Man United unveil strike quartet
Manchester United used yesterday s thumping win over rivals Chelsea to blood the final piece of the front four jigsaw, writes Andy McCorkell.With Sir Alex Ferguson favouring the attacking options of a rotating quartet of strikers, the Chelsea players wer
Manchester United used yesterday's thumping win over rivals Chelsea to blood the final piece of the front four jigsaw, writes Andy McCorkell.
With Sir Alex Ferguson favouring the attacking options of a rotating quartet of strikers, the Chelsea players were given a bracing return to English football as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat in the Community Shield curtain raiser.
Both sets of fans left the stadium musing over a rout that was more about the magical goal scoring debut of Mexican dubbed Chicharito (meaning little pea) than the scoreline.
Premier League champions Chelsea left the field wondering how they lost, while United staked a claim for success on all fronts.
But it was new boy Javier Hernandez who delivered on the promise he showed during the World Cup with an electrifying display of flicks, tricks, cute passing and energy that culminated in a fine, if bizarre, goal to give the reds a two goal cushion.
With Manchester dispelling the hoodoo of last season's double loss to the Blues, Chelsea looked shell-shocked at 2-0 down before a goal by Kalou in the 83rd minute stirred the Stamford Bridge faithful back to song.
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United hit back quickly as Berbatov lofted a delicate, sublime chip that seemed to hang in the air for an age before stretching the back of the net.
Manchester will grow from this victory which highlighted a squad that has been boosted by unearthing that most rare of finds, young talent.
Ferguson offered just such a view in the pre match program when he wrote: "We'll let Chicharito [Hernandez] settle and see how he does. He speaks good English and he's a nice boy, so I think he'll settle quite quickly. We were lucky that we identified him before the World Cup and got the deal done.
"If we'd waited until after the tournament he could have cost us maybe two to three times the money and I think a lot of teams would have been after him. It was good work by our scouting department - they did a really good job."
The United boss was equally effusive about new defender Chris Smalling: "Chris is a very good passer of the ball. He's quick, tall and has great potential. He still needs to develop his upper body physique, but that will come in time. He's like Rio Ferdinand and I'm sure he will do really well for us."
But the Scot played down talk of a move for Werder Bremen playmaker Mesut Ozil despite watching him play in a pre-season friendly at Fulham.
Sir Alex added: "A lot of clubs are interested in Ozil but, right now, we have a great squad."
When asked if United were interested, he said: "I didn't say that. I don't know."
Ferguson admitted Ferdinand and Hargreaves are "still some weeks" away from fitness.