(GSM) - Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov earned Manchester United a 3-1 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley.
The Premier League season is just six days away and Sunday provided an indication of what we can expect over the next nine months in an interesting encounter at the home of football.
Valencia and Hernandez put United in control with goals either side of half-time and although Salomon Kalou set up a nervy finish seven minutes from time, the Red Devils completed a deserved win through Berbatov's fine goal in stoppage time.
Together with Paul Scholes, Wayne 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.
The Dutchman's inability to hold a long-range Nicolas Anelka effort earlier in the contest had led to a clear sight of goal for Salomon Kalou.
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.
Fabio Capello will not be the only England manager to lament the midfielder's retirement. Steve McClaren felt exactly the same way. But the Italian will continue to wonder what might have been if Scholes had been given longer than a couple of hours to decide on a last-minute offer to head for South Africa.
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 cross-field ball for Rooney, delivered from inside his own half that did the real damage.
Sensing there was little danger as he jogged behind his brother in ignominy, 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.
It was the kind of moment that proved Rooney is right to be lauded, while at the same time leaving his World Cup performances, particularly the awful one against Algeria, totally inexplicable.
Rooney's 45-minute cameo gave way to new-boy Hernandez, whose pace alone unsettles defenders and who came so close to releasing fellow substitute Berbatov with a sublime reverse pass after initially being picked out by that man Scholes.
Everything about Hernandez's move from Mexico so far has been positive. The one fear was, rather like Diego Forlan, whose otherwise stellar career will be scarred by those 27 games he took to score for the Red Devils, the man dubbed Chicharito would take too long to get off the mark.
But the kind of goal Forlan would have killed for, a mis-hit shot that ricocheted into his face, bounced 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.
|12||J. Obi Mikel|
|Coach: C. Ancelotti|
for J. Obi Mikel 60'
for N. Anelka 61'
for F. Malouda 73'
for Paulo Ferreira 79'
for A. Cole 79'
|La Liga Review: Valencia go clear of Sevilla, crisis-stricken Elche safe|
|CAF Champions League Review: ES Tunis dumped out by Al Merreikh|
|Masterful Mourinho has Premier League and Chelsea singing his tune|
|Nantes 0 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Cavani nets again as Ibrahimovic returns|
|Napoli 3 Milan 0: Late treble saves hosts|
|Primeira Liga Review: Porto edge past strugglers Vitoria|
|Bundesliga Review: Hamburg claim last-gasp winner, Gladbach close in on Wolfsburg|
|Pochettino: Hart heroics the difference|
|Ligue 1 Review: Monaco remain on course for third, Lille cruise past Lens|
|Pellegrini silent over City future|
|Rome derby not on Lazio´s radar, says Pioli|
|Pardew laments penalty calls in Palace´s loss to champions|
|Serie A Review: Roma move back into second, Di Natale overtakes Baggio|
|Tottenham 0 Manchester City 1: Aguero heaps more misery on Spurs|
|Mourinho appears to take dig at old nemesis Guardiola|
|Mancini frustrated by resilient Chievo|
|Drogba coy over future after title triumph|
|Chelsea title win will not lead to domination - Mourinho|
|Inter 0 Chievo 0: More frustration for Mancini|
|Terry: I´ve proved Benitez wrong|
|BREAKING NEWS: Chelsea secure Premier League title|
|Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 0: Title heads back to Stamford Bridge|
|League One Review: MK Dons promoted, as Orient, Notts County and Crawley go down|
|Dortmund striker Ramos set to miss Copa America|
|Williamson denies getting sent off on purpose|
|Eintracht Frankfurt´s Kittel suffers injury blow|
|Juventus v Real Madrid: Serie A kings set for Real test|
|United still control top-four destiny - Young|
|Record finish beyond Stoke - Hughes|
