Sunday, 10 August 2014

Reds Lose Out In ICC Final

After topping their group unbeaten in the International Champions Cup, Liverpool advanced to the final to take on fierce rivals Manchester United.

United made the better start of the two sides and could have been ahead inside seven minutes when Ashley Young's cross reached Javier Hernandez but the young striker's shot went across goal and was cleared successfully by Mamadou Sakho as the danger ended.

Liverpool had a good chance themselves three minutes later when Steven Gerrard sent a free-kick into the area which met the head of Jordan Henderson but went over the bar and failed to trouble David De Gea who was soon called into action in the 12th minute as Martin Kelly had a chance from the edge of the area but the Spanish stopper collected the ball easily.

However, Liverpool had an even better chance within a minute as a Glen Johnson found Raheem Sterling with a through pass and with the young attacker advancing on goal, he was brought down by Phil Jones which resulted in a penalty for Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard stepped up and slotted the spot kick past David De Gea to open the scoring in the 13th minute but the Reds could have doubled their lead in the 24th minute as a powerful shot from Phillipe Coutinho forced a good save from David De Gea.  Both sides threatened from free-kicks with Wayne Rooney hitting one against the Liverpool wall and Steven Gerrard forcing David De Gea to punch his chance clear.

Liverpool had two good chances early in the second half with Rickie Lambert testing David De Gea after connecting to a Steven Gerrard pass followed by Phillipe Coutinho finding Raheem Sterling who curling shot deflected wide of the target.

United responded with a good chance of their own as Javier Hernandez swept a cross to the far post which was met superbly by Wayne Rooney who fired past Simon Mignolet to level the score in the 55th minute. The equaliser proved to be a catalyst for a second strike as just two minutes later Luke Shaw found Juan Mata who fired past Simon Mignolet from outside the area to complete a stunning comeback.

United's joy was nearly a treble success when a long range pass looked to have hit the bar and cannoned back into play which saw Wayne Rooney tap past a helpless Simon Mignolet but the strike was chalked off as the ball had hit the stanchion behind the goal and not the crossbar.

However a third did come for United as substitute Jesse Lingard sealed the win with a superb shot that sailed past Simon Mignolet in the 88th minute and handed Liverpool only their second loss in pre-season ahead of the traditional Anfield return for the final game of schedule.