Chelsea

Charitable Player Ratings

It’s first blood to Manchester United in the 2010-11 English football season, following their victory in the glorified pre-season friendly that is the Community Shield. It proved to be a fairly comfortable victory to United, in a match that saw Sir Alex Ferguson’s men pick up their first victory against Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea.

Antonio Valencia gave United the lead towards the end of the first half, before substitute Javier Hernández doubled the margin with quarter of an hour left. Salmomon Kalou gave Chelsea hope towards the end, but a sublime lob from Dimitar Berbatov gave United a 3-1 win.

It was a good performance from United, and fans will have been pleased to see Wayne Rooney looking lively again after having a torrid time in South Africa. Ashley Cole, who had an awful time up against Valencia at left back, let the winger in behind him following a superb ball from Rooney, but the Ecuadorian didn’t get enough on his attempted lob to beat Hilario. United had their first great chance soon after, when Paul Scholes ran onto Valencia’s cross, only to blast over from 12 yards.

Chelsea were nearly in when Edwin van der Sar fumbled Nicholas Anelka’s shot, but Kalou’s resulting pass across the goal couldn’t find a blue shirt. United held out well, and whilst Chelsea saw enough of the game, their clear-cut chances were few. They also found United’s 39-year old keeper on top form, who made several quality saves, notably from Branislav Ivanovic’s header from a Florent Malouda free kick.

Rooney and Michael Owen both missed half-chances before Valencia gave United the lead. Scholes played a superb long ball (one of many) wide on the right, with Rooney latching onto it and drawing John Terry wide with him. Valencia made a clever run inside that Cole failed to track, and Rooney’s low first time ball gave Valencia a simple finish over Hilario.

The second half saw Hernández and Berbatov come on up front for United ahead of Rooney and Owen. Chelsea took a better grip on the second half than they had the first, without Rooney dropping deep to help out United’s midfield. They were for the most part, however, restricted to shots from distance, with Malouda and Michael Essien going close, and Kalou seeing a shot saved by the excellent van der Sar. Cole added to his miserable performance, when a Paulo Ferreira cross broke to him, only for his tame left footed shot saved comfortably by van der Sar.

Javier Hernández saw his first real chance soon after, when Berbatov broke down the right, and picked out the Mexican, unmarked, in the middle: Hernández, however, got it all wrong, his left footed strike going out for a throw. Hernández did get his goal, though, following more questionable defending from Ashley Cole. John O’Shea lofted the ball over Cole to Valencia on the right, who had all the time in the world to take a touch and pick out Hernández in the middle. The new boy got this one wrong as well, really, managing somehow to kick the ball against his own face as he stumbled over – but they all count.

Kalou gave Chelsea hope when van der Sar, who had had such a good game, parried a Daniel Sturridge shot into the path of the Ivorian, who had a simple finish. The goal set up a frantic last 10 minutes, and United’s defence began to look a lot shakier than it had done; Berbatov, however, sealed victory for United when a clever pass from Nani found him, and the Bulgarian dinked the ball over the oncoming Hilario to make it 3-1 to United.

The Community Shield victory will fade into near insignificance once the Premiership season kicks off, but it’s a good start for United, who hadn’t genuinely outplayed Chelsea for some time prior to this victory.

Chelsea

Hilario                         6

Paulo Ferreira              6

Ashley Cole                4

Branislav Ivanovic      7

John Terry                   5

Michael Essien            7

Frank Lampard           6

John Obi Mikel           6

Salomon Kalou           7

Nicholas Anelka          6

Florent Malouda         6

Subs

Didier Drogba             6

Daniel Sturridge          6

Yossi Benayoun          –

Jeffrey Bruma             –

Yuri Zhirkov               –

Manchester United

Edwin van der Sar      8

John O’Shea                6

Fabio da Silva             7

Jonny Evans                6

Nemanja Vidic            7

Antonio Valencia        8

Paul Scholes                9

Michael Carrick           8

Ji-Sung Park                6

Michael Owen             6

Wayne Rooney           8

Subs

Javier Hernández        7

Dimitar Berbatov        7

Nani                            6

Chris Smalling –

Ryan Giggs                 –

Darren Fletcher           –

MoM: Paul Scholes

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