|Wellington Phoenix 0 Melbourne City 2: Surprise win sets up semi-final derby|
|Vidal already focused on Real|
|MLS Review: Revs hand Red Bulls first loss|
|AFC Champions League Preview: Wanderers facing elimination|
|Lyon stepped up despite pressure - Fournier|
|Gerrard anticipating emotional Anfield finale|
|´I´ve always wanted to score a free-kick past Neuer´ - Calhanoglu|
|Negredo: Pellegrini lost faith in me|
|Buffon had title doubts after Conte departure|
|Luis Enrique: I was worried during 8-0 win|
|Wilshere will return to his best - Wenger|
|Rodgers unconcerned by banner|
|Mourinho doesn´t want guard of honour|
|Deportivo La Coruna 1 Villarreal 1: Hosts come from behind|
|Juve canter to title success as Allegri wins over doubters|
|Primeira Liga Review: Benfica smash Gil Vicente, Sporting confirm top-three finish|
|Sassuolo 0 Palermo 0: Poor finishing results in goalless stalemate|
|Guardiola praises Bayern youngsters after Leverkusen defeat|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Shabab secure continental football|
|Real focused on Juventus clash - Ancelotti|
|Bundesliga Review: Champions lose at Leverkusen, Huntelaar ends goal drought|
|CAF Champions League Review: Al Ahly fall short again, Smouha eliminate AC Leopards|
|Decisions not to blame for Bilbao stalemate - Simeone|
|Bonucci hails Scudetto with a difference|
|Ligue 1 Review: Grenier on target in Lyon win|
|Hull City v Arsenal: Bruce inspired by ´remarkable´ Wenger|
|Pulis: We got the luck we needed at Old Trafford|
|Cordoba thrashing a boost ahead of Bayern - Luis Enrique|
|Sevilla 2 Real Madrid 3: Awesome Ronaldo nets hat-trick|
|Allegri reflects on turbulent journey to glory with Juve|
|Klopp: Dortmund suffered from fatigue at Hoffenheim|
|We knew West Brom would park the bus - Van Gaal|
|Ramsey knows QPR on the brink|
|Dyche ´amazed´ by Duff red in Burnley loss|
|Manchester United 0 West Brom 1: Van Persie misses penalty as Van Gaal loses again|
|Bayer Leverkusen 2 Bayern Munich 0: Distracted champions defeated|
|Koeman frustrated by Southampton performance|
|Rodgers hails ´unique´ Gerrard after Kop winner|
|Everton suffered from United win - Martinez|
|Sunderland safety in own hands - Advocaat|
|Atletico Madrid 0 Athletic Bilbao 0: Simeone´s men rue disallowed goals|
|Oliveira ankle injury to be assessed - Monk|
|Sampdoria 0 Juventus 1: Vidal steers Juve to fourth consecutive title|
|Delph the best midfielder in England - Sherwood|
|Duff red was harsh, says West Ham boss Allardyce|
|Stoke allowed game to ´drift away´ - Hughes|
|Monk delighted with second-half display|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Muirhead winner sees Celtic crowned champions|
|Gerrard: I changed my mind on penalty|
|League Two Review: Burton secure title, Bury sneak into third|
|Pearson: We´re not safe yet|
|Liverpool 2 QPR 1: Gerrard from agony to ecstasy to leave Rangers on the brink|
|Swansea City 2 Stoke City 0: Montero nets first goal|
|Cordoba 0 Barcelona 8: Suarez nets hat-trick as hosts are relegated|
|Williamson got sent off on purpose - Carver|
|Aston Villa 3 Everton 2: Benteke double moves Villa closer to safety|
|Sunderland 2 Southampton 1: Gomez on the spot to boost survival hopes|
|West Ham 1 Burnley 0: Duff sees red as visitors pay the penalty|
|Hoffenheim 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Honours even for Euro hopefuls|
|Leicester City 3 Newcastle United 0: Ulloa brace sinks dismal visitors|
|Championship Review: Bournemouth snatch title, Brentford and Ipswich heading for the play-offs, Blac|
|Blackpool fans lead to final Championship game being abandoned|
|Bielsa urges Marseille fight|
|Top-four was United´s primary objective - Herrera|
|Rio Ferdinand´s wife dies following cancer battle|
|Mourinho to move on quickly from title success|
|MLS Review: Dallas dismantle Dynamo, Earthquakes held by RSL|
|Liverpool open contract talks with Jones|
|Rodgers: Sterling going nowhere|
|Burnley want Dyche stay - Mee|
|Pochettino: I have final say on transfers|
|Vitoria Guimaraes 2 Estoril 0: Valente double secures routine win|
|Gaya close to agreeing new deal|
|Van Gaal expects Di Maria to stay at Old Trafford|