Community Shield 2011 – Manchester United Steal Victory




The new season could not have asked for a more jaw dropping beginning as Manchester United came down from the dumps and snatched victory under the nose of their noisy neighbours Manchester City in the season opening Community Shield clash at the Wembley. City looked to give a disaster of a debut to United’s new goalkeeper De Gea as they went ahead 2-0 in the first half. But a stunning comeback comprising of a goal from Chris Smalling and a double from Nani – the second in the last minute of injury time, ensured that United wouldn’t suffer a second consecutive loss to their neighbours after being beaten by them in the FA Cup semifinals last season.

Community Shield 2011 - Manchester United steal victory

Community Shield 2011 – Manchester United steal victory

Danny Welbeck earned himself an England call-up on the eve of this game and was handed another surprise when Sir Alex decided to give him a place in the starting line up ahead of last season’s top scorer Berbatov or Michael Owen while new signing Ashley Young started on the left flank. City, on the other hand were missing their skipper Tevez, who was given an extended break after turning out for Argentina in the Copa America while new signing Sergio Aguero had to wait for his debut.

United hardly allowed City to have a kick of the ball in the opening exchanges as Young, Smalling and Welbeck all came close while Rooney put his free-kick narrowly wide. City’s desperation began to grow as Balotelli and Dzeko got embroiled in altercations with Vidic and Anderson. Micah Richards was lucky to not have been sent off after an ugly tackle on Young as the charity clash looked anything but charitable.

But momentum suddenly switched sides!

David Silva casually put in a free-kick into the box as David Gea stayed on his line while Ferdinand and Vidic looked on as Lescott coolly headed home the first goal of the game. It was to get worse for United’s new keeper! Edin Dzeko suddenly found a lot of space in the midfield and let loose a venomous shot as late movement took the ball past the Spanish keeper and into the back of the net as City found themselves two goals up at halftime.

Ferguson responded with three changes at the break. Cleverley and Phil Jones got their first competitive shirts while Evans joined Jones at center back. It took only six minutes for United to make a comeback! Young’s teasing free-kick was touched in by Chris Smalling after Dzeko completely failed to read his run. The equalizer would come six minutes later. Cleverley and Rooney tore apart the City defence with a series of short passes to send Nani clear and the Portugal international neatly chipped it over Joe Hart to make it 2-2.

Ferguson brought on Berbatov and Rafael in place of Welbeck and Evra as United continued to dominate possession. De Gea did well to block Adam Johnson’s effort while Cleverley was making his impact felt on the field. The match looked destined for penalties until a blunder settled matters for United. After Rooney cleared a City corner, Kompany failed to read it and allowed Nani to rob him and run clear on goal before tapping in an easy finish to help United begin the season with a trophy.

A late win, but a win nevertheless!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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