Manchester United have completed their first month of the 2010/11 season, and even though they had a little hiccup against Fulham, it was a pretty successful August for the Reds.
In their four matches during August, United scored 11 goals with eight different players – as well as being the beneficiaries of an own goal – finding the scoresheet.
Dimitar Berbatov led the Reds with three goals in as many matches, which is a fourth of his scoring total from the entire 2009/10 season (12 goals in 29 matches).
While the Bulgarian has impressed with more enthusiastic performances, it has a been 35-year old midfielder that has been the most influential for United so far this season.
Yet again, Paul Scholes is defying all odds and reeling back the years to produce performances that only a player of his ability can – and he has even managed to score his 150th goal for the club.
The goal was a typical Scholes’ special as he unleashed a long-range screamer that whistled a crowd of players and nestled into the bottom corner of the net.
Even though the goal he scored was a thing to marvel at, the nine-time league champion was more influential with his passing – long and short – and when you couple that with his uncanny vision he has been ability to spring one of the United attackers clean through on goal on numerous occasions.
The ginger-haired midfielder has been in the press more this season than all of last season whether it was for his dazzling performances, the news of him denying Fabio Capello and England his services at the 2010 FIFA World Cup or Arsene Wenger saying that Scholes has a “dark side” to his game.
United started off August by capturing the FA Community Shield with a clinical display in the 3-1 win over Chelsea to earn the first piece of silverware the young season had to offer.
Antonio Valencia, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and Berbatov were all on target for United as they secured their record-extending 18th FA Community (Charity) Shield title.
After seeing off Chelsea, their Barclays Premier League season kicked off at Old Trafford with a visit of their born-again rival Newcastle United, and like they did prior to Magpies relegation, United cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Berbatov, Darren Fletcher and the ageless Ryan Giggs all found the back of the Toon net with three very clinical finishes.
Their next match, though, started off brightly, but ended on a sour note as they could only come out of Craven Cottage with a point following a 2-2 draw with Fulham.
Scholes gave United the early lead, but it was canceled out by Simon Davies shortly after half-time after the Reds failed to take advantage of some of great chances that they were presented.
Six minutes from time it looked like United stole all three points after Brede Hangeland unknowingly turned the ball into his own net following a Nani corner kick, and these two players would have the two biggest says to how the game ended.
A few moments after taking the lead, United were awarded a penalty after Damien Duff handled the ball in his own penalty area, but Nani’s spot kick was well-saved by young David Stockdale.
The momentum swung in Fulham’s favor and the big Norwegian defender made amends for his own goal gaffe, by expertly heading the ball in following Duff’s in-swinging corner kick to level the scores at two goals a piece, which is how the match would finish.
United needed a positive response in their next game against West Ham United, and they got just that, and their 34-goal talisman finally got on the score sheet this season.
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring after he took the spot kick responsibilities and he sent Robert Green and ended his personal goal scoring drought at 1,113 minutes.
United kept pressing, but were unable to breakdown the Hammers’ stern resistance, however, that all changed five minutes after half-time when Nani put his foot through the ball and blast the ball passed Green.
United’s third goal was something to admire, because Nani lofted a perfectly weighted pass to the far post for Berbatov to acrobatically hammer home.
With the match and points in the bag, United saw made wholesale changes and saw the game out comfortably.
United were very quiet in the transfer market this summer, but they made some noise when they signed an unknown player from Portugal during the month of August.
Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, better known as Bébé, signed on 11th from Vitória de Guimarães after United paid his release clause of £7.4 million to bring him to Old Trafford.
Bébé came from a strong recommendation from Carlos Queiroz, and Sir Alex acted quickly before any other teams could snap up this unproven, raw 20-year old forward.
08 – Chelsea (FA Community Shield) – Wembley Stadium W, 1-3 (A. Valencia, J. Hernandez, D. Berbatov)
16 – Newcastle United (Premier League) – Old Trafford – W, 3-0 (D. Berbatov, D. Fletcher, R. Giggs)
22 – Fulham (Premier League) – Craven Cottage – D, 2-2 (P. Scholes, Own Goal)
28 – West Ham United (Premier League) – Old Trafford – W, 3-0 (W. Rooney, Nani, D. Berbatov)
GP 4 W 3 D 1 L 0 GF 11 GA 3 GD +8
D. Berbatov – 3
D. Fletcher – 1
R. Giggs – 1
J. Hernandez – 1
Nani – 1
W. Rooney – 1
P. Scholes – 1
A. Valencia – 1
Own Goal – 1
W. Rooney – 3
P. Scholes – 2
Nani – 2
D. Berbatov – 1
A. Valencia – 1