Manchester United 0-0 Portsmouth (Man Utd wins 3-1 on Penalties) – Live Blog

This Community Shield match is from a previous season. Watch the latest Community Shield match here.

Manchester United 0-0 Portsmouth (Man Utd wins 3-1 on penalties)
F.A. Community Shield
August 10, 2008
Wembley Stadium
15:00 BST, 10:00 EST

2007-2008 Premiership Champions, Manchester United, defeated 2008 F.A. Cup Winners, Portsmouth, 3-1 on penalty kicks to win the Community Shield!

Soccerlens had the action live! Click below for the live blog!

Match Preview:

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Summer of Discontent comes to an end as Manchester United will take on Portsmouth in the annual kickoff to the English football season. Despite being the reigning two-time Premiership champions and the current holders of the most prestigious club trophy in the world, Manchester United suffered through an inordinate amount of turmoil during the offseason. Carlos Quieroz, Sir Alex’s number-two and one of his heir-apparents, left to manage the Portuguese national team. Manchester United failed to sign promising starlet Aaron Ramsey, and were reported to the Premier League by Tottenham Hotspur over Dimitar Berbatov. Oh yeah, then there was the whole Cristiano Ronaldo thing. I wonder why that didn’t get more attention from the media….

While Portsmouth are a relative newcomer to the affair (they are the first non-Big Four club to play since Newcastle crashed the party in 1996), these two teams had plenty of history from last season. Manchester United’s treble aspirations came crashing down at Old Trafford at the hands of Pompey, and during the second week of the season, Cristiano Ronaldo was red-carded and missed 3 games at the start of the season after a melee when he was feigned a headbutt at Richard Hughes (the referee failed to reprimand David James for shoving Nemanja Vidic in the same melee).

Pompey’s 2007-2008 season was an unqualified success. In addition to the F.A. Cup, Harry Redknapp guided his team to second consecutive top-half-of-the-table finish, improving their point total by 3 points and qualifying for European play. David James had a career renaissance, earning a place on the PFA Team of Year and reclaiming the England #1 job. Midseason acquisition Jermain Defoe was unstoppable after coming over from Tottenham. Hoping to build on their success, Pompey reloaded during the offseason.

Pompey brought Peter Crouch back after the giant striker failed to establish himself at Liverpool and hope that he and Defoe form a lethal strike force up front. Pompey also secured the services of promising young striker Ben Sahar, on loan from Chelsea, and along with holdovers Kanu and Utaka, have an abundance of attacking options at their disposal. It remains to be seen whether the team can withstand the departure of Sulley Muntari to Inter Milan, and Portsmouth find themselves a little shallow in midfield.

Depth ordinarily isn’t a problem for Manchester United. However, Man Utd will limp into the Community Shield with a number of key players sidelined, unavailable due to international commitments, or trying to regain their form. Manchester United will use the preseason showcase to let some of their less-than-fit veterans play their way back to fitness. United skipper Gary Neville should feature after sitting out the entire 2007-2008 season (not counting a brief cameo against Roma in the Champions League), while Michael Carrick should be sufficiently recovered from a nasty unnamed virus (the same unnamed virus that currently sidelines Wayne Rooney) to play. Joining Rooney on the sidelines will be Owen Hargreaves, whose eternally sore knee still is not 100%, Ben Foster, who’s still fighting off the aftereffects of his ACL injury, and Louis Saha, who always seems to be injured.

In any event, the match should be entertaining and could very well serve as a harbinger of things to come. In last season’s Community Shield, Chelsea and Man Utd went to a shootout with the Reds emerging victorious. Well, we all know how the season ended….


Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville (captain), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, O’Shea, Scholes, Nani, Giggs, Tevez
Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Carrick, R. da Silva, Evans, Possebon, Campbell
With so many players out for Man Utd., Ferguson didn’t have a whole lot of options. As expected, Gary Neville will get the start, as will Nani, who is suspended for the first two matches of the year. Tevez will be up front with Giggs playing beside him. Of course, I’d expect to see Campbell come off the bench, especially if Man Utd. needs an instant jolt of offense. Maybe he can fill the role that Ole Gunnar Solskjær played so well. Looks like they’ll only use one of the Da Silva twins, which should make my life a whole lot easier.

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Distin, Campbell (captain), Hreidarsson, Diop, Mendes, Diarra, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe
Subs: Ashdown, Lauren, Cranie, Traore, Utaka, Mvuemba, Sahar.
Looks like Pompey will have most of their first-choice players available. I thought Diarra wasn’t going to be fit for this match, but he’ll get the start in midfield. All eyes will be on the Crouch/Defoe partnership up front, but Pompey will probably want to take a look at Sahar at some point. As expected, Kanu will sit out, while unsettled David Nugent will miss out as it looks like he’ll be leaving for Ipswich soon.


Round 4 Johnson has to score here, and he unleashes a terrible shot that isn’t even close to bothering Van der Sar. And that’s all she wrote. Man Utd. wins the Community Shield once again, and Van der Sar is in the familiar position of being the hero. Well, that’s it from Wembley. Looking forward to a great season!

Round 3 Mvuemba is on and his shot is SAVED by Van der Sar. Wow! What a great save. Van der Sar guessed wrong, but managed to save it with his back foot. A shorter goalkeeper (like Kuszczak) wouldn’t have gotten to that one. Meanwhile, Carrick steps up and calmly puts it past James, and Man. U is in the driver’s seat. On the replay, it looks like James got a hand on it, but he couldn’t stop it from going in. 3-1 Man Utd.

Round 2 It’s Defoe for Pompey and Van der Sar tries to play some mind games with him. No matter, though, as Defoe powers it through. Van der Sar guessed correctly, but he couldn’t stop it. Meanwhile, Giggs calmly steps up for United and knocks it past James. James guessed correctly, as well, but Giggs had too much power on the shot. 2-1 Man Utd.

Round 1 Pompey will kick first, and it will be Diarra. Diarra’s shot is well over the crossbar. Poor effort from him. For Man Utd., it’s Carlos Tevez, who’s already been announced as the Man of the Match. Hard to argue there. Especially since he scores for United! 1-nil Man Utd.

There’s the whistle and we’re going to penalties. United dominated all match long, but have nothing to show for it. Now, it goes to a shootout, which is always a crapshoot. We’ll see which goal keeper stands tall here.

90′ + 3 Fletcher plays a nice through-ball to Tevez. Tevez tries to pass to Scholes on the right, but it’s long. Tevez seemed like he wasn’t sure whether to go for goal or pass it. And we all know what happens when you get confused like that….

90′ + 2 Glen Johnson with a good run down the right flank and he tries to find Defoe in the box. Ferdinand and Vidic are there and Defoe’s shot is well off the mark.

90′ + 1 Ferdinand has a great opportunity on the corner, but his header is deflected out for another corner. Giggs tries to play the one-two with Campbell, but there’s miscommunication and Pompey clears it.

90′ Diarra is dispossessed by Tevez and he goes for the long-range shot. It’s knocked out for the corner. Once again, Pompey wanted play stopped as they had someone down. It looked fishy, though. Three minutes of added time.

89′ Looks like we’re going to penalty kicks unless something happens here.

88′ Evra with a good run down the middle as the Pompey defense does their best impersonation of a matador (ole!). His shot is easily handled by James, though.

87′ Man down for Pompey, but Man Utd. plays on. Fletcher goes for goal and it’s well over the bar. Man Utd. claims that Diop was going for a tackle on Scholes and he wasn’t hurt. Some posturing and preening from both sides and Fletcher says some dirty words that probably can’t be repeated on most sites. As Keith Olbermann used to say, I can read his lips, and he ain’t praying….

86′ Free kick to Pompey as Carrick is called for a foul on Defoe. Looked a little ticky-tack there. Good chance for Pompey here, as they’re about 25 yards out or so. Terrible effort from Pompey as it goes into the cheap seats.

85′ Distin/Campbell II ends the same way as Campbell gets called for the foul. Campbell certainly isn’t backing down, is he?

83′ Utaka floats a dangerous cross into the box, but it’s dealt with by United. They try to spring Campbell long, but Distin is there first. Campbell tries to win the ball, and he’s called for the foul.

81′ Scholes finds room and gives it to Giggs. Giggs sends it to Campbell, and he creates some space and fires on goal. It’s over the bar, but Campbell did well there.

79′ Campbell will come in for Nani. Let’s see what the youngster can do in the closing minutes of the game. He looked strong in the preseason. Meanwhile, Pompey brings in Lauren for Hreidarsson.

78′ Utaka with a long range effort and Van der Sar makes the save. You know the defense has been having a great game if you’ve barely have to type in the name of the goalkeeper all match long.

76′ Mvuemba is on for Mendes.

75′ Ferdinand with a rare shot opportunity as he’s wide open on the edge of the box. Meanwhile, Hreidarsson gets away with a clear foul on Tevez in the box as he grabs Tevez’s ankle and won’t let go. Apparently, he’s been taking lessons from Kurt Angle. Tevez pushes Hreidarsson in the face, and Tevez is lucky he didn’t get carded for that.

74′ Nani with a nice run towards the box, but he gets knocked down. No foul, though. Pompey on the break and Defoe makes a dangerous run into the box. He goes down, but no penalty. That might have been Pompey’s best chance of the afternoon.

73′ Crouch with a chance as he gets the cross from Diop. Vidic is there to deny the big man, though. Welcome to the Community Shield, Crouchie! At least he finally did something.

70′ Tevez with a nifty move in the box after receiving the pass from Carrick. He turns and shoots and James makes a great finger-tip save. Tevez made a great move to get back on-sides as it looked close. On the corner, James comes out and catches the cross.

69′ Nani tries to make something happen as he goes one-on-one with Johnson and takes the shot on goal. James hangs onto it, though.

67′ Neville is off and Wes Brown is on. Great effort from the captain. Here’s to hoping that he’s finally over his injury woes. O’Shea is also off and Carrick is on.

66′ Fletcher makes a good run into the box and he lays it off to Giggs. Giggs mishits and it throws James off. Still, James is able to make the save and Giggs smiles sheepishly. Meanwhile, Diop is down after a collision with Evra.

65′ Another Pompey buildup gets shut down by the United defense. It may be preseason, but the United defense looks to be in midseason form. I can’t think of a single quality chance from Pompey.

64′ Evra is whistled off-sides. Wow! There haven’t been too many of those calls today.

63′ Johnson tries to play it long to Defoe, but Vidic is there for the tackle. It’s been a quiet afternoon for the Defoe/Crouch team.

61′ Kranjcar is off and Utaka is on for Pompey. Utaka is rudely greeted by Neville, who gets booked for the foul. On the free kick, Utaka gets it and tries to cross from the left. It’s out of bounds for a goal kick.

60′ Corner is played wide and Nani makes a nifty move on Johnson. Much like how Iverson breaks ankles with his crossover, Nani faked Johnson nearly out of his cleats. He tries to cross it in, but it’s too close to James and he makes the save. Great skill from Nani, though. If only he could get his head on straight…. Then again, people said the same thing about Ronaldo when he first came to Old Trafford, and look how he turned out.

59′ Tevez with a great move into the box as he splits the defense. He tries to cross it to Fletcher, but James makes the save. Tevez is back and he tries to play Giggs in the box. It’s knocked out for the corner.

58′ Good buildup from Pompey as Johnson makes a good move into the box and tries to cross into the box for either Crouch or Defoe. United clears it, though.

55′ It needs to be said: Peter Crouch has done nothing all game. I always thought he was too good to sit on the bench all the time at Liverpool. I was never sold on him as first-choice striker, but I thought he needed a chance. He’s running out of chances, though, and this run with Pompey could well be his last one.

54′ Neville almost springs Tevez on a long-pass, but Campbell is there to make the great defensive play.

53′ Good buildup from United as Giggs with a nifty move and passes to Tevez. Tevez gives it to Neville, whose cross is knocked out for a corner. On the ensuing corner, Vidic is called for a foul.

50′ Evra wins the corner as Diop knocks it away from behind. On the corner, James comes out and knocks it out to Fletcher. Fletch has another great opportunity and he goes for the shot. It goes off the crossbar and Tevez is there for the rebound. His header goes right to James, though. Ugh. Two great chances for Man Utd. This is shaping up a lot like the F.A. Cup match where Man Utd. missed chance after chance only for Pompey to steal it at the end.

49′ Sloppy pass from O’Shea as he gives it away in Pompey territory. Not a good effort from O’Shea, especially if he wants more playing time this season.

46′ No changes for either team. Tevez with a bad giveaway, but then he runs back to make the tackle and gets the ball back. Got to love it if you’re a Reds fan. The effort, I mean. Not the bad turnover….

46′ Upset alert: China is only down by 12 to the Dream Team at halftime. I would have thought that Kobe and Co. would be up by at least 30 by now. Meanwhile, Pompey kicks off and we’re off!

There’s the whistle, and we’re at halftime. Man Utd. dominated possession and had a number of great opportunities to score. We’ll probably see some subs during the course of the second half as I’m sure both Harry Redknapp and Sir Alex Ferguson will want to take a look at some of the younger players.

45′ One minute will be added on.

44′ Evra with a run down the left flank and he crosses it to Fletcher. Fletcher comes in with his studs up and he is called for a foul on James. Seemed pretty trivial there, but you got to protect the goalkeepers, I guess. Meanwhile, back the other way and Vidic shoves Defoe to the ground for a clear foul. Vidic gets mad and kicks the ball away and gets booked. That was a dumb move, Vidic. You’re better than that.

42′ Evra with a mistake springs Defoe for a breakaway chance. He’s going for goal, but Ferdinand is there to mark him. As such, Defoe’s shot is well off the mark.

41′ Fletcher in the box with a nice pass to Nani. Nani goes for goal and it’s well off the mark. He probably should have tried to cross it, but Nani decided to go for the shot instead. Looks like some things don’t change.

40′ Nani with a nice move as he flies past Campbell, then chips the ball over James. Good defense from Distin as he knocks it out and keeps the ball out of goal. On the ensuing corner, Scholes tries the long-distance shot, but its off target.

39′ Neville with another good defensive play as he positions himself in front of Crouch to deny him a breakaway opportunity.

37′ Distin gets booked as he doesn’t get a call and goes ballistic on the ref. Better calm down, man. After last season, I don’t think the refs are going to take any crap this season.

35′ Fletcher has a golden opportunity as Nani dispossesses Johnson and sends it to Fletcher, who finds himself one-on-one with James. Fletcher slips, though, and can’t get the shot off. Ouch. That was a great chance for Fletcher.

34′ Lot of talk about Thierry Henry coming to Man Utd. Even the commentators are talking a lot about it. Well, if it’s the goalscoring beast from Arsenal coming, then it’s a great buy. If it’s the slow, over-the-hill guy from last season, then Barca can keep him.

32′ Apparently, John O’Shea always plays with a smile on his face. Hey, I’d smile too if I made millions, won lots of trophies, and scored with a lot of hot chicks. Who cares if you never play? On a related note, it remains to be seen whether Cristiano “The Multimillion Dollar Slave” Ronaldo will have the perma-scowl on his face all season long.

31′ Kranjcar with a nice through-ball to Diop, who tries to cross it to Defoe across the box. It looks like trouble for Man Utd., but the ball goes out before Defoe can get to it.

29′ Scholes with a great long-pass that finds Giggs deep in the box. James is there, though, and Pompey forces the throw. Great vision from Scholes and nice touch on the pass. Looks like he still has it.

28′ Kranjcar tries to play a one-two with Crouch, but Neville with the good defense to deny Pompey.

27′ Evra with a nice steal on Johnson and he keys the counterattack. Neville tries to play Tevez over the top, but it’s too long.

26′ O’Shea with a nice through ball to Giggs. Giggs looks to pass, but there’s no one there. He takes a shot, but it’s not a great one and James is more than equal to it.

23′ Man Utd. gets cute as Fletcher tries a back heel to Tevez and then Tevez does the same. Come on guys. You aren’t the Globetrotters. And Pompey certainly aren’t the Washington Generals.

22′ Pompey win their first corner as Defoe’s pass is deflected out by Fletcher. Mendes’ corner is knocked out by Diarra. Goal kick for Man Utd.

21′ Vidic climbs over Peter Crouch to win a header. Crouchie didn’t even go up for that. How can a guy with his height not be better in the air? You got me.

20′ Kranjcar brings it up and sends a sloppy pass to Hreidarsson. Well, it is the pre-season…

19′ Looks like David James is sporting the cornrows today. When did he start taking hair-styling tips from Allen Iverson?

18′ Evra is down and the players, of course, use this as an opportunity to take a water break.

17′ Fletcher with a nice move and a great burst of speed to create space on the right wing. He crosses to Tevez in the box, but he can’t get a good shot on goal. Nice move by Fletcher, though, who isn’t known for his pace.

16′ Giggs with the corner and it’s easily cleared by Pompey.

15′ Neville sends in another cross towards Giggs, but it’s knocked out for the corner.

14′ Defoe nearly gets through as he tries to slip through Vidic and Ferdinand. Ferdinand recovers to clear, though. Meanwhile, back the other way as Tevez gets played clear through. Distin recovers, though, and knocks it away for the corner. Short corner played to O’Shea, his shot is blocked and eventually, Pompey takes it and are on the counterattack. Man Utd. recovers, though, and Pompey has to reset.

12′ Vidic slips and nearly gifts Pompey with an opportunity. Diop is down after a collision with Evra. He seems to be okay, though.

10′ Diop fouls Nani and it’s a free kick for Man Utd. Golden opportunity for Vidic as he’s alone with the keeper. His header attempt is knocked out by James for the corner. Nothing doing on the ensuing corner as Pompey clears it.

9′ Tevez with a nice defensive job on Johnson to force a throw. He was pretty deep in the midfield there. A lot of forwards would have given up on that play. Tevez (like Rooney) doesn’t give up on those, and that’s what makes him so valuable to the team.

8′ Great move by Tevez to get around the defender. Distin then introduces him to the ground, and Man Utd. will have a free kick here. Giggs will take it. He sends it low into the box, but Pompey clears it.

7′ Fox Soccer Channel’s coverage is horrible. No pregame buildup. No teams marching out of the tunnel. No pre-match handshakes. They waited until the 7th minute to give out the lineups. Great job guys!

5′ Nice burst of speed from Nani as he gets into the box. Distin is there to stop Nani from getting a chance on goal. Hopefully, Nani matured in the offseason, and we won’t be getting any more headbutts, dives, or showboating.

4′ Long pass from Neville, but it’s off the mark. Oh well. Looks like Gary will need some more game time to get back in the swing of things.

2′ Great sight to see Neville back if you’re a Man Utd. fan. If not, then you probably just cursed at your T.V.

0′ Man Utd. kicks off and we’re off!

0′ Welcome to the Community Shield. A trophy so prestigious that Roy Keane once failed to crack a smile while lifting it in the air. Still, it will be an interesting match, so much so that I decided to take a break from the Olympics to cover this match. Speaking of which, I can’t believe the U.S. was 1 minute away from advancing to the Quarterfinals, and they blew it. Ugh!!

Match Review:

Well, Manchester United certainly deserved to win this match. They dominated possession and generated a bunch of quality chances. It’s still early, so it’s no cause for alarm, but Man. U certainly looked a lot less dangerous on offense without Rooney and Ronaldo. Still, the defense looked great as Van der Sar barely broke a sweat until the shootout. They were able to keep possession in midfield despite not having Hargreaves in the lineup and only getting 23 minutes from Carrick. Tevez played a great game and deserved the Man of the Match award, while Nani showed flashes of why he’s such a tantalizing talent (and why he’s also a headcase). And, of course, only the most ardent Man Utd haters won’t be touched to see Gary Neville back on the pitch. What a great story and what a deserved win for Man. Utd.

As for Pompey, they were completely outclassed and didn’t even deserve to be in a position to win the Shield. That being said, there is plenty of talent on the team. It will take some time to integrate Crouch into the offense, but if he and Defoe gel, then they’ll give opposing defenses fits all year. The defense had some breakdowns, but David James looked to be impenetrable. They’ll definitely struggle to replicate last season’s success, but they should be a force in the league. It’s a good sign for them that, as badly as they played, they still were in a position to win the match at the end. Good teams do that.

Man of the Match:

Carlos Tevez

There were a number of options here. The defense was great. Nani and Fletcher both played very well. David James had a great game in goal for Pompey and showed that last season wasn’t a fluke. Still, it’s hard to argue with Tevez. He worked hard all game and generated numerous chances for his team. He even ventured repeatedly into the midfield to win balls and create chances for the offense. With Rooney and Ronaldo out, Man. U will need Tevez to step up, and his effort today was a good sign for them.

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