Battle commences

Manchester United have struck the first blow of the new season, after they beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Community Shield yesterday afternoon. Goals from Valencia, Hernadez and Berbatov were enough to see off the Champions, who struggled defensively and found United goalkeeper Edwin van der Saar in excellent form.

United boss Alex Ferguson saved particular praise for Paul Scholes, who just shy of his 36th birthday put in a man-of-the-match performance, putting on a mature, dynamic midfield display that kept Chelsea on the back foot for large periods of the game.

‘He's just an incredible footballer,’ said Ferguson. ‘It's a phenomenon that he goes out there and becomes man of the match approaching his 36th birthday.

‘This time last year, he's saying to himself, 'This is my last season' - and a lot of people thought that. It came across my mind also, simply because he's had a lot of injuries in his career. He keeps coming back; it's not easy to do that.’

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