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Rediff.com  » Sports » Man United win Community shield

Man United win Community shield

August 11, 2008 12:02 IST

Champions Manchester United won the Community Shield, traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, 3-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw against FA Cup winners Portsmouth at Wembley on Sunday.

It was the third time in 12 months that United have secured silverware with a shootout victory after beating Chelsea in the Community Shield a year ago and, more importantly, the Champions League final in Moscow in May.

Despite playing without their main strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo (ankle surgery) and Wayne Rooney (virus), United dominated a largely pedestrian match and should have wrapped it up before the penalties followed at the end of normal time.

Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick finally found the net in the shootout while Jermain Defoe was Portsmouth's only scorer.

Lassana Diarra fired Portsmouth's first spot kick high over the bar while Arnold Mvuemba's shot was saved by Edwin van der Sar. Glen Johnson, who with Diarra was in the Chelsea side beaten by United a year ago, handed Alex Ferguson's side victory by also firing his shot over the bar.

United have won the Shield 13 times outright since their first victory when the match was first staged exactly 100 years ago. Sunday was only the third time the game has failed to produce a goal.

GOOD CHANCES

United, who won a friendly against Portsmouth 2-1 in Nigeria two weeks ago, looked by far the better team throughout and had five good chances in an otherwise subdued opening half.

Tevez could have given United the lead after 17 minutes but headed a Darren Fletcher cross over the bar before Fletcher wasted the best chance 18 minutes later when he stepped on the ball as he attempted to stroke it into an empty net before it was cleared. Ryan Giggs and Nani, twice, also went close.

Portsmouth, who won the FA Cup at Wembley against Cardiff City in May, were restricted to half-chances with their new strike partnership of Peter Crouch and Defoe largely frozen out of the game.

United continued to dominate in the second half and Portsmouth had to rely on keeper David James, playing in front of watching England coach Fabio Capello, to keep them in the match.

He made a superb save after 50 minutes when he tipped a shot from Fletcher on to the bar, and 20 minutes later the England keeper pushed a well-struck effort from Tevez away for a corner.

Young United substitute Frazier Campbell, Tevez and Patrice Evra all had chances to win the game in the final minutes.

Source:
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