THE BEST OF THE FA COMMUNITY SHIELD OVER THE YEARS

The FA Community Shield has been the traditional curtain raiser for the season. Though it is still counted as part of the pre-season preparations by some, there is no doubt about both teams wanting to put on an impressive display to start their season on the right foot. This year’s final sees league champions take on Leicester City who won their maiden FA Cup last season.

Before that, FootTheBall recounts the best seven clashes in the competition’s history.

 

7. LIVERPOOL 2-1 CHELSEA, 2006

A game of fine margins and fine goals. The Reds’ left-back John Arne Riise, known for spectacular strikes, scored the game’s first goal within nine minutes. His belter from 25 yards gave Carlo Cudicini no chance in goal to hand a 1-0 lead to Liverpool. The Blues equalized just before halftime through Andriy Shevchenko who was making his debut after a record-breaking transfer.

 

John Arne Riise

Image credits: skysports.com

 

There were a few chances from then for both the teams to surge in front but the defences held firm. With 10 minutes to go in normal time, Reds substitute Craig Bellamy surged down the left flank before lifting a cross for Peter Crouch who made no mistake to make it 2-1.

 

Peter Crouch

Image credits: newsletter.co.uk

 

Chelsea almost leveled things up once again in injury-time but Frank Lampard’s free-kick was scrambled away to give the win to Liverpool, which further ignited the rivalry between these two historical sides over the years.

 

6. 1(5)-1(4) , 1993

Back when the competition was called Charity Shield, the 1993 edition was the first of the Premier League era. Manchester United, the inaugural winners met arch-rivals Arsenal with the Red Devils having not won the trophy in 10 years. Mark Hughes put the league champions in the lead within eight minutes, scoring with an overhead kick from an pass.

 

 

However, they failed to build on their momentum and allowed the Gunners to slowly grow into the game. That pressure told five minutes from halftime as a loose pass from Ryan Giggs was headed on by Paul Davis into the path of Ian Wright. The striker’s first-time shot sneaked under the crossbar to level matters up. There were chances to win for either side but the goalkeepers were in inspired form keeping everything at bay.

Eventually, the game needed penalties to decide the winner. Each team scored their first two shots before Dennis Irwin missed. Wright had the chance to win it but fluffed his lines, sending the shootout to sudden death. After Bryan Robson scored, Gunners goalkeeper David Seaman saw his strike saved by Peter Schmeichel to hand the trophy to United.

 

5. MANCHESTER UNITED 4-0 NEWCASTLE UNITED, 1996

After the infamous capitulation from Kevin Keegan’s Magpies when they blew a 12-point lead in the final weeks of the Premier League to hand the title to the Red Devils, this was the chance to set matters straight. However, that was far from what transpired when the two sides took to the field.

It was a romp by Manchester United, who opened the scoring in the 24th minute through Eric Cantona before a flying header from Nicky Butt made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark. Though Newcastle stemmed the tide after that and were looking for openings themselves, the final five minutes of the match provided the death knell for their comeback.

 

 

First, raced away to score United’s third with a delightful chip over the goalkeeper before Roy Keane smashed home a fourth of the night. This was as one-sided an encounter as they come but was another indicator of just how dominant a force Manchester United had become in England.

 

4. WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 4-4 WEST BROMWICH ALBION, 1954

One of the high-scoring thrillers back in the days of no penalty shootouts. Wolves were coming on the back of their first ever league title against their Black Country rivals who finished second and won the FA Cup. Roy Swinbourne put Wolves in the lead at the 12th-minute mark before doubling it at the stroke of halftime through Norman Deeley.

However, Ronald Allen responded with a quick-fire brace just before the hour to bring the contest back to level terms. The joy proved to be short-lived with Wolves restoring their two-goal lead via Swinbourne’s second of the match and a superb strike from Johnny Hancocks with a little more than 15 minutes remaining.

 

 

The Baggies stormed back into the match once again with goals from Reginald Ryan and Allen who completed his hat-trick in the 79th minute. The final stretch of the game was a much more subdued affair as both teams shared the trophy for only the second time in its history back then.

 

3. MANCHESTER UNITED 0(3)-0(1) PORTSMOUTH, 2008

One of the most surprise winners of the FA Cup in its illustrious history, Portsmouth had stunned all by beating Cardiff City to the trophy. They faced Manchester United who were aiming to win their 17th Community Shield. It was a game of few chances with both teams cancelling each other out in terms of attacking threats.

The real action picked up during the penalty shootout after the match ended scoreless. Lassana Diarra kicked proceedings off with a wild kick that sent the ball high into the stands and left Harry Redknapp frustrated on the touchline. Carlos Tevez stroked home his effort before Jermain Defoe leveled things up.

 

 

Ryan Giggs scored to put the Red Devils up 2-1 and Edwin Van der Sar saved from Arnold Mvuemba. Michael Carrick converted his effort which meant that Glen Johnson had to score to keep Pompey in the contest. However, the right-back blasted over to hand yet another piece of silverware to Alex Ferguson and co.

 

2. LEEDS UNITED 4-3 LIVERPOOL, 1992

This match was historic for a lot of reasons, not least because it paved the way for the inaugural season of the Premier League. Leeds United, the last winners of the old First Division, took on a Liverpool side aiming to win for the 14th time. What transpired over the 90 minutes has come to be dubbed as the ‘Cantona show.’

 

 

The enigmatic Frenchman, months away from a transfer to Manchester United, scored a hat-trick to inspire a Leeds side missing several key players. He scored an emphatic first in the 26th minute, the lead lasting for eight minutes before Ian Rush equalized for the Reds. Tony Dorigo’s free-kick deflected into the bottom corner for Leeds to go 2-1 just before halftime.

 

 

On the other side, Dean Saunders brought back Liverpool into the contest once again. Cantona then took matters into his own hand, first hitting his second before a Bruce Grobbelaar mistake gifted him his third. Though Gordon Strachan put into his own net in the dying minutes of the game, Leeds held on to win the match.

 

1. MANCHESTER CITY 2-3 MANCHESTER UNITED, 2011

The 2011 showpiece was a very good representation of the Red Devils’ ‘Comeback Kings’ moniker. The two rivals squared up with the FA Cup champions Man City surging into a two goal lead before halftime. Joleon Lescott’s header from a free-kick was followed by a long range missile from Edin Dzeko to almost put the game to bed.

However, United came out in the second half all guns blazing with Chris Smalling converting Ashley Young’s delivery before Nani was set through on goal to dink the ball over Joe Hart to bring the game to 2-2 before the hour. The Portuguese was not done and with the game in the fourth minute of injury time, he profited from a defensive error from the Cityzens.

 

 

Gael Clichy and Vincent Kompany got into a muddle which allowed Nani to go one-on-one with Hart before rounding the England to slot home into the empty net. The game saw the most frantic of finishes with United trumping over their “noisy neighbours” once again under Alex Ferguson.

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