Robin van Persie’s scored twice as Manchester United defeated Wigan in front of an 80,000 sold-out crowd in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The English Premier League curtain raiser traditionally played between the league title winner and the cup winner presented Wigan, who has got the Championship and the Europa League to contend with this season, an opportunity to leave a parting statement on the champions.
But it was United’s Dutch striker Van Persie who immediately banged in a header to calm the nerves of thousands of Red Devils fans in the stadium before adding another in the second-half.
It was a very professional performance. We were disappointed in pre-season at letting a few goals in and the main objective was to get a clean sheet. The first goal was a brilliant goal. It was a great start and we hope Robin van Persie can reproduce his form from last year… United player-coach Ryan Giggs.
United legend, Ryan Giggs, 39, and England’s U21 Wilfried Zaha started the encounter as Wayne Rooney, who according to manager David Moyes, is not match fit, was excluded from the trip to Wembley.
Patrice Evra, who missed Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial on Friday, returned to his left full-back position and he produced the pass which led to the first goal.
Evra whipped in a wonderful deep cross from the left and Van Persie evaded his marker and arches back to plant a header into the bottom corner to produce the first goal of the Moyes era within 6 minutes of play.
The slick passing game from Wigan last season failed to materialise against United with Michael Carrick pulling the strings in the midfield for the champions.
Wigan got their first chance to attack on 18 minute after Zaha lost the ball and an Emmerson Boyce’s direct ball to Grant Holt was easily dealt with by United’s defence.
In the 35th minute, a bouncing ball fooled defender Chris Smallings and Wigan’s new signing James McClean nipped inside and fired a cross into the six-yard box which evaded everyone.
Two minutes later Tom Cleverley played the ball into Danny Welbeck whose shot on the turn was well saved by goalkeeper Scot Carson.
Wigan had a host of chances to level up before half-time but failed to convert any of their chances.
Wigan came out stronger in the first ten minutes of the second-half before Van Persie stepped up the tempo for United again.
Fourteen minutes after the restart, the Dutchman fired in a low shot from the edge of the area which was deflected by James Perch past Carson, to extend the lead.
“It is always nice to score, especially at Wembley. I am really glad for everyone,” Van Persie told ITV after the match.
“Last year I did not score too many headers, so I have to improve on that.
After some series of substitutions from both managers, United overwhelmed Wigan for the rest of the half.
Van Persie almost made it a hat-trick of goals in the 80th minute only for Leon Barnett to clear a dangerous cross in the direction of the top striker.