Manchester United beat Barcelona 2-1 in the FedEx field in the final fixture of United’s pre-season tour of America last week. It was a gripping fixture that saw United overcome the European Champions and finish the tour undefeated, something that bodes well for the up-and-coming season. I have had the chance to speak to a United fan, Mike Fontana, who was lucky enough to watch the game from the crowd and see the win in all its glory. Mike has kindly taken the time out to answer some questions about the game and if you want, you can follow him on Twitter here.
Mike, give a quick introduction about yourself and how you became to be a United fan over in the States?
My name is Mike and I live in a small town of about 45,000 in the US. Football is certainly not the most popular sport here. How I became a united fan? I was on a family vacation in Florida and this sandwich shop was showing the Man United v Fenerbache CL match where Rooney scored a hat trick on his debut, from then on I was a united fan/supporter.
How was the build-up to the game in the city and how confident were you pre kick-off that United could overcome Barcelona this time?
There was a very large amount of optimism among the fans around the stadium. There was an overwhelming feeling that as soon as the game kicked off it would be different than in the past.
How was the atmosphere in the ground when Nani put United ahead?
I was about 6 rows from Nani when he put that first goal in, prior to that Rooney had come very close so all the Man United fans were just waiting for the moment. When we saw Welbeck play the ball to Nani everyone went quiet in our section and then the next second the ball was in the back of the net with everyone started hugging each other and screaming our heads off.
What was the reaction to Owen’s goal so soon after that thunderbolt from Alcantara?
Owen’s goal? That was spectacular. At that point in the match we were having to transfer our attention to the big screen that was across the pitch. Everyone started screaming once Owen broke away, I certainly expected him to lay it off to Cleverley but we were all ecstatic with that classic Owen finish.
Who was your man of the match?
My man of the match was Tom Cleverley, I have watched him closely for a couple of years and finally seeing him play was great. He did some tracking back to defend but pounced onto counter attacks just as fast, and made some great passes. I personally think we have a real gem in Cleverley.
You managed to meet Andy Cole, Gary Neville and Paddy Crerand – who were you most excited to meet and what did you manage to talk to them about?
I would have to go with Neville, he was hilarious and was great to the fans. It was immense meeting all three. He actually chose a question my buddy and I entered into a hat, which was “What was going through your head when Smeichel tried to shake your hand in the tunnel after transferring to Man City?” so having him answer our question really topped off the day.
How successful do you think the pre-season tour was and who impressed you the most over the 5 games ahead of the up-and-coming season?
I think our pre-season tour was very successful. We won all 5 games and are able to go into the season ahead with a winning mind frame, which I think is very important. Who was I impressed with the most? Once again Tom Cleverley. He will really shine this coming season and I am beyond thrilled with his development and promotion into the first team.
Follow @Fontana_MUFC on Twitter. Here is a slideshow of the photos that Mike took on the day.