Chelsea 1-3 Manchester United: Red Devils Look Ominous

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Chelsea 1-3 Manchester United: Red Devils Look Ominous
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United won the FA Community Shield for the record 14th time after exacting revenge on Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea at Wembley.

United new-boy Javier Hernandez 'Chicharito' scored on his competitive debut for the side as Alex Ferguson's men started the new season with an important win.

Strikes from Antonio Valencia in the first half and an exquisite Dimitar Berbatov chip in added time condemned Chelsea to their fourth preseason defeat in a row.

Chelsea seemed to be briefly back in the game when Salomon Kalou capitalized on a rebound to make it 1-2 in the 83rd minute, but in the end it was Berbatov's brilliance that settled this game.

The 84,263 fans who crammed into Wembley on a muggy Sunday afternoon were not disappointed as both teams gave it their all in this showdown.

Sir Alex Ferguson had said before the game that the winner of this fixture would have the vital psychological advantage going into the new season and the Red Devils seemed to take him up for his word.

Carlo Ancelotti too was pumped up for this game and fielded a strong starting XI with the exception of Didier Drogba who started on the bench.

Edwin Van Der Saar who turns 40 in October was as usual at his brilliant best when he palmed away Branislav Ivanovic's powerful header at full stretch.

The Blues were creating chances and keeping the Dutchman busy but were unable to force a decisive opening.

United on the other hand were exploiting the space left by Ashely Cole at left-back as the England international seemed more intent on moving forward than fulfilling his defensive duties.

It was this rather lax show that led to the opener in the 41st minute as Paul Scholes, who was just brilliant all game, played a weighted ball over the top to Wayne Rooney.

The Merseysider may have had his boo boys in the crowd but, he convincingly beat John Terry to the ball and squared it first time in the box where Antonio Valencia made no mistake and put the Red Devils in the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Valencia's movement had been very good in the first half and with Chelsea leaving space at the back, it must be said the goal was coming.

 

Second Half

Into the second half then, and Fergie made three changes as he introduced Nani, Berbatov and Hernandez for Ji Sung Park, an anonymous Michael Owen and Rooney.

Hernandez was a live wire as soon as he came on and his understanding with Berbatov will leave managers in the Premier League utterly worried.

The two combined with Nani magnificently on more than one occasion but were just squandered by the final ball into the box.

Chelsea introduced Didier Drogba on the hour mark and replaced John Obi Mikel with Daniel Sturridge. The defending Premier League champions were looking good going forward but were thwarted by Van Der Saar's virtuoso performance.

With 15 minutes to go, Chicharito doubled United's lead with a rather comical goal. Cole once again left Valencia in acres of space on the left and the Ecuadorian played a great ball into the center which was bundled over by Hernandez. Replays revealed that the ball sliced off the debutante's foot and on to his face before hitting the back of the net.

United now looked sure to be on course for their second victory in this fixture in three years, but Sturridge had other ideas. A wonderful Michael Essien through ball set the ex-Man City man through on goal, but he was once again denied by Van Der Saar.

However, minutes later a Sturridge shot was palmed away by the custodian only as far as Salomon Kalou who had the simplest of finishes.

With seven minutes to go, Chelsea seemed to be in ascendancy and an equaliser was very much possible with the Blues forging ahead.

A couple of half chances for Drogba and Yuri Zhirkov were successfully defended and United were now playing for the whistle as the game entered injury time.

The tie was finally settled by Berbatov with a delightful chip after a patient and calculated buildup. With time running out, Nani found Berbatov with a sweet weighted ball and Berbatov just needed one touch before calmly dinking Hilario who was caught in no man's land.

Ferguson will be awfully proud of his troops following a commanding display in this game.

Chelsea may have had twice as many shots on goal, but United's precision finishing and in particular Hernandez' debut, paints a rosy picture for the coming season.

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