Manchester United's Hernandez celebrates with Cleverley aftrer scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Newcastle United in Manchester

Highlights: The grace and inanity of Manchester United’s Wednesday win

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Two minutes worth of highlights can barely touch upon Wednesday’s drama at Old Trafford. The gaps (or lack of them) between scores often accentuated the feeling Newcastle, despite taking three leads, were just being set up as Manchester United’s latest victim. It’s hard to cram that kind of foreboding into 136 seconds.

But the highlights do bring life to the inanity of some of the goals that made up Manchester United’s 4-3 victory:

  • A terrible block by David de Gea;
  • No urgency to clear before Jonny Evan’s goal;
  • and Evans’ quality finish into the wrong net.

Some of the goals, however, were pure quality. The grace with which Papiss Demba Cisse strode onto Newcastle’s third goal left little doubt the Magpies would go back in front. Robin van Persie’s composure to take his touch before beating Tim Krul showed patience where others might rush.

And then there’s Chicharito. Javier Hernández’s burst on the English soccer scene two years ago overstated his value, a stature that was re-set last season when the Mexican international saw more competition for playing time. This season, things haven’t improved much for Hernández, but as today’s winning goal showed, there are still few players in the world as potent with one touch.

His finish on United’s fourth goal is sublime, his shot perfectly timed and placed during the most stressful of circumstances. Beating Krul into the right of net, Hernández delivered full points to the fate-tempting Devils.

Here are the highlights:

Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

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Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.