Manchester United beat Portsmouth on pens to win Community Shield

Other News Materials 10 August 2008 22:06 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Manchester United won their first silverware of the new season on Sunday as they edged out Portsmouth in a penalty shootout to triumph in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium, the traditional curtain-raiser for the English Premier League.

United dominated the game but the match ended goalless, before Sir Alex Ferguson's side took the penalty shootout 3-1 to clinch victory.

Lassana Diarra, who enjoyed a superb match, missed the first spot-kick to put Portsmouth behind and United never let them back in.

Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick all scored for United, while only Jermain Defoe found the net for Portsmouth, with Arnold Mvuemba's effort saved and Glen Johnson missing.

"It means a lot, you want to get off to a good start," Giggs said. "But it's really for fitness and the last game before the start of the season.

"We want to start where we left off. It's going to be difficult - the Champions League, Premier League, the cups, every competition is difficult. You have to have that hunger but I'm sure the lads have got that."

A crowd of more than 84,000 enjoyed an open match between the League champions and FA Cup winners but United could not prise an opening despite dominating possession and creating a series of chances.

Portsmouth goalkeeper David James was largely responsible for that, though, turning a lob from Darren Fletcher onto the bar and saving superbly to deny Tevez.

With no Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portugal forward recovers from injury, and Wayne Rooney also out, Ferguson paired Tevez and Giggs in attack, while Gary Neville started his first match since 2007 after a long injury absence.

Giggs had two efforts blocked by James in the first half, while some great work from Nani came to nothing as Fletcher contrived to miss the ball in front of goal and Portsmouth cleared the danger.

New signing Peter Crouch and Defoe were having no luck with the United defence and United almost went ahead when Fletcher lobbed James, but the goalkeeper showed excellent athleticism to get back and turn the ball onto the bar.

James then turned a shot from Tevez around the post and United could have had a penalty when Hermann Hreidarsson pulled Tevez down in the area but referee Peter Walton ignored the calls.

John Utaka finally tested Edwin van der Sar in the United goal but the two sides could not find the breakthrough and the match went to a penalty shootout.

The new Premier League season begins on Saturday.