The first ever Manchester derby on foreign soil went United’s way as Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford put City to the sword 2-0 in Houston.
A year on from a quagmire pitch forcing their Beijing meeting to be called off, the cavernous NRG Stadium, host of the Super Bowl earlier this year, witnessed history as the rivals met in the International Champions Cup.
Lukaku’s superb goal from an acute angle and a Rashford drive proved the difference in Texas, where Jose Mourinho’s United racked up their third friendly win as Pep Guardiola’s City opened pre-season with a 2-0 defeat.
The 67,401 under the roof in Houston were not only treated to a relatively entertaining friendly but a dollop of razzmatazz, epitomised by rapper Drake leading out the players in darkness before they were blasted with dry ice.
Play swung from end to end when football eventually became the focus, with United taking control as half-time approached.
Lukaku embarrassed Ederson Moraes by latching onto a fine Paul Pogba pass and continuing to slot home from an improbable angle, with the new City goalkeeper’s positioning again under scrutiny as Rashford struck soon after.
Lukaku saw an effort come back off the woodwork early in the second half, but there was to be no more goals as play lost momentum as Mourinho and Guardiola rang the changes.
Some of the pre-match razzle-dazzle in Texas was ridiculous, as was the City team shown on the big screens.
Centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo was shown in goal but would have probably looked as convincing as Ederson when faced by an Ander Herrera strike early in the game.
Raheem Sterling and sharp-looking Phil Foden had attempts for City as play toed and froed, with the former’s deflected effort forcing a fine save from David De Gea after Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Herrera were denied.
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Chris Smalling produced back-to-back blocks after getting away with pulling back Patrick Roberts in the box, swiftly followed by an advert urging those in the ground to ‘own the save’.
Ederson failed to do just that.
Rushing out to meet an outstanding Pogba pass, the Brazilian goalkeeper was beaten to the ball by Lukaku and then watched helplessly as the United new boy showed great confidence and skill to turn home from an acute ankle.
It was an excellent finish that was added to within minutes. Mkhitaryan slid the ball wide to Rashford and the teenager drilled low past Ederson.
Foden would have reduced the deficit before half-time was it not for De Gea’s reaction save, but United were now on top and threatening a third.
Back-tracking Ederson breathed a sigh of relief after clawing away Rashford’s cross-shot, before cumbersome John Stones allowed Lukaku to get away a thundering effort that rattled the goal frame.
Pogba thrashed an effort into the side-netting after finding himself some room on the edge of the box, but chances were deceasing as substitutions took the sting out of proceedings.
Foden lifted over after Sergio Romero flapped at a Samir Nasri cross and Ederson produced a triple save, with offside called before the rebound was fired home.
City pushed for a late consolation but there was to be no more goals in Houston.
Basketball Legend, Kobe Bryant Dies At 41 In Helicopter Crash
41-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star and NBA legend, Kobe Bryant has died in Calabasas after a fatal helicopter crash.
The legend passed away Sunday, January 26th in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Kobe was traveling with at least three other people in his private helicopter. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
According to reports, emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived the crash and five people were confirmed dead at scene.
The Los Angeles Times confirmed that a helicopter crash had occurred before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road. There were foggy conditions that caused the helicopter to crash in the hills above Calabasas and burst into flames.
Emergency Services personnel were unable to get to the aircraft until the fire was contained. Bryant has been known for traveling via a private helicopter for years even during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He famously commuted from Newport Beach to the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles by way of his Sikorsky S-76 chopper. Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their four daughters, Gianna, Natalia, Bianca, and Capri.
Iheanacho Fires Off Leicester Into 5th Round Of FA Cup
Leicester City edged through to the fifth round of the FA Cup as they secured a 1-0 victory over Brentford at Griffin Park.
None of the Bees’ much-vaunted strikeforce of Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins started the game, with only Mbuemo included among the substitutes.
The Foxes showed nine changes to the side that started the 4-1 win over West Ham in midweek, with Caglar Soyuncu and Ayoze Perez the only two survivors.
And it was Perez who almost broke the deadlock with a mere 20 seconds on the clock, being played in by Kelechi Iheanacho, only to be denied by a superb last-ditch challenge from Luka Racic.
However, with four minutes played, City did hit the front as Dennis Praet sprayed a pass out to James Justin and his cross from the right was perfect for Iheanacho to convert from close range.
This goal 😍
— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 25, 2020
Iheanacho was denied a second goal as home keeper Luke Daniels made a solid block at his near post before the hosts responded when Halil Dervisoglu curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post.
Mark Albrighton drilled a 25-yard shot just wide with just over 10 minutes left to half-time, while Daniels made a decent save to deny Perez just a couple of minutes before the interval.
The Bees continued to try and find a way back into the game during the early part of the second half but were finding it hard to make much headway in the final third.
The managed to do so just past the hour mark, with an Emiliano Marcondes ball in from the right going all the way through to hit the base of the far post before being cleared from danger by Christian Fuchs.
Seven minutes from time the hosts went close again as Racic met a corner from the right with a fine volley, which drew an acrobatic tip-over from Danny Ward.
However, they were unable to force an equaliser as the Foxes held out through three added minutes at the end of the game.
Victor Moses Joins Inter Milan On Loan
Victor Moses is officially an Inter Milan player. The 29-year-old Nigerian player has joined the Nerazzurri on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.
He has been handed the number 11 jersey at the club after he was unveiled at Inter’s stadium on Thursday evening.
Inter Milan, one of the European continent’s biggest club, wrote a long article on their official website about Moses after signing him.
Read it below.
“The thread that binds Victor Moses to the ball is infused with passion, deep meaning, joy and suffering. It’s a story of courage and determination, of enormous strength and character.”
“He once played on the streets of Kaduna, Nigeria, the place where he was born. Here, come rain or shine, a barefooted Moses would run with the ball at his feet.”
“And on one of those days, when he was accelerating and dribbling, something happened that would change his life forever: he suddenly found himself without his father Austin and mother Josephine, both of whom were killed in their own home during religious riots.”
“On that exact day, Moses, who was not at home precisely because he was playing football with friends, was forced to grow up. He hadn’t even turned 12.”
“He then set off for England. It was the beginning of a new life in South London, one which was marked by two requirements: to be strong and never give up.
To help him along the way, he had an innate ability to play with the ball between his feet and overwhelming physical power that allowed him to be the dominant figure when up against his peers.”
“After getting involved in local football, he was soon discovered by Crystal Palace. At a young age, he began to dominate. Quite literally.”
“Many still remember the final of the 2005 Under-14 FA Youth Cup, with Whitgift winning 5-0 thanks to five goals from Moses. Three years and over 100 goals later, he made his debut for Palace’s first team.”
“This is how his path in English professional football began. He moved to Wigan in 2010, where he debuted in the Premier League, before making a big step forward in 2012 when he was signed by then European champions Chelsea.”
“During his first season at The Blues, he scored ten goals in 43 matches, winning the UEFA Europa League in the process. But this wasn’t enough to convince Chelsea’s new boss.”
“So, with his usual determination, Victor rolled up his sleeves and went again. Loan spells at Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham followed.
When Antonio Conte became Chelsea’s Coach in 2016, a new chapter began in Victor Moses’s career.”
“He became an important part of the current Nerazzurri Coach’s side, contributing to the Blues’ 2016/17 Premier League triumph and FA Cup success in 2018. Over two seasons, he played 78 times, scored eight goals and provided eight assists. “
“Conte used him out wide in midfield, whereas in the two years prior to this he’d often been used as an out-and-out winger or a second striker. More recently, Moses has spent time at Fenerbahce in Turkey.”
“On an international level, Moses played for all of England’s youth teams, also finishing as the top scorer at the U17 European Championship. In 2012, however, he made the decision to play for Nigeria, the country where he was born.”
“He’s since scored twelve goals in 38 matches for the Super Eagles and taken part in two World Cups. Most notably, he won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, at which he left his mark with an assist for the winning goal in the final.”
‘Fast and determined, shy but aware of his abilities: Victor Moses, who possesses a great affinity for the ball, knows that every time he’s taken to the pitch, his father Austin and mother Josephine have been watching on proudly.’
“And now he’s ready to start a new adventure. He’s the eighth Nigerian player in Inter’s history and follows in the footsteps of big names like Nwanko Kanu, Taribo West and Obafemi Martins.”
On behalf of the Nerazzurri family, we’d like to wish Victor all the very best!