LANDOVER, MD - JULY 30: Nani #17 of Manchester United celebrates scoring a first half goal against Barcelona during a friendly match at FedExField on July 30, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Manchester United Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Community Shield: Nani Brace Completes Red Devils Comeback Win

The Citizens started strong with a 2-0 first half lead, but a brilliant second half performance from the Red Devils has given them a fantastic 3-2 victory

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Manchester United Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Community Shield: Nani Earns Last-Gasp Winner For United

Manchester City have lost the Community Shield just seconds after Edin Dzeko spurned a clear chance for Roberto Mancini's side to go ahead, completely missing a free header from David Silva's floating delivery. The ball is cleared, and Nani races onto it, ghosting past Vincent Kompany as though the big Belgian wasn't there, sprinting clear of the rest of the City defence, rounding Joe Hart and putting the ball into the back of the net. Magnificent goal, and that makes it 3-2 United.

It's also the last action of the game, what with it being scored in the 94th minute and all. That's that then - Manchester United retain the Community Shield after an absolutely superb second half that made up for a few horrible minutes at the end of the first. Rafael da Silva lifts his first and presumably last trophy as United captain, which makes a good game even better.


Manchester United Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Community Shield: Nani Levels Match With Beautiful Goal

Good grief, that's an absolutely wonderful goal for Manchester United. Five minutes ago, Sir Alex Ferguson's side were down 2-0. Now it's 2-2, and although Nani will get the credit for the goal it was the product of absolutely sublime team play. Tom Cleverly and Wayne Rooney play some astonishingly good one touch football after being supplied by the Portuguese winger, weaving the ball through City's bewildered defence and releasing Nani once more. He finished off the move by crashing an unsaveable shot past Joe Hart to level the score.

Roberto Mancini immediately makes an change, replacing Mario Balotelli with Gareth Barry, which makes less than zero sense. Balotelli walks off down the tunnel - to steal a joke, that goal was so good that he's clearly decided to retire. United could have added to their second half tally a few minutes after that, but Joe Hart was finally equal to something, keeping out Wayne Rooney's angled drive. Quite a turnaround, this.


Manchester United Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Community Shield: Chris Smalling Pulls One Back

I should criticise the quality of this game more often - whenever I do it leads to a goal. This time it's Manchester United's turn to breach their opposition's defence. United win a free kick after Micah Richards goes flying into a silly tackle, and Ashley Young sends in a wonderful delivery from which Edin Dzeko completely loses right back Chris Smalling. The 21-year-old leaps up and deftly guides the ball past Joe Hart with an outstretched boot. Lovely finish from the converted centre back - every striker would be proud of that.

A few minutes later and United have another free kick from similar position. This time Ashley Young reverts to Aston Villa form by smashing the ball straight into the Manchester City wall. James Milner was booked for the foul leading up to that one, which brings the yellow card total for the match up to a whopping twenty-seven million.


Manchester United Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Community Shield: Edin Dzeko Doubles The Lead With Speculative Effort

The camera pans to Sergio Aguero on the Manchester City bench, whereupon we see an expression that consists of equal parts bafflement and disdain. Not without reason - he's watching Edin Dzeko attempt to beat Rio Ferdinand in a one-on-one by playing hopscotch. Maybe that's a Bosnian thing. Anyway, to everyone's surprise it doesn't work at all.

What does work is when Dzeko just stands off and smashes a shot in from stupid range. The striker is all of 35 yards out and Manchester United completely fail to close him down, so he just hits the ball as hard as he can and beats David de Gea worryingly (for United) close to the centre of the goal. The young Spaniard really really ought to have done better there - he reacted very late. Anyway, it's Manchester City 2-0 Manchester United, which isn't really a score that reflects the scoreline. At least the game's more lively now. Or it would be, if it weren't halftime.


Manchester United Vs. Manchester City: Joleon Lescott Gives City 1-0 Lead

You could probably call that against the run of play. Patrice Evra had given away a free kick for a foul against James Milner that left the England midfielder walking around a little bit hobbled, and from said free kick Manchester City score the opening goal. The hitherto fairly anonymous David Silva floats in a remarkable delivery for Joleon Lescott to rise over the defence and power home, and the ex-Everton defender fulfills his end of the bargain, smashing a header past David de Gea to give Manchester City a 1-0 lead.

A few minutes after the restart, and Evra fouls Milner again in even more dangerous territory. The game reverts to form - it ends up going out for a corner. De Gea catches the effort easily, and the announcers spend the next several minutes talking about how amazing his upfield punt was. By that measure, Paul Robinson is a goalkeeper of unrivalled talent. I'd hate to live in a world like that.


Manchester United Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Community Shield: Sergio Aguero To Make Bench And Other Fitness News

Sergio Aguero reportedly picked up some blisters on his feet following his move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City, but by all accounts he's back in training with City, and he's expected to make the bench, but not start the 2011 Community Shield against Manchester United on Sunday. His fellow new signings Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic should be in the 18-man squad, but in an unknown capacity. 

Manchester United are without a couple of players for sure, as both Michael Carrick and 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez will miss out. Antonio Valencia, Rafael and Darren Fletcher have returned to full training for United after picking up injuries, but all are borderline for making the 18 on Sunday.

As for City, Carlos Tevez will be out of the game for sure. He's being allowed to take an extended leave from the team following the 2011 Copa America and will be joining the team for training on Monday.

For more on both United and City, visit The Busby Babe and Bitter And Blue. For more on the entire world of footy, check out SB Nation Soccer. If you're looking for coverage of the Community Shield before, during, and after the game, keep it on our Community Shield StoryStream. The game kicks off at 9:30 am ET, 2:30 pm BST.

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