For a lot of the time during the LA Galaxy match, it seemed too good to be true that United would dominate an opponent in that manner with the limited human resource available. However, that the MLS league is still a few notches behind most of Europe's top leagues explains the dominance.
Last night however, United started a schedule of fixtures against some of Europe's top clubs. Seria A runners up AS Roma provided the opposition in Denver. We all expected it to be harder than Thursday's cruise control against the Galaxy and tougher it was.
Roma started better, threatened more, in 33 degrees heat that visibly affected United. When United got into it after the first half hour, 3 goals in 9 minutes against the run of play took the wind out of the Italian side.
Wayne Rooney has done great starting off preseason with 4 goals in 2 games, and just as well for him. With RVP the now favoured son under the new manager, he had to start pre season by giving the Dutch boss reason to play 2 strikers as opposed to the conventional 1 under the 4-3-3. It appears though Wayne has passed this challenge as LVG has picked a 3-5-2 formation for the seaaon ahead. In particular, he seems to have a consensus ad idem with Juan Mata in the hole. Their combined brilliance accounted for two brilliant goals in the first half.
The catch though in all this is who shall be shipped off when LVG thinks he has had a proper assessment of all players? Most of the answers to that might have come to him in the second half as the 9 new players introduced seemed to come through worse off than their first half compatriots. The boss, true to his nature has already laid into Ben Amos for conceeding a goal from all of 63 yards out by claiming he could run 50 yards whe the ball is in air for 4 seconds. Nani and Hernandez didn't do much to improve their plight, but conditions under which the game was played could absolve many of then until Wednesday's tie with Inter Milan.
In all this though, it can easily be lost that there's a tournamnet under which all these games are being played. United top Group A consisting of Roma, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan. Not that anyone cares about the details, it's getting psychologically and physically ready for the season that ultimately matters.
2 wins from 2 so far, one a great performance, and another quite laborious and unconvincing, Wednesday night vs Inter will say a lot about which direction we're headed.