So, Manchester United has picked up another piece of silverware after beating Portsmouth 3-1 on penalties in the annual curtain raiser to the new season.
The game, which ended 0-0 in regular time, was a bit of a sleeper at times with Man United controlling large portions of the match but unable to score. A main reason for that was Portsmouth’s goalkeeper David James who was stellar between the goalposts for Pompey making several crucial saves. In comparison, Edwin van der Sar was rarely challenged.
Carlos Tevez deservedly was awarded the man of the match award after producing a spirited display on the pitch at Wembley. He was quite the troublemaker in attack for United having one shot brilliantly saved by James, being pulled down in the box — which should have been a penalty, and battling and winning many balls in midfield.
Portsmouth showed glimmers of skill now and again especially in midfield and in defense, but they rarely were able to get the ball to Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch. Pompey’s attack seemed very one dimensional with balls floated in to Crouch, but rarely did the ball reach Crouch and instead was defended well by United’s back four.
The difference between United and Pompey rang true during the penalty kicks. United was calm, cool and collected as they knocked in each of their penalty kicks. In contrast, Portsmouth’s Lassana Diarra, Arnold Mvuemba and Glen Johnson missed all of theirs. If Pompey wants to compete against the big boys, they’ve got a lot of work to do.
What are your thoughts regarding the final? Do you think that United looks beatable this season? Will Manchester United be able to play as well as they did last season without Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Owen Hargreaves for the early part of the season. Share your feedback below by clicking the comments link.