The FA Community Shield
8 Aug 2010 - 3:00 PM
The FA Community Shield Sponsored By McDonald's
Chelsea 1 - 3 Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson's side lifted the first silverware of the new season as they overcame double winners Chelsea at Wembley.
Competing for the early bragging rights it was the side in red who emerged victoriousthanks to goals from Antonio Valencia, debutant Javier Hernandez and a sublime finish from Dimitar Berbatov.
The game started brightly with chances for both sides, Paul Scholes blazed a volley over the bar from the penalty spot while Salomon Kalou missed an open goal, albeit from a narrow angle, having taken the ball past Edwin Van Der Sar.
United also survived a bout of pinball in their penalty area as Frank Lampard drove a free-kick low and true, to set in motion a succession of shots and blocks.
Van Der Sar then produced a superb stop to deny Branislav Ivanonic the opening goal. The Serbian defender rose above his fellow countryman Nemanja Vidic to head powerfully at goal, but the Dutchman was equal to the effort and clawed the ball wide for a corner.
Wayne Rooney saw a shot drift wide after he had sprung the Chelsea offside trap to reach an inventive pass from Paul Scholes. Rooney was all alone eight yards from goal but the angle defeated him.
Ji-Sung Park saw a half volley blocked at point blank range by Ivanovic as both sides sought to open the scoring.
Manchester United enjoyed slightly more possession during the first period, with Chelsea using their pace on the counter attack as a means of going forward.
A moment of magic from Wayne Rooney created the opening goal as he chased down a hopeful ball from Paul Scholes and hit a disguised reverse pass perfectly into Antonio Valencia's stride, and the Ecuadorian duly finished from seven yards out.
Coming so close to the interval the goal gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side a spring in their step going into the break, and the Scotsman made three changes, including the introduction of one of his summer recruits.
A goalscorer at the World Cup, Javier Hernandez came on together with Dimitar Berbatov and Nani.
The Mexican came close to helping United double their lead as he angled a delightful pass that was inches away from being met by Jonny Evans of all people. The Northern Ireland defender had galloped forward and though he stretched to reach the ball it was beyond him.
Carlo Ancelotti made an attacking change as he brought on Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge for Jon Obi Mikel and Nicolas Anelka, providing fresh impetus for the Premier League champions and FA Cup holders.
Chelsea stepped up their pursuit for an equaliser with Kalou stinging the palms of Van Der Sar, then Essien narrowly firing wide of the target. United's 'keeper had to be on alert at 69 minutes as Malouda was played through by Drogba, but the big Dutchman was out quickly and smothered the ball.
Ashley Cole then shot tamely at goal after Van Der Sar made a rare error in coming for a cross, but he made up for it by claiming the shot comfortably.
With 15 minutes of the game remaining, it was Hernandez, nicknamed Chicarito, who grabbed a second goal with a bizarre finish to fine move by the Red Devils.
Valencia found space once again on the right flank and whipped the perfect cross for the Mexican who somehow contrived to kick the ball into his own face, but still he found the net and scored for the first time on English soil.
Sturridge was picked out by Essien and had all the time in the world to pick his spot, but still Van Der Sar stood firm and denied Chelsea a goal, this time with his feet.
Salomon Kalou did breach Van Der Sar's goal minutes later, as Sturridge brought another save out of the Dutchman, but this time the rebound fell kindly to a blue shirt and Kalou wasn't going to miss.
Chelsea then lay seige to the United goal and it took some dogged defending to prevent an equaliser, before Dimitar Berbatov provided the icing on the cake.
As United looked to run down the clock in injury time with some possession football, the move involving Nani, Fletcher and Giggs soon became a chance on goal that the Bulgarian finished with aplomb, lifting the ball over the onrushing Hilario.
United will hope the victory has a bearing on the season to come, their first Community Shield triumph since they overcame Portsmouth in 2008.