New Season, Old Habits (Manchester United vs Manchester City)

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Nani. It all came down to Nani stealing the ball from Kompany, and giving United their usual Community Shield win (their fourth in five years). Manchester United were the better side, but found themselves behind 2-0, mostly due to David de Gea lack of concentration. It didn’t matter. Alex Ferguson has the better team, the better players. But a team, first of all. Something City still can’t claim they are. And United proved in a wonderful second half, with Nani scoring twice, that they are still the best in Manchester, and England.

Usually a rather boring experience, the 2011 FA Community Shield might prove to signal a fantastic year in the English Premiership. Great pace, great fans, great football. It’s not Barcelona, who seem to be the golden standard for the way the game should be played these days. It’s English football, and United just looked fantastic in the second half. City? Chance occurrences and strokes of skill and luck can’t take you too far. Robeto Mancini still has a lot of work to do. Luckily, he has enough raw material, very expensive material, to work with.

Manchester United proved to be the quicker team. The change of places, the one touch passing between Nani, Rooney, Tom Cleverly and whoever joined them each time created chance after chance. Not so much as a good day from Joe Hart but more of brave sliding from the City defenders kept Manchester City in the game. Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko’s goals signaled some sort of redemption for the forgotten and expensive men while David De Gea’s lack of concentration in the second goal set Twitter and Facebook ablaze with “He Sucks” or “He’s not ready for this”. BS. The community shield never sealed fates, never will. Just a feel good game to kick off the season.

United saved their best for the second goal, coming through a fantastic passing combination, eventually finding Nani wide open to set things at 2-2. Manchester City can hardly create anything on the other hand. Not enough men joining David Silva and the strikers, and when they do it’s too slow. Anything good happens when David Silva or Yaya Toure touch the ball. Easy to forsee and defend. Mario Balotelli? I don’t know how he hasn’t been kicked off the team. Complaining constantly and a lack of anything considered as teamwork and his usual skulking when substituted are just too much for any manager to withstand. Screw the talent, the kid, needs to go.

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Manchester City did look quicker with Adam Johnson, and should be even better when Sergio Aguero starts playing. Wesley Sneijder still isn’t decided on which Manchester team he’s going to. Carlos Tevez could still come back. Manchester United are a better team. Better coached, better trained, and this season with a wider squad, especially on defense. The center of midfield could be better, but nobody is perfect. Today was, in terms of answering expectations and desire for the new season to start. A wonderful game, with a wonderful finish, if you’re a Red Devils fan.