Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson must have left Wembley Stadium Sunday afternoon with a wry smile on his face.
Not only did his Red Devils lift the Community Shield at the expense of Chelsea, 3-1, his new signing stole the show while Carlo Ancelotti and the Stamford Bridge brain trust head into the new season on a four-match losing streak.
The Shield is truly a "friendly" in name only, so United fans will delight in a debut goal on English soil for Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez that proved the game-winner.
The ex-Chivas star served immediate notice that Ferguson has not lost his touch when it comes to spotting young talent. Signed before his break-out World Cup performance for Mexico, Hernandez looked right at home at Wembley, a venue that has produced stage fright for some of the sport’s biggest names.
Chelsea hasn’t lost a match that counts yet, so Ancelotti probably won’t dwell on this current run, but the second-year boss might well be wondering about his decision to keep Ashley Cole at all costs.
Courted by Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid, Cole was beaten badly on the second United goal, and the left side of the Chelsea defense, which also featured a laboring John Terry, was exploited badly by Wayne Rooney to set up Luis Antonio Valencia’s opener.
Saturday, the German Super Cup went to Bayern Munich, as the Bundesliga champions downed Schalke 04, 2-0 behind goals from Thomas Mueller and Miroslav Klose. Klose set up the first while accepting a feed from Ivica Olic to score the clincher. Bayern got a big, game-changing save from second string keeper Thomas Kraft just three minutes before Mueller scored.
Raul made his debut for the losers, who snapped him up from Real Madrid over the summer, but it was the impressive Bayern counterattack that won the night. It was a very good start for Klose, who struggled to find club form a year ago. Bayern, of course, is without injured Arjen Robben so needs a fast start from the German international.
It was also opening night in France which meant a St. Etienne debut for Carlos Bocanegra and another game on the injury list for Sochaux’s Charlie Davies.
Bocanegra joined St. Etienne from Rennes and endured a torrid night in the Parc des Princes in a Stephanois’ defense that looked out of sorts from the start against Paris St.-Germain. The home team won easily despite wasting chances, 3-1.
The first night surprise came in Marseille, where a packed Stade Velodrome saw the champions upset by Caen, 2-1. A second half goal from Caen captain Nicolas Seube was matched with 15 minutes left by Mamadou Samassa before Youssef El-Arabi rose alone at the far post to head home an 85th minute winner.
Elsewhere, Portugal’s Deco was said to join Brazil’s Fluminense from Chelsea; Paul Robinson retired from the English national team and Spain’s Real Madrid came back to down MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy in a summer friendly, 3-2, behind Gonzalo Higuain.