Rooney reminds City who rules in 'footballing lesson'
Published 08/08/2011 | 05:00
Wayne Rooney claimed that Manchester United's stunning comeback to snatch the Community Shield from Manchester City proved the champions remained the country's premier side, even describing the 3-2 win as a "footballing lesson".
"This shows who the best team is," said Rooney, after efforts from Chris Smalling and Nani cancelled out Roberto Mancini's side's two-goal half-time lead, before the Portuguese secured victory in injury time.
"All game we dominated. We never know when a game is finished. We took them apart. The scoreline is deserved. We're champions and we're the team to beat. We want to prove that.
"Of course (it is sweeter because it was a derby). And obviously they are wanting to try and fight us for that title. But there was only one team that was going to win. We showed our character to come back." The striker was equally bullish on Twitter, writing: "Have to say, I think today was a footballing lesson. A great win for the champions."
United's manager Alex Ferguson was just as delighted with the victory. The Scot drew particular pleasure from the fact that his team came back from two goals down with a side boasting an average age of just 22 after he withdrew Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick at the interval.
Ferguson (69) saw the resulting comeback as vindication for his policy of allowing youth to flourish at Old Trafford. "For us, I think it just confirms what I've thought," he said. "People were saying we're not the best United squad, but you've got to remember we have a lot of young players, and they will improve.
"These boys are good players and the addition of (Phil) Jones and (David) De Gea gives us a good future. We are confident with this group of players."
De Gea, the £18.3m goalkeeper, was arguably at fault for both of City's goals, scored by Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko, but Ferguson defended the Spaniard acknowledging an "excellent delivery" for the first and an "unlucky swerve" for the second. Ferguson also admitted the ankle injury suffered late on by Danny Welbeck may make the striker a doubt for this week's England fixture against Holland.
Mancini, however, was at pains to point out that this victory did not hand United a psychological edge before the start of the season. He insisted as long as City learned from the defeat they would be better for the experience.
"If we meet another strong side like United or Real Madrid, we need to make sure we do not dip, like we did here," said Mancini. The City manager also dismissed criticism of Mario Balotelli, who stormed down the tunnel after being substituted.
"Every time Mario does something people read things into it," he said. "He can play better than he did here." (© Daily Telegraph, London)