Some big European guns were in action in the International Champions Cup this morning. Here are five things we learned.
Sanchez is ready
Alexis Sanchez was the star man for Manchester United as they wrapped up a somewhat disastrous pre-season tour of the United States by finally registering a win. The Red Devils beat Real Madrid 2-1, with Sanchez on the score sheet for the opening goal. He also brilliantly teed up Ander Herrera for United’s second.
This is the first time in nine years that the Chilean has actually had a summer off. The break seems to have worked a treat for him, as he has looked in really great shape going into the new season.
Vinicius has a role to play
Brazil teen sensation Vinicius Junior finally arrived at Real Madrid this summer after spending an extra season at Flamengo since he signed for the Spanish giants. He has been listed by Madrid as part of their ‘Castilla’ B side, but the youngster might just feel that he has arrived at the most opportune time. The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo has left a void to be filled and although Vinicius is not at the front of the queue to do so, he clearly has room to lay his claim.
His impressive showing against United demonstrated that while he was signed as one for the future, he could also have a vital role to play in the present.
Malcom proves point against AS Roma
One of the stories of the transfer window this summer has been Barcelona’s sensational hijack of AS Roma’s attempts to sign Malcom from Bordeaux. The Brazilian winger was said to be just hours from joining Roma when Barça swooped in and snatched him from right under their noses.
The two sides clashed in Texas early this morning, and Malcom acquitted himself well with a notable performance and a goal.
..but the Italians have last laugh – on Twitter and on the pitch
To their credit, the Serie A side proved that they can be a good sport, as they poked fun at Malcom and his new club on Twitter before kick-off. They shaded off the 21-year old’s name from Barcelona’s team sheet as they announced to their supporters how their opponents would be lining up.
They also went on to seal the more important win on the pitch, when they came from 2-1 down to triumph 4-2 thanks to a late flurry of goals.
Could N’Koudou save Spurs money in the transfer window?
Fans of North London side Tottenham Hotspur have been frustrated by their club’s inactivity in the transfer market so far. The Lilywhites have been linked to players like Anthony Martial, Wilfried Zaha and Jack Grealish, but seem to be reluctant to splash the kind of money United, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa are demanding for their players. Manager Mauricio Pochettino recently admitted that the club might not sign any players this summer, and instead look to those they already have within their ranks.
One of those is Georges-Kévin N’Koudou, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Burnley. The French winger has now scored two goals in two games for Spurs, including a sweet strike against Milan this morning. If Pochettino cannot land any of his attacking targets, N’Koudou might just offer some respite for the club.
The International Champions Cup continues tonight and at the weekend. Bet on the upcoming matches here.