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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 13 April 2021
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Man United are clicking into gear as they beat Barcelona in latest pre-season win

That makes them European champions, right?

Rooney set United on their way.
Rooney set United on their way.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

MANCHESTER UNITED CONTINUED their encouraging pre-season form as they rode their luck to defeat Barcelona in an entertaining friendly in California.

Goals in either half from Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard set Louis van Gaal’s side on their way before Rafinha pulled one back for the La Liga champions in the final few minutes.

Adnan Januzaj restored United’s two-goal advantage in injury-time to seal the win at the Levi’s Stadium.

Barcelona, who were without Lionel Messi and Neymar, hit the post three times but United’s defence stood firm as David de Gea made his first appearance of the tour after recovering from injury.

A capacity crowd of 68,416 saw the Premier League outfit hit the front in the 8th minute when Rooney headed home Ashley Young’s corner.

Both sides proceeded to play attacking football, which made for a free-flowing game. Barcelona enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to convert the chances they created with Luis Suarez striking the upright on two separate occasions.

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Bastian Schweinsteiger missed out after he picked up a hamstring injury in training but new signings Matteo Darmian and Memphis Depay continued to impress while Daley Blind put in a solid display at centre back.

FC Barcelona Man United Soccer Matteo Darmian tangles with Luis Suarez during the International Champions Cup clash. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Two minutes after van Gaal made eleven changes, Lingard doubled United’s lead as he fired home Tyler Blackett’s low cross.

Rafinha pulled one back in the closing minutes with a sweetly-struck volley but Januzaj ensured there would be no late comeback.

United complete their tour against Paris Saint Germain on Thursday before returning to England ahead of their campaign opener against Tottenham.

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Ryan Bailey

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