For the third consecutive game it took a strong second half performance for United to beat an MLS team. And once again it was Wayne Rooney who inspired the second-half performance, just as he did in Seattle last weekend.
Fergie gave debuts to summer signings David de Gea and Phil Jones making their debuts, United conceded a shock goal after only 12 minutes when Jalil Anibaba launched a deep free-kick into the penalty area. Gibbs climbed above Jones close to the penalty spot and guided an excellent header into the bottom corner, with De Gea rooted to the spot.
It could have been much worse for United who were really poor in the first half. Chicago’s Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko and Cristian Nazarit all wasted good chances and De Gea had to make a really good save right on half-time from Nyarko to keep the score 1-0.
United started better in the second half and Chris Smalling was denied a very well-taken goal by an offside flag.
But Chicago continued to expose a poor United defence and Baggio Husidic wasted a glorious chance to score by tapping wide of an open goal at the far post. Pappa then blasted a shot into the side-netting, which a sizeable proportion of the 61,000 crowd thought had gone in, before De Gea pushed a low Orr Barouch effort onto his post.
Those misses seemed to inspire United and in the 66 minute they equalized when Rooney ran onto a pinpoint long ball from Rio Ferdinand and lifted the ball over the onrushing Chicago goalkeeper. It was Rooney’s fourth goal of the US tour.
Ten minutes later, United were in front after Rafael and Nani combined down the right flank and Rafael coolly squeezed the ball through Conway’s legs from a tight angle.
Nani then wrapped up the victory with eight minutes remaining when he took advantage of poor Chicago defending to cheekily dink the ball into the net.
The score flatters United as this way by far the toughest game of the tour so far. The defensive frailties will concern Fergie and give him something to work on before the midweek game against the MLS all-stars and the Barcelona next weekend.