Monday, August 06, 2007

United win Community Shield

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar saved three penalty kicks as Manchester United beat Chelsea in a shootout in the Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser to English soccer's Premier League season.

The Dutchman stopped efforts from Claudio Pizarro, Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright-Phillips in a 3-0 spotkick victory at London's Wembley Stadium after a 1-1 tie over 90 minutes.

Ryan Giggs gave United a 35th-minute lead, then Florent Malouda scored on his Chelsea debut just before halftime. Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick scored United's first two penalties before Wayne Rooney converted the decisive kick.

The Community Shield, formerly the Charity Shield, is contested by the winners of the Premier League and the F.A. Cup and raises money for charities and community groups. United last season won the league for a first time in four years, while Chelsea defeated its rival in the Cup final.

The win was United's first in the Community Shield since 2003, when it also triumphed on penalties. It lost on its last appearance, against Arsenal, three years ago.

Giggs, playing in the shield match for a 10th time, fired into the net from 10 yards after Patrice Evra, playing as a winger instead of in his usual role at fullback, cut the ball back into his path.

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