City lose the plot as red hot Nani wins it for archrivals United | sports | Hindustan Times
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City lose the plot as red hot Nani wins it for archrivals United

sports Updated: Aug 08, 2011 00:42 IST
Manchester United

Manchester United fought back from two goals down and struck deep into stoppage time to beat Manchester City 3-2 in a dramatic Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

City defender Joleon Lescott and striker Edin Dzeko scored late in the first half to stun Premier League champions United, who had dominated the early stages of the traditional season curtain-raiser against the FA Cup winners.

United responded quickly after halftime, however, defender Chris Smalling steering Ashley Young's free kick past Joe Hart from close range and Nani finishing off a superb intricate passing movement with a deft chip from a narrow angle on 58 minutes.

With the match heading for a penalty shootout, United cleared a corner and confusion in the City defence allowed Nani to race clear, round Hart and slot the ball calmly into an empty net.

"It was a very good performance in terms of our football," United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. "I couldn't believe we were 2-0 down at halftime but goals change games. The players kept their heads, played their football and got the result they deserved."

United started brightly, new winger Young combining well with strikers Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck as big-spending City failed to settle.

Rooney fired a free kick inches wide and tempers flared with a succession of clumsy challenges before Lescott rose above a static defence to grab the opening goal against the run of play on 38 minutes.

The shell-shocked United defence then failed to close Dzeko down and the Bosnian's fizzing long-range drive flew past goalkeeper David De Gea.

Ferguson made three substitutions at halftime, replacing experienced defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and the changes made an immediate impact.

Young's free kick was neatly prodded home by Smalling and United unlocked the City defence again when Rooney and substitute Tom Cleverley exchanged neat passes to set up Nani's sublime finish.