Chelsea might have started without star striker Didier Drogba, without new Brazilian central midfield signing Ramires, with John Terry in, perhaps, the worst form of his illustrious career, his regular defensive partner Ricardo Carvalho outside of the match day squad and number one goalkeeper Petr Cech ruled out injured but they still started with a strong side. Chelsea’s starting eleven might even perhaps have been considered closer to their first choice starting eleven than Manchester United’s was.
Still, Manchester United were convincing victors. Last season’s league runners up Manchester United were two goals to the good against last seasons Premiership champions Chelsea before the Blues mounted any sort of consistent pressure on the Manchester United goal. The pressure did lead to a goal but it counted for little more than a consolation. Dimitar Berbatov added a splendid late third to the two some what simpler goals scored by Antonio Valencia and debutant Javier Hernandez. The first two goals were not without their own unique charm. Antonio Valencia had only to find the back of the net from a couple of metres but the pass that found him, delivered by Wayne Rooney, was splendid. Antonio Valencia later turned provider, crossing for Javier Hernandez to tap into the goal from a few feet out. Javier Hernandez will probably never score a more fortunate goal in his career. The ball, intended to reach his feet, was a little behind him so upon stretching the diminutive Mexican ended up tripping himself over. The comedic fall worked to his advantage as the ball struck his foot, as opposed to his foot striking the ball, and then bounced right off the centre of his face into the net. Never has a Mexican scored a more hilarious goal on his European debut.
Despite the relative meaningless of the fixture, it is regarded as a friendly despite the occasion resulting in the winners being awarded a trophy, Chelsea will have been disappointed with their performance. Chelsea have now lost 4 of their 5 pre season matches. Not only are results not forthcoming but the performances themselves leave much to be desired. The team appear a little short of control and ideas and with just one week to go before the Premiership season begins Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, will be worrying a little. Due to the international fixtures taking place in midweek the majority of the Chelsea players will be away from London this weekend and the coach will be unable to remedy the problems before the opening fixture against West Bromwich Albion. Chelsea will be happy that their opponent in the opening round of fixtures is not a more prestigious team.
Manchester United, on the other hand, will be delighted with their performance and result. It will inevitably lead to a boost in confidence before the season actually commences which will only make the manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s task all the more easier. The Community Shield is about collective generosity and is supposed to be played in the spirit of goodwill. The way Chelsea were defeated on Sunday afternoon makes such an idea appear ridiculous. On this evidence Chelsea will struggle to retain their two trophies, the Premiership and the FA Cup.