United sink Chelsea in Community Shield
Wayne Rooney put his FIFA World Cup™ torment behind him to set Manchester United on their way to an impressive 3-1 Community Shield victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
Although Rooney could not get his name on the scoresheet against the double winners, it was the striker that created United's opener with a brilliant cross to set up Antonio Valencia.
New-boy Javier Hernandez marked his competitive debut with an immensely fortuitous second and, although Salomon Kalou pulled one back, Dimitar Berbatov's fine injury-time finish allowed United to collect the trophy for a record 18th time.
Together with Paul Scholes, Rooney terrorised the Chelsea defence at times during an entertaining opening period in which both sides could have claimed the lead before United eventually did.
Branislav Ivanovic came closest for Chelsea when he climbed above Serbian team-mate Nemanja Vidic to reach Florent Malouda's free-kick and angled a header towards the corner that brought a fine save out of veteran United keeper Edwin van der Sar.
But from an acute angle, Kalou instead turned the ball back into the six-yard box, which was vacant of both United defenders and his own attackers.
United took a bit longer to get going. Yet it quickly became apparent Scholes was going to take some stopping. His calmness in possession and the accuracy of his passing mean, even at 35, he is very hard to subdue.
One cleverly disguised pass set Rooney up for a shot that just evaded the far post and Scholes was also the inspiration behind a Michael Owen cross that forced Ivanovic into a hurried clearance. But it was the brilliant crossfield ball for Rooney, delivered from inside his own half that did the real damage.
Sensing there was little danger, Terry offered Rooney the room with which to execute a perfect first-time cross, drilled right into the heart of Chelsea's penalty area. Only Valencia read Rooney's intentions and the Ecuador man gleefully tapped past Henrique Hilario.
Rooney's 45-minute cameo gave way to new-boy Javier Hernandez, whose pace alone unsettles defenders and who came so close to releasing fellow substitute Dimitar Berbatov with a sublime reverse pass after initially being picked out by Scholes. Then, a mis-hit shot that ricocheted into the Mexican's face, bbefore bouncing into the Chelsea net from Valencia's cross 14 minutes from time.
It was harsh on Chelsea, who had just gone close through Kalou, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole. Kalou did eventually beat Van der Sar but a frenetic spell of attacking failed to bring further reward and Berbatov's deft lob from Nani's cross ended any hope of a comeback.