Mata, Rooney lift United to Cup title

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm •  Published: August 4, 2014
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — It's only a preseason tournament, and the trophy isn't exactly steeped in soccer history.

None of that mattered to Wayne Rooney and Manchester United.

Rooney and Juan Mata scored two minutes apart in a second-half flurry, Jesse Lingard added an insurance goal in the final minutes and Manchester United rallied to beat longtime rival Liverpool 3-1 in the title match of the International Champions Cup on Monday night.

"It's obviously great to win the game and win the tournament," Rooney said in an on-field interview after the match. "We worked hard in preseason and to go unbeaten gives us confidence."

Steven Gerrard scored on a penalty kick in the 14th minute for Liverpool, which topped United twice last season in Premier League play.

Last season was wildly disappointing by United standards, but it is now unbeaten in five matches under new manager Louis van Gaal. And while his players were clearly thrilled, van Gaal offered a one-word assessment of what winning a preseason tournament means.

"Nothing," van Gaal said.

Clearly, no disrespect was meant. But clubs like United are looking for the sport's biggest prizes, and van Gaal wants his team thinking big.

"It's nice for the fans in the United States of America and also at home that we beat Liverpool," van Gaal said. "It's not our favorite opponent, for Man United fans. I think we have gave a lot of pleasure to these fans and that's very important. And of course, it is better to win in preparation time than to lose. But the most important game is against Swansea City, the first game at home in the Premier League. That, we have to win."

The teams mingled on the field after the trophy presentation, though there is certainly no such thing as a true "friendly" between these clubs — which have combined for 38 English championships and well over 100 trophies worldwide.

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