (Taider 64), Krhin (M’Vila 46), Dodo (Nagatomo 64); Botta (Laxalt 64), Icardi.
Unused subs: Berni, Silvestre, Obi, Kovacic, Schelotto, Mbaye, Puscas, Bonazzoli.