FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Erasing the tough loss Manchester United suffered at the hands of Barcelona for the UEFA Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium will unquestionably be a tall order for the Red Devils.
That’s because even though it’s been more than a month since Man. United lost to Barça, talk continues about how that defeat partially dulls the Red Devils’ record 19th English Premier title.
For speedy United winger Nani, though, the team can’t dwell on that result any longer. Instead, they should use it as motivation as they prepare to defend their league title and make another run to the Champions League final.
“The [Champions League] final created a bitter atmosphere,” confessed the Portugal international. “But of course every year we try to be better and I hope that this season we can reach the final and do better.”
Every year, Manchester United approach their preseason differently, but always with the same goal in mind: to win it all. It’s obviously no different this year.
“We prepare ourselves all year to win the league, to win the Champions,” said Nani. “We’ll see how this season goes.”
The Red Devils took a resounding first step in the right direction on Wednesday by defeating the New England Revolution 4-1 behind two goals from Federico Macheda and one each from Michael Owen and Park Ji-Sung.
The result is exactly what Manchester United hoped for even if they were unable to get on the board until the second half, when the Revs made wholesale changes to keep the squad fresh for a weekend MLS tilt.
“[New England] showed good quality, they play well,” said Nani, who recorded an assist on the night. “They obviously had an advantage over us because they’re in the middle of a competition and we’re just starting, but the result was good.”
With a win in their first of five matches in their US tour, Nani and Manchester United now travel to Seattle to take on the Sounders before resuming play in the World Football Challenge against the Chicago Fire on July 23 (5 pm ET; ESPN2, ESPN Deportes).