Manchester United claimed a record 18th Community Shield victory (incl. the former Charity Shield) some minutes ago as the Red Devils saw off Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium with a flattering 3-1 scoreline, although both sides did not really produce a very attractive and attacking football, but the Blues were most of the time ahead of United in the game, but failed to make their chances count as only Kalou managed to find the net for them, while United saw Valencia, then Chicharito and finally Berbatov score to seal the win and the shield.
United took a long time to start going in the first half, as Chelsea dominated possession and nearly scored first as Ivanovic saw his header saved by Van Der Sar, the latter again called in action minutes later to save Anelka’s long range effort, which he palmed only to Kalou, but the striker failed to guide the ball into the net as it rolled wide. It was Scholes who did United’s waking up as he setup Rooney for a shot which went wide, and also provided Owen with a ball to cross, but no United men in the box to convert as Ivanovic cleared for a corner.
The opener finally came 5 minutes from half-time, as Scholes yet again sent a brilliant cross of 50-yard to Rooney from his own half, and the latter raced in to collect the ball ahead of Terry, and executed a pinpoint pass across the box, where Valencia had followed the action very well to curl the ball past Hilario and into the net. United ended the half with a 1-0 advantage, while we fans were waiting for some more magic to happen, else perish by Chelsea’s attacking force.
Second half saw Sir Alex start with 3 new players instead, as Park, Rooney and Owen made way for Nani, Berbatov and Chicharito. The latter came close to release Berbatov as his pace unsettled Chelsea’s defense, while Scholes was still leading the pack with his superb passes and crosses. Chelsea were also trying to get back in the game as Kalou, Essien and Cole went close but not enough to level matters. The next goal came for United however, as Valencia raced past Cole to collect a pass from O’Shea, and took his time to slot a beautiful pass across goal, where Chicharito was waiting rather unmarked, and although it was not the best of finishes, he did the required damage, as he failed to connect clearly with the ball, but as he lost his balance, the ball hit him in the face and bounced into the net. Many would have already written off Chelsea at that time, but Chelsea pressed on and were rewarded on the 84th minute as Van Der Sar could only parry Sturridge’s left-foot strike right into Kalou, and the latter had little trouble to slot home.
Chelsea gave on the impression of almost leveling the game as United defended deep but the fatal blow for them came in added time, as United passed the ball around 18 times, before Nani cheekily flicked it into Berbatov’s path, and the latter did not falter from outside the box, as he sent in a super lob to beat the advancing Hilario, and seal victory for the Red Devils.
The new season will begin next week, and this win will give United a boost in their bid to reclaim the title, but they must also be wary of other teams and of Chelsea, as the Blues are the defending champions and will not slip up so easily while teams like Man City and Liverpool are also to be watched, the former building a rather solid squad with new signings, while the latter will definitely play a new style of football with their new manager Hodgson, and of course not to forget teams like Aston Villa, Spurs amongst others which always give the big teams some rough time.