Man-U too good for Chelsea in Shield
Manchester United dominated a stuttering Chelsea to claim a deserved 3-1 victory.
London: Goals from Antonio Valencia after 41 minutes and Javier Hernandez`s first for his new club after 76 gave United control in the third Shield match between English football`s current "big two" in the last four seasons.
Dimitar Berbatov, on as a late substitute, lobbed in United`s third in stoppage time after a clever ball from Nani which summed up United`s slicker passing and movement with the start of the new Premier League campaign six days away.
Salomon Kalou had pulled one back for Chelsea six minutes from time when Edwin van der Sar, outstanding after a shaky start, could only parry a shot from Daniel Sturridge during a late rally by the champions who have now lost five of their seven pre-season games.
The Community Shield is rarely a pointer to the battles to come over the next nine months but is always a game the competing managers want to win and Sunday`s victory gave United manager Alex Ferguson the 45th trophy of his managerial career -- the 35th he has brought to United at the start of his 25th season as their manager.
The other winners on the day were the Wembley groundstaff who appear to have solved the pitch problems that have dogged the stadium since it re-opened in 2007.
Unusually neither team fielded any new signings at kickoff, with Chelsea`s main summer import Yossi Benayoun and United`s Mexican striker Hernandez both on the bench.
While the players were all totally familiar to the fans, some were less popular than others and four of the England squad who flopped at the World Cup - Chelsea`s John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard and United`s Wayne Rooney -- were jeered and booed by opposing fans in the early stages.
The booing subsided after a while -- apart from those directed at the always unpopular Cole -- because United`s fans began to have something to cheer about as Paul Scholes dominated in midfield and, along with Ji-Sung Park, helped United take control.
Scholes should have done better with a skied shot after nine minutes and Rooney went close before setting up their opener after a superb pass from Scholes four minutes before the break.
Valencia took the chance excellently but there was little joy for Michael Owen, back at Wembley for the first time since he seriously injured his hamstring there in the League Cup final in February.
Ferguson replaced Owen and Rooney at halftime as promised, with United fans getting their first glimpse of Hernandez, the 22-year-old Mexican striker tipped as a United star of the future.
He did not disappoint either, doubling the score with a bizarre finish as he met a low cross and sent it into the net via his foot and face.
Chelsea rallied in the closing stages after Sturridge and Didier Drogba came on but the champions, who beat United on penalties to lift the Community Shield last season, failed to impress.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti will want to see them sharpen up next week before they began the defence of their title against West Bromwich Albion.