Manchester United beat Wigan 2-0 to win the Community Shield, the traditional curtain raiser to the season, with David Moyes collecting his first trophy as manager of the club.
United started with a near full strength team except for the ‘injured’ Wayne Rooney. United took a 4-3-3/4-5-1 shape again with a midfield of Carrick, Giggs and Cleverley, Zaha and Welbeck looked set to push forward from the wings to support the spearhead attack of RVP.
United scored early to settle any early nerves that might have been remaining from the game against Sevilla. RVP collected the ball in the middle and picked out Patrice Evra on the wing. The Frenchman had acres of space and played a cross back into the middle to RVP who was free on the edge of the area. RVP rose high and used fantastic technique to power a curling header around Scott Carson and into the far bottom corner of the goal. Simply sublime by last season’s top scorer, what a player he is.
United continued to push forward and were dominating possession. Good link up play between Cleverley and Zaha resulted in the former Crystal Palace man getting a low cross to Welbeck. However, Wigan defended well to cut the ball out for a corner. Rafael was unfortunately forced shortly after off with an injury following a coming together. It was believed to be a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for a few weeks. Chris Smalling came on to replace him.
After United’s goal Wigan seemed fearful of United striking again and sat back, United were content to knock the ball around and work an opening. They seemed to be toying with Wigan at times in the first half. Cleverley, Welbeck, Carrick and Giggs were playing some great one touch passing that left the Wigan team chasing shadows. De Gea could have brought along a deckchair and enjoyed the sun such was his involvement in the first half. The only downside to the lack of action was the atmosphere in Wembley, considering the sell-out crowd it was very quiet.
Wigan finally came to life with a half chance, a first time cross was whipped in from new signing, James Maclean that Grant Holt almost got on the end of, Nemanja Vidic was fouled in the process so United won a freekick anyway. They began to build up the momentum and a mistake from Chris Smalling released Wigan in behind United for the first time but the cross was hit far too hard for Wigan player to collect. United needed to up the tempo as the signs were there that Wigan were getting back into the game, they were gaining more possession and growing in confidence.
United half responded with Danny Welbeck who brought a good save from Scott Carson after Cleverley played the ball to his feet inside the area. Wigan had one last chance before the end of the half with Emerson Boyce heading a free kick back across the face of goal but no Wigan player gambled for what would have been a header into an empty net. For a half that started so well it whimpered out with not much in the way of chances, half time was much needed to breathe some life into a bit of a dull game.
Wigan started the second half the better side with Mclean making some good runs and winning freekicks against Zaha. Wigan seemed to realise that if they put pressure on United they would get more of the ball. Unted had the first chance of the second half, Danny Welbeck made a lovely turn in the middle of the park and played it out to Zaha. Zaha cut the ball back to Welbeck who laid it off for Cleverley arriving on the edge of the area. Cleverleys effort to shape the ball into the corner of net was poor and he miss hit the shot completely out for a goal kick.
Mclean was continuing to cause problems for Chris Smalling winning a corner and the 6,000 travelling Wigan fans were audible in the sea of red fans filling Wembley. United seemed a little flat and the Wigan players were noticeably hungrier for the ball and getting possession in United’s half more frequently. Despite Wigan coming back into the game, the quality of United shone through with a goal from their first chance of the half. A nice dummy from Danny Welbeck gave RVP space to take a shot from inside the area. The shot took a fortunate deflection leaving Scott Carson rooted to the spot for the dutchmns second goal of the afternoon.
Zaha’s match was over after a decent game as he was replaced by Antonio Valencia, sporting his new number 25 shirt. He looked to have suffered a knock to the knee as a result of some heavy treatment from the Wigan defenders. Ryan Giggs made his exit shortly after in the 67th minute to be replaced by the pre-season regular Anderson. The goal must taken the wind out of Wigans sail as United pushed on for a third. Danny Welbeck, who was having a very good game, played in Valencia who dwelled on the ball in space and by the time he took his shot a Wigan defender got back to block it out for a corner.
United made more chances towards the end, and with the teams being allowed to make 6 substitutions, United replaced Welbeck and RVP with Kagawa and 18 year old Debutant Adnan Januzaj who impressed on tour.
The result saw David Moyes collect his first trophy as United boss, hopefully the first of many.
We now look forward to real business of the league, beginning next week at Swansea where we begin the defence I out crown